Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Features

Sponsored by Crucial - delivering premium web hosting to Australian businesses 24x7x365

Uriarra

By Sebastian Fernandez - 7 July 2014 19

solar-farm

It seems pretty clear to me that the residents of Uriarra Village, just west of Canberra are about to be royally shafted by the ACT Government.  They’re fighting to have this proposed solar farm moved to another location, but the Government is clinging to process and moving forward to make it happen.

I don’t know anyone at the village.  I’ve only ever driven through there a handful of times, but I really feel for these poor people who are being bullied by business and government at the same time.

It’s not difficult to see why Simon Corbell’s primary vote at the last election was so low if this is an indication of how he deals with constituents.  I’ve sung Simon Corbell’s praises when it comes to his social media engagement, but he’s failed in engaging with this little rural community and responding to their complaints.  If the next election was purely in Uriarra, the libs could run Todd Carney against him and expect to win. (If Jeremy Hanson is seriously considering recruiting Mr Carney, might I suggest that he could campaign on a platform of ‘more public toilets.’)

Every time Simon Corbell talks about this solar farm, I get the impression that he’s right behind the developers and that the concerns of residents will not play any role whatsoever in determining whether the project.

Simon’s suggested Elementus Energy has done a big favour to the residents by moving their solar farm away from houses.  The reality is that they’ve announced a move of 30 metres which is not going to make any difference to anyone.

The application, which was lodged with the ACT Planning and Land Authority was made public on Thursday night.

Elementus are telling us that  70 per cent of homes will be at least 300 metres away from the solar panels and half the homes will be more than 500 metres away.

I just don’t understand why, when we have so much rural land in the ACT…why would you need to build this so close to the village ?  It doesn’t make sense to me.

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments
19 Responses to
Uriarra
1
davo101 8:57 am
07 Jul 14
#

I just don’t understand why, when we have so much rural land in the ACT%u2026why would you need to build this so close to the village?

I’m guessing that a location for a solar farm needs to be:

1. Correctly zoned (ie: not inside a national park or on land that’s going to be developed for housing)
2. Reasonably flat
3. Not flood prone
4. Already cleared
5. Near a road (for construction)
6. Near the existing electrical network
7. Not shaded by surrounding topography

Looking at a map of the ACT this becomes a very small area.

Report this comment

2
watto23 9:30 am
07 Jul 14
#

I can’t see why people complain so much. The govt rebuilt there and after the bushfires had every right to not build out there because there was no need to build houses at Uriarra. OK so it may be a few years before the boundary trees hide the solar panels, but seriously, this is another nimby case. There are no valid reasons other than the human nature to complain about anything that changes their current situation.

Report this comment

3
OpenYourMind 9:33 am
07 Jul 14
#

It’s a friggin’ solar farm next door, not a coal or asbestos processing plant.  I happily have one on my roof and I’m happy to see my neighbours with them.

Some of the arguments I’ve heard from Uriarra residents more apply to their village than they do to the farm.  eg.  It shouldn’t be built there, it’s a fire risk, it’s subject to high winds, it’s a pretty location etc. etc. These are all reasons to bulldoze Uriarra and build a few more solar farms there!  I’d much rather we have more solar and no more residential out that way.

The location is great.  There are a few compromises being made such as a 50mtr setback (I gather) and some extra native tree screening.  

Seriously, this is NIMBYism at its worst.

Report this comment

4
pajs 9:35 am
07 Jul 14
#

Perhaps it doesn’t make sense to you because you don’t understand it?

I agree with watto23 that the nimby is strong here. Solar panels in a paddock, screened from view by shelterbelt plantings, is hardly the death knell for rural living.

Report this comment

5
Maya123 9:42 am
07 Jul 14
#

watto23 said :

I can’t see why people complain so much. The govt rebuilt there and after the bushfires had every right to not build out there because there was no need to build houses at Uriarra. OK so it may be a few years before the boundary trees hide the solar panels, but seriously, this is another nimby case. There are no valid reasons other than the human nature to complain about anything that changes their current situation.

This sums up my feelings too. Only comment to add to this is that there are still a lot of roofs available for use in the ACT, but now it is more expensive to use them. Many of these roofs though might not have as good an outlook as the site at Uriarra. But some do.

Report this comment

6
shirty_bear 10:18 am
07 Jul 14
#

Add me to the list of people that just doesn’t see what the problem is here.

Wind farm? Sure, keep your distance. Solar? Meh. *So*much* meh.

Report this comment

7
dungfungus 10:28 am
07 Jul 14
#

OpenYourMind said :

It’s a friggin’ solar farm next door, not a coal or asbestos processing plant.  I happily have one on my roof and I’m happy to see my neighbours with them.

