The construction of Australia’s largest solar park at Clare in the Burdekin Shire, north Queensland, has been phoned-in to make sure the viable economic and environmental benefits of the project to in accordance with the community concerns which consists of possible effects on important cropping land.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Jackie Trad, stated the plan was established after re viewing and granting submissions and a request from the Burdekin Shire Council.
“Council’s original decision to approve this development, which was subject to appeal to the Planning and Environment Court, will be set aside and a new assessment will be made,” Ms Trad stated.
“I have notified all stakeholders, including the applicant, the Council and submitters of my decision to ‘call in’ the proposed development.”
FRV, a global solar power company, is planning to pump about $400 million to develop 340 hectares of farmland and indicates that the commercial-scale solar park would produce renewable energy that will be sufficient to power almost 65,000 households in Queensland, and as well provide 200 employments whiles construction is in progress, approximately five permanent progressive operations jobs and give indirect ongoing benefits to local business, contractors and suppliers.
“This project has the ability to diversify Burdekin Shire’s local economy by providing a safe, reliable and affordable alternate energy source,” Ms Trad indicated.
“As the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, I want to ensure that the economic and environmental interests of this part of the State are promoted and that the impacts on the viability of important agricultural industries are carefully considered.”
Due to the complexity of issues to be readdressed and the magnitude of technical expertise needed, the Deputy Premier will be deriving technical suggestions from other agencies to help in informing her decision.
The Deputy Premier is expected to make a decision by Tuesday, 10 November 2015.