Council move on solar farm

The Mount Alexander Shire will seek to have responsibility for approving the proposed Baringhup solar farm transferred from itself to the state government.
At their meeting in Castlemaine on Tuesday night, councillors unanimously voted in favour of the move which, if successful, will see the state planning minister responsible for approving the application.
The council’s planning department is currently assessing the permit application by multinational renewable energy developer RES to develop the proposed $195 million solar farm on 300 hectares of farmland two kilometres west of Baringhup.
In the scramble to shift to clean renewable energy, the proposed solar farm has potential to generate 75 megawatts of renewable energy, but has drawn some local opposition including from a number of landholders whose concerns include loss of productive farming land for agriculture.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, the local Tarrengower ward councillor Stephen Gardner moved the motion that council request the planning minister decide the application and that the minister establish a decision making process providing fair opportunity for all locally affected stakeholders to be heard. Full story in today’s Castlemaine Mail.

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