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Beyond the expected

Wall asks Simon to fight him one handed. Simon declines

By johnboy - 18 September 2013 16

One day in the not too distant future the Liberals will realise that renewable energy is big business and will fall in love with it.

For now the Liberals’ Andrew Wall is desperately trying to dare Simon Corbell into throwing out his aces in the Uriarra Village solar power poker game:

Member for Brindabella Andrew Wall will today stand up for residents of Uriarra Village who don’t want a large scale solar development built near their homes.

“I will run a motion in the Assembly calling on Simon Corbell not to use call in powers to approve the controversial proposal metres from houses at Uriarra Village, effectively silencing local concerns,” Mr Wall said today.

“This project is causing great concern among residents and they have the right to see the full Development Application process run its course.

“Unfortunately Simon Corbell has a poor track record when it comes to using call in powers on controversial developments in the ACT, and it would be a great insult to the ratepayers and taxpayers of Uriarra Village if they did not get the opportunity to raise their concerns about the social, financial and environmental impacts of this project in the DA process.

“I call on the ACT Government, and particularly the ACT Greens Minister Shane Rattenbury, to support the motion I will move in the Assembly, and allow residents their say on a project that could potentially have a very negative impact on their lives,” Mr Wall concluded.


UPDATE: Andrew is expressing disappointment that his motion has not been looked kindly upon by the rest of the Assembly.


FURTHER UPDATE: Simon Corbell is claiming vindication in victory.


ANOTHER UPDATE: The Greens Shane Rattenbury is bemused the Liberals didn’t take up his offer of support on this issue:

ACT Green MLA Shane Rattenbury has today expressed disappointment that the Canberra Liberals and the ALP did not support his call that the Government not use call–in powers relation to the solar farm proposal at Uriarra.

“I was particularly surprised that the Liberal Party couldn’t support my call today – they came into the Assembly today saying they didn’t want the Government to use call-in powers in relation to this project, but walked out without supporting my amendment.

What’s Your opinion?


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16 Responses to
Wall asks Simon to fight him one handed. Simon declines
p1 11:11 am 19 Sep 13

While some of the residents of that village do themselves no favours by being aggressive, poorly socialized rednecks, I do find it hard to believe that the proposal could not have included, say, a 250m buffer from the road/village.

I find the call in powers to be a completely laughable part of our local government planning system.

Diggety 11:01 am 19 Sep 13

I could understand governments using call-in powers for necessary infrastructure projects, but this solar farm is not a need – it is a want.

The energy supply in this part of the grid is sufficient already, the farm will only be a duplication.

Chop71 10:32 am 19 Sep 13

Why didn’t they use the ‘call in powers’ to go ahead with the gas plant?

Thumper 9:39 am 19 Sep 13

No-one is arguing against solar power. What people are arguing against is the dodgy reverse-auction process which results in the neighbours being told last.

Exactly.

miz 9:34 am 19 Sep 13

Hardly vindication of Mr Corbell’s stance, given that the vote simply went along party lines. Call-in powers should not even exist in a democracy. Their recent use (Griffith, Royalla) demonstrates a brazen contempt for ACT residents. While the call-in power exists, frankly no one is safe if the govt thinks their proposal is ‘worthier’ than the existing ambience of the place. No one disagrees with solar power, but this trampling on locals is not acceptable. Surely they could move the proposed solar farm a km or two away. As an ACT resident I sincerely hope Uriarra wins.

housebound 9:22 am 19 Sep 13

We start to wonder whether there is any development Corbell won’t call-in.

There must be serious flaws in the ACT’s planning and development legislation if even the government has to dodge its own laws through call-in powers.

IrishPete 8:41 pm 18 Sep 13

Where were you all when Royalla residents went through this late last year and early this year, shafted with no ACT politician willing to take up their cause?

No-one is arguing against solar power. What people are arguing against is the dodgy reverse-auction process which results in the neighbours being told last.

Corbell used his call-in powers for Royalla. He will use them again for Uriarra.

