Call for action

By Country News

State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed has again called on the Victorian Government to share a timeline for decisions on four local planning applications and the release of draft guidelines for future solar development.

After urging Planning Minister Richard Wynne to address the lack of guidelines for solar farms across the state and to support Greater Shepparton City Council by calling in the projects, Ms Sheed said she would continue to put pressure on the government to follow through.

‘‘It has been nearly seven months since you called in these projects and more than three months since the end of the Panels Victoria hearings that took place in Shepparton,’’ Ms Sheed said during question time in Victorian Parliament on September 5.

‘‘While there is wide support for renewable energy projects in the Shepparton district, there can be no doubt that this region comprises high-value agricultural land that has had substantial recent investment in irrigation modernisation.

‘‘There are competing interests at play here and my community is looking for certainty going forward.’’

The four applications in question are in Lemnos, Tatura East, Congupna and Tallygaroopna, with the main criticism being that solar farms should not be located on irrigated land after major upgrades have been made to the region’s irrigation system.