If this project is approved it will set a dangerous and irreversible precedent for further inappropriate developments which will change the very agricultural nature of Gundary Plains and similar areas in the Goulburn Mulwaree area wherever there are High Voltage power lines will see more Solar Facilities.
Most of the Gundary Plains, from Currawang Road in the west to Mount Gundary in the east and Boxers Creek to the North, will be susceptible to solar facility developments. A solar company has already contacted landowners between Braidwood Rd and Windellama Rd to lease their land to the company for a solar facility.
Gundary Plains has over 200 years of rural/farming history and this will come to an end if the proposal is approved for exploitation by a 12 year old foreign company and a city based property owner who has owned the property for around 2 Years – the proposal demonstrates that there is no empathy for or stewardship of the land and no consideration of the aesthetic beauty of the Gundary Plains landscape.
The visual impact is significant and degrades and devalues the rural landscape.
Some 670,000 large solar panels, battery stations and electricity sub-station will be a scar on the landscape.
The aesthetics of Gundary Plain landscape will be ruined, not only for neighbouring properties but for the broader community and tourists, for example, drive from 1630 Windellama Road to 961 Windellama Road (the entry to the proposed solar facility), approximately 7kms, the view of solar panels and infrastructure across the Gundary Plain will be ugly (the opposite to the current beauty of the landscape)
If you can see the WHITE TANK on the eastern side of Windellama Rd (from 961 to 1630) you will see a large portion of the solar facility. If you can see the high voltage power lines you may see a large portion of the solar facility. If you live in the vicinity of “Old Gundary” entrance at 961 Windedellama Road, you will see the large sub-station.
The highest points on the property where panels will be erected is 750m and will be visible from properties west of Braidwood Road, from Garroorigang Road, Hume Street near the Southern Roundabout (The Donut) and Memorial Road (Southern end), parts of Mountain Ash Road up to the 6.5km mark.
Neighbours on the eastern and southern side will be exposed to solar panel and battery fires.
The eastern and southern side of the proposed solar facility would be in the path of any fire that starts on the solar “farm” or a fire that burns onto the solar “farm” fanned by prevailing westerly/northerly winds. The residents of Kooringaroo Road would be at significant risk as Kooringaroo Road is a No Through Road. Further, the Gundary Mountain range is to the east and should a fire fanned by hot westerly winds spot its way into the mountain range, it would potentially only stop once it had reached the Pacific Ocean after burning its way through areas like the Bungonia National Park. [Suggest you look at the Chatsbury/Bungonia bushfire of 1965 which is thought to have started by a spark from a Chatsbury Station angle grinder and which didn’t stop until it reached the coast and burnt most of the town of Wingello.
Residents’ concerns have been confirmed by a panel fire at Finley in January 2022 referred to below.
With respect to the Finley (NSW) solar panel fire, it has been noted by Advanced Photonics Australia that:
“Fires in solar facilities like this one can potentially have serious consequences to the environment such as starting a bushfire, burnt out solar panels, batteries, other electrical equipment and interrupting the power supply to the region and nearby communities.
The environmental pollution caused by the fire smoke and the toxic materials that could leak and contaminate the ground have a serious impact on biodiversity and can be hard to measure. All these consequences are unlikely to be reversed after a fire has happened and the remoteness of solar farm locations can make it hard for firefighting brigades to access the area”.
The full article link: https://apapl.com.au/mitigating-the-risks-of-fires-and-overheating-in-solar-facilities/
The impact on the natural environment will be disastrous.
On the neighbouring property which is a sheep grazing concern there are:
Dusky Wood Swallows (vulnerable) whose habitat is open forests and woodlands with fallen timber
Diamond Firetail finch (vulnerable) – ground feeders reliant on remnant vegetation for the species to survive
Black swans have been photographed on one of the dams on the proposed solar facility and on one of the dams on the neighbouring property.
There is a duck hatchery on the same dam and probably on the other dams on the farm and in the pasture on the ground near dams
A photograph has been taken of an Eagle that hunts over the solar facility land and at least one of the neighbouring properties. The Eagle was in a tree on the solar facility land.
We have been told by Greening Australia that if the birds are on the neighbouring property, they will also be on the property on which the solar facility is proposed. Greening Australia representatives know the farm on which the solar facility is proposed having planted 2000 trees there three years ago.
What will be the impact on echidnas, black cockatoos, wombats, kangaroos, red back frogs and and Quail?
There are naturally occurring Snow Gums on one of the properties – will these be conserved?
What happens to the existing trees on the properties?
There are many varieties of frogs on the neighbouring property including a red backed frog. It is probable that the same frogs are on the solar facility land as the landscape is the same and the two farms were once part of the same big property. What happens to this biodiversity?
Some 670,000 solar panels, an unknown number of batteries and sub-stations will emit a significant amount of electromagnetic radiation. The impact on near neighbours is unknown.
The noise impacts on near neighbours will be unbearable, as some machines and operations will emit noise levels over 100 dB during the 2 years of construction and during operation of the facility. In addition, the motors and mechanisms which tilt the panels emit noise levels of around 95 dB every 15 minutes during operation and the noise from the batteries is unknown.
Neighbours and near neighbours’ properties will be devalued.
Property values of surrounding properties will be drastically reduced. A reduced property value may impact on some owners’ mortgages while others will see their “superannuation” tied up in their property reduced significantly. The net effect is the taking of capital off small people (current landholders) and transferring the benefits