Wall predicts bushfire risk from solar farm trees

tree and sun

THE Canberra Liberals’ vociferous opposition to clean power generation has found an unusual outlet at Uriarra Village, trees.

Andrew Wall today reveals that the planned solar farm out there has a proposed screen of trees between the residents and the facility which he thinks will increase their risk of bushfires.

“It is cause for alarm that the development application (DA)proposing large scale solar next to Uriarra Village contradicts bushfire mitigation measures imposed on residents. The DA proposal will potentially increase the bushfire risk with a significant number of trees to be planted just metres from homes,” Andrew said.

“A 300 metres fire abatement zone is currently in place around three sides of Uriarra Village. The development application proposing an unwanted large solar power facility also proposes a dense 20 metre tree buffer between the solar facility and houses on the fourth side. This inconsistency defies common sense,” Mr Wall said.

“After much of Uriarra was destroyed during the Canberra bushfires of 2003, it is ridiculous for the government to consider approving a development that could increase the bushfire risk when residents are forced to maintain a 300 metre fire abatement zone around the village. It is reckless for ACT Labor to allow developments that increase the risk bushfires pose to residents of the ACT.

“This is a project the residents of Uriarra are opposed to and Mick Gentleman needs to stop it immediately. The residents have been ignored in the planning process.

“The creation of the bushfire risk through the DA highlights once again that large scale solar at Uriarra Village shouldn’t proceed. I will continue to stand up for my constituents unlike ACT Labor,” Mr Wall concluded.

Trees, near homes on top of a clean energy facility providing jobs, however will they manage?

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13 Responses to “Wall predicts bushfire risk from solar farm trees”

  1. _p1_
    July 23, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    I dtill don’t quite understand why the foresty settlement was rebuildt at all?

  2. Rod Mac
    July 19, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    Gee I’m surprised by this headline. Not sure the ALP could have written it better itself. Pity it doesn’t match the facts of the story. Just because CityNews is free doesn’t mean it should be allowed to parade its writers’ own preferences. If people stop reading it, advertisers will sink the publication.

  3. Eliza Anderson
    July 17, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    Really?!?!?! I dont think Mr Wall could have said it anymore times if he tried…. this has nothing to do with not wanting solar power…. have solar, go ahead, but dont put it so close to a rural village when you have soooo many other options. If you dont see that I have no idea what type of journalist you think you are.

  4. John Griffiths
    John Griffiths
    July 17, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    Hi guys,

    Great to get your feedback.

    If the Uriarra Village community has thoughts about the process may I suggest you send your statements to john@citynews.com.au rather than speaking through a politician?

    Wishing you all the best,

    John

    • David
      July 17, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

      Thanks for the patronising suggestion, John.

      However, as you can see from the comments below, the residents of Uriarra Village are quite capable of voicing their own opinions.

  5. Tegan
    July 17, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

    John Griffiths, could your article be any more biased and untrue? I think Canberran’s have had more than their fair share of bushfire tragedy and protecting families from more is nothing short of admiral. Thank goodness for Andrew Wall MLA and common sense……

    • John Griffiths
      John Griffiths
      July 17, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

      Hi Tegan, I’m sure it could be if I tried. Cheers!

      • Judy Middlebrook
        July 17, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

        Do you mean you could try even harder to be a biased journalist? The proposed solar farm is huge, close, a fire risk, a blight on the landscape and IN THE WRONG PLACE. There are no cheers for us in this ridiculous solar farm.
        P.S. We love renewable energy and trees.

      • Jess Agnew
        July 17, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

        So John are you going to come out to Uriarra and talk to us about our side of the story? We can offer great coffee and scones.

  6. Amanda Williamson
    July 17, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    The residents of Uriarra are 100% supportive of renewable energy! The village as is stands now was born out of the horrendous fire storm of 2003. We have had very strict building and planting restrictions to ensure our safety during future threat of fire!! All we ask is developers abide by the same restrictions and not put our village at unnecessary risk! Our only way out if the village in the event if a fire is on Brindabella Road, if panels and plants are on fire next to the road we are trapped! All we asked for was a larger buffer zone and a win/win for all!! Proponent leased 800 Hectares and chose the 40 that would most impact us! Surely any reasonable person could see a compromise would have been more appropriate

  7. Michael Cocks
    July 17, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    I live at Uriarra and am not opposed at all to solar. I have built a straw bale house, have solar PV cells and solar hot water, so I believe in being green. Even if there was no other feasible site in the ACT for the farm, I would be more sympathetic. My gripe purely the lack of consultation with the community on the siting, and lack of any real compromise on the selection of another site. There can be a win win. This conflict is unneeded and hurts the solar cause.

  8. David
    July 17, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    This opinion piece is oversimplified nonsense. The residents’ objections to the position of the proposed Uriarra solar farm (not clean energy) are based on the appalling process and lack of community consultation. The position of the solar farm was planned in secret and decided in secret. The first residents knew about it was after Minister Corbell had already made a decision that the solar farm “must” be next to Uriarra Village and announced proudly that it “will be built”. And all this took place almost a year before any DA was lodged. Minister Corbell’s pet project is the result of a deeply flawed and unfair process. The residents of Uriarra Village on the whole support clean and renewable energy. We’ve been looking for a win-win for 12 months but Minister Corbell and the proponent have turned their backs on us. I’m very afraid that we’re going to become the unfortunate exception that proves why this kind of unfair process should never be allowed to happen again.

  9. Jess Agnew
    July 17, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    I urge you to come out and visit uriarra village, no one is opposed to solar, we are one of the greenest suburbs in Canberra. We only want it moved further away on the 800 hectares they have subleased. There is a win win for everyone, come out and get our side of the story.

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