Solar farms and transmission lines ‘soak up’ prime farmland | Guardian Mudgee

news, local news, Goulburn, Rod Roberts, transmission line, Transgrid, HumeLink, solar farms, NSW Upper House, One Nation

Rod Roberts has spoken out against the use of prime farmland for transmission lines and solar farms. In a recent speech to parliament, NSW Upper House One Nation representative said it was “worrying and ‘completely unsatisfactory’ that solar farms and transmission cables were ‘planned to criss-cross valuable farming country’. No one is against the power grid. expanding; this is very important to this state, as is increasing solar power generation, although I publicly implore this government to ensure that reliable, affordable and easily dispatchable baseload power provided by coal be in place to enhance grid reliability,” he said. “The problem is where these large-scale solar farms and transmission lines are established. This infrastructure is located and built on some of the most productive farmland in NSW. I’m talking about some of the best farmland in the state. This land is too productive and too valuable to be used in this way.” He cited a solar farm in Culcairn, in NSW’s Riverina, but also Transgrid’s power transmission line – dubbed HumeLink – across the valley of Kyeamba, near Tarcutta, in the state. Mr Roberts said the two benefited from a connection to the national freight network, favorable climatic conditions and fertile soils, which were all necessary to support an agricultural sector diverse identity and ensuring a strong local economy that relies on rural use,” Roberts said. “… Surely there are other alternative options for this infrastructure. Surely there are more marginal countries that have less productivity capacity that could meet the needs There should be a genuine consideration of options and alternatives, not only choosing the lowest cost basis, but taking into account the concerns ons of the community, landowners and the environment. “Landowners must be treated fairly and with respect. The impact these projects will have on the value of their land, the way they live, farm and protect their homes and livelihoods must be considered.” He said that even if manufacturing in NSW was allowed to deteriorate, he would not sit idly by and see the same happen to “our precious agricultural sector”. Speaking to the Post, Mr Roberts argued that the same principles applied to Goulburn and the district. He called on Transgrid to improve its consultation with landowners affected by its proposed transmission line. “I would say there’s been a complete lack of real consultation,” Roberts said. “I’ve spoken to some of the landowners they deal with and Transgrid hasn’t even stepped on their properties. It’s a facade of consultation and they should give them more respect instead of sitting in Sydney and do a desk study.” The company is proposing the 630-kilometer-long, 500-kilovolt transmission infrastructure to enable new energy sources, such as renewables, to come online, “unlocking the full potential of the Snowy Hydro Scheme and increase the amount of power that can be delivered across NSW and the ACT”. It will link Maragle, Wagga Wagga and Bannaby substations. Bannister and surrounding residents say they don’t know the route and width of the easement. But they also fear its impact on their agricultural businesses. But a spokeswoman for Transgrid said the company has engaged with area landowners about HumeLink through face-to-face meetings, interactive online maps and community information sessions. The route of a 200m easement will be cleared in June. This will be refined to 80m by June 2022. Mr Roberts disputed the need for infrastructure. “This is due to the government’s mad pursuit of renewable energy and the need to transport it on the grid,” he said. “(The transmission line) is not about improving what we have, but about attracting new sources.” One Nation instead supports the construction of Bayswater 2, a new coal-fired power plant in the Upper Hunter. Mr Roberts said a total reliance on renewables and battery storage was “very good in utopia”, but it would not guarantee affordable and reliable power in the same way as coal, gas and fuels. nuclear sources. He also criticized solar power for the fact that discarded and decommissioned panels containing “toxic metals” went straight to landfill. However, the state government announced last year that it would invest $10 million to divert end-of-life solar panels from landfills. It invited expressions of interest for grants to conduct trial projects that “increased the collection, reuse and recycling of solar panel and battery storage systems.”


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