IP

HelenO 5:10 pm 18 Sep 13

Corbell has made it quite clear that his focus is on the benefit of a plant, that will only produce 0.5% of the energy required by the ACT and his targets, will hold more sway than the impact it will have on an entire village purposely conceived, designed and built on a rural vista and lifestyle. A village which has a minimum 6 star energy rating (many homes are above this rating), costing residents 10’s of thousands more than an average build because of Lease & Development conditions written and approved by the same government.

These costs include fire sprinkler systems (I know one villager whose fire system cost $20K alone) and other fire safety measures, such as roofing materials, specified gutter guards, specified doors and screens larger than usual tanks to provide additional water for fire crews in an emergency and other side solar passive requirements.

No one has complained about these extra costs and the village is Pro Solar – all the village is asking is that this site be moved to eliminate the impact. It is not just panels and steel structures it is 2.8 metre fencing, razor wire, security lighting and the bulldozing 40 hectares = 98 acres = 800 average sized house blocks of rural landscape for such a small return and increase in our electricity bills.

Perhaps this is simply an action designed to set a precedent for other rural sites in ACT. The ask is Not in Our Front Yard, the warning is if this goes ahead and you back on to or live near rural land it could be In Your Back Yard and there will be no opportunity to argue it down.

On a similar note if Corbell is so focused on solar why is it not a requirement to incorporate solar technology into all new commercial buildings. Will it be included in the Kingston foreshore design, what about on top of ACT Magistrates Court and Legislative Assembly? The logic at least is that commercial office buildings use more electricity during the day than at night, and the landscape has already been changed.

HardBallGets 2:15 pm 18 Sep 13

A colleague of mine had to scrap his choice of roof tile because the proposed colour did not comply with the approved options … despite neighbouring houses having the exact same roof tile.

So determined they were to retain the rural character of the village, that one dark coloured tile was OK but another dark coloured tile was not.

And now they go and approve a solar farm across the road. You couldn’t script this stuff.

FWIW, I support more environmentally friendly power generation (including solar farms and wind turbines). But you can’t have one rule for residents and a different rule for the Govman.

wildturkeycanoe 1:40 pm 18 Sep 13

I’m with the residents on this one. How can you turn a rural area into a massive eyesore without getting the opinions of the neighbors first. If I were living out there for the rural lifestyle, I’d be furious with this decision and at the very least be asking that if the solar farm goes ahead, my house would be connected permanently to it as recompense.

krome 1:14 pm 18 Sep 13

The Riotact: Fair and Balanced.

johnboy 12:24 pm 18 Sep 13

Motion defeated.

Mysteryman 12:13 pm 18 Sep 13

Garfield said :

From everything I’ve read, the issue of the residents is not about there being a solar farm, it is the placement directly across the road from their village when they had to comply with strict buidling and environmental guidelines in the rebuilding of the village after the fire, in order to retain the rural character of the village. Now the government wants to put a commercial estate directly across the road on land that was zoned rural, and its the direction that their houses had to face in order to make them as solar efficient as possible. The residents have already paid for environmentally friendly homes in a rural setting and are now on the verge of having that rural setting destroyed. There has to be somewhere else it can be located.

Andrew Wall is acting like a good member for his constituents in bringing their issue to the Assembly.

Shhh… don’t bring common sense and logic into this. You’ll ruin JB’s incessant belittling of the ACT Liberals.

Garfield 10:39 am 18 Sep 13

From everything I’ve read, the issue of the residents is not about there being a solar farm, it is the placement directly across the road from their village when they had to comply with strict buidling and environmental guidelines in the rebuilding of the village after the fire, in order to retain the rural character of the village. Now the government wants to put a commercial estate directly across the road on land that was zoned rural, and its the direction that their houses had to face in order to make them as solar efficient as possible. The residents have already paid for environmentally friendly homes in a rural setting and are now on the verge of having that rural setting destroyed. There has to be somewhere else it can be located.

Andrew Wall is acting like a good member for his constituents in bringing their issue to the Assembly.

davo101 10:23 am 18 Sep 13

“I will run a motion in the Assembly calling on Simon Corbell not to use call in powers to approve the controversial proposal metres from houses at Uriarra Village, effectively silencing local concerns”

So exactly how far away from Uriarra village would Mr Wall like Mr Corbell to be when he uses his call-in power? Or should there be a comma and the words is and which in there somewhere?

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