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Libs call on ACT government to drop Uriarra solar farm

Uriarra village residents in front of the proposed site for a solar farm across the road to Uriarra Village.

Uriarra village residents in front of the proposed site for a solar farm across the road to Uriarra Village. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

The Canberra Liberals have called on the ACT Government to abandon a proposal for a 10 megawatt solar farm to be built across the road from Uriarra Village.

Liberal MLA Andrew Wall said the site was unsuitable and local residents had not been aware of the proposal before it was announced.

“It’s a terrible location. It doesn’t belong next to residences,’’ Mr Wall said.

“I think anyone who looks on to [the] bush facing the capital – which is certainly one of our greatest assets – should be concerned that something like this could happen to them at any date.’’

Mr Wall said planning rules had required most of the homes to be built facing towards the north, close to where more than 26,000 solar panels would be located.

“By all indications, and judging by the tone of all the information available to residents, the large-scale solar project is a done deal,’’ he said

Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell denied the proposal was a done deal and residents would be able to raise their concerns during a public consultation process.

“Residents will be able to have their say through that process,’’ he said.

Mr Corbell said he had met with Uriarra residents on the same day it was announced proponent Elementus Energy had won a solar tender auction.

“Any suggestion that there has not been consultation upfront is wrong. There has been engagement by the government and by me as minister,’’ he said.

Three proposed large-scale solar power projects would contribute $100 million to the ACT economy and save 1.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, Mr Corbell said.

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