Labor dumps solar farm decisions on council
06 December 2018
Planning Minister Richard Wynne has refused to provide more specific solar planning guidelines for local councils despite significant community concern that the existing framework is too ambiguous.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said that the Andrews Labor Government’s response to dump decisions about solar farms on councils without proper guidelines added unnecessary pressure to local planning teams that were already under resourced.
“The Minister has failed to acknowledge the concerns of residents across the Euroa Electorate who believe that the current solar planning legislation is inadequate,” Ms Ryan said.
“Rather than address the need for more specific solar planning guidelines, the Minister has decided to shift the blame to our local councils.
“It is completely unreasonable to expect local councils to give solar farm applications the thorough consideration they need when there are no specific guidelines to adhere to.
“I have been contacted by a number of people across the electorate who believe that the current framework has created a lack of transparency between all parties involved.
“Without strict planning guidelines, councils are given no other option but to accept or reject applications.
“Residents feel that councils are being pressured by solar companies to push through their applications in haste.
“It is completely unreasonable for the Minister to think that councils can continue to review solar farm applications without precise planning guidelines.
“I welcome a greater focus on renewable energy projects, but they must be properly and thoroughly assessed.”