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Locals invited to have their say on solar farm development guidelines

Bundaberg locals are invited to have their say today on new guidelines that will guide the sustainable development of Queensland’s solar farm boom.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said with 16 large-scale solar farms under construction across the state and another 40-plus potentials, specific planning guidelines would help the development, construction and approval process.

“Bundaberg and the Wide Bay region has two committed solar farm projects in the pipeline with huge potential for further development in the region,” he said.

“Queensland already has five solar farms that have recently gone into operation.

“Another 16 solar projects are under construction across the state, which will create an additional 1100 megawatts of renewable energy and more than 2300 construction jobs.

“These large scale projects are great for jobs, particularly in regional and rural Queensland, but the right planning guidelines need to be in place to ensure communities, developers, councils and investors are all on the same page about what is best for Queensland.”

Local governments assess applications for solar farms under their local planning schemes.

Dr Lynham said it was important that council planning schemes responded to solar development to help ensure that projects preserved the “social licence” the community gave them to operate.

Community forums start in Bundaberg tomorrow and will run in the solar hot spots of Townsville, Dalby, Emerald, Mackay and Bundaberg.

Consultation sessions with local governments will also be held in these locations, giving local governments across Queensland the opportunity to contribute their experiences to the guidelines.

State government planning and energy policy experts will be on hand to answer questions about the proposed guidelines, as well as solar farms and renewable energy in general.

The Bundaberg community forum will be held at the Sugar Country Motor Inn from 6pm till 8pm on the 18th of April.

The guidelines will be finalised in the second half of 2018.

To register for the event visit https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/queensland-solar-farm-guidelines-bundaberg-community-forum-tickets-44050688796.

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