Some of the arguments I’ve heard from Uriarra residents more apply to their village than they do to the farm.  eg.  It shouldn’t be built there, it’s a fire risk, it’s subject to high winds, it’s a pretty location etc. etc. These are all reasons to bulldoze Uriarra and build a few more solar farms there!  I’d much rather we have more solar and no more residential out that way.

The location is great.  There are a few compromises being made such as a 50mtr setback (I gather) and some extra native tree screening.  

Seriously, this is NIMBYism at its worst.

Are they supplying tin foil hats to the residents to protect them from stray EMR?

Report this comment

8
justsomeaussie 2:58 pm
07 Jul 14
#

I don’t know, I’d be pretty upset too if I was sold a specific lifestyle, invested my life savings into a dream house and then told by the Government and Big Business that they are about to destroy all of that and to massively devalue my most significant asset. I feel for these guys and I don’t think they are nimby’s. I think they are Not In Anyone’s Back Yard.

justsomeaussie said :

There is a pretty serious claim here so you are going to have to back it up. Can you provide evidence that the solar farm will “massively devalue” people’s homes? How will it exactly negatively affect people’s lives?

Otherwise it’s the same rhetoric NIMBYism used by people that oppose wind farms and/or any change at all.

Report this comment

9
creative_canberran 3:40 pm
07 Jul 14
#

The residents should have been aware that it was always a possibility, if not a solar farm, then some type of development on that land. Uriarra differs to Hall or Tharwa for example, in that those two townships have buffers zoned under the Territory plan around them. Uriarra on the other hand always had a large interface with land zoned for potential future development.

Report this comment

10
Bosworth 3:41 pm
07 Jul 14
#

i don’t understand, why is it bad to have a paddock of solar panels 200m or 500m away from your house?

Report this comment

11
Maya123 4:05 pm
07 Jul 14
#

I don’t understand why people have a problem with a wind farm either. As long as they are not so close as to cast a shadow on you what is the problem? And they are likely to be much further than that from houses in reality. Having stood very close to them on a VERY windy day, I can say they don’t make much noisy, and they are not ugly.They would be if they had power lines and poles spreading out from them, but those I have seen don’t. Sculptural.

Report this comment

12
Daniel 4:14 pm
07 Jul 14
#

I’m another who thinks that the solar farm should be OK if it truly has a 50m buffer. I’ll admit I haven’t been passed for a long time and might take a drive up there soon. I think most criticisms and remarks made by proponents wouldn’t gel with fair-minded Canberrans. Residents would probably do better by seeking additional sweeteners to the deal, whatever they may be

Report this comment

13
AgentK 4:40 pm
07 Jul 14
#

Sad that people complain.

This is what progress looks like.

Perhaps the good people of Uriarra Village would prefer a nuclear power plant?
We could re-use the designs of Fukushima ! Then they would finally have something valid to be concerned about.

Report this comment

14
switch 5:01 pm
07 Jul 14
#

Maya123 said :

I don’t understand why people have a problem with a wind farm either. As long as they are not so close as to cast a shadow on you what is the problem? And they are likely to be much further than that from houses in reality. Having stood very close to them on a VERY windy day, I can say they don’t make much noisy, and they are not ugly.They would be if they had power lines and poles spreading out from them, but those I have seen don’t. Sculptural.

Don’t you know how bad they are for your health? Especially if you missed out and one got built on your neighbour’s patch instead. And there was that report of the man who got sick from a wind turbine 100 miles away.

Report this comment

15
Simon_Corbell 5:04 pm
07 Jul 14
#

I write to address the claims made in a previous post that I surrendered an interest in a block of land at Uriarra Village” …right around the time Elementus secured the rural lease…” for the Elementus Energy solar farm proposal.

This claim suggests to the reader that I acted to dispose of my interest in the land with some prior knowledge of the proposed location of the Elementus Energy solar farm proposal. Such suggestions are false.

I placed a deposit on a block of land at Uriarra Village in 2008. I had surrendered my interest in the land and forfeited my deposit by January 2010. These matters were disclosed at the time in my Statement of Registerable Interests lodged with the ACT Legislative Assembly Register of Members’ Interests.

The solar auction did not commence until 27 January 2012. It was therefore not possible for me to know of the proposed Elementus Energy solar farm location at the time that I disposed of my interest in the land in 2010. I did not know of any solar farm proposal at Uriarra at this time.

Any suggestion that I acted in relation to the disposal of my interest in land at Uriarra Village with prior knowledge of the Elementus solar farm proposal at Uriarra is false and defamatory.

Report this comment

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2016 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.

Search across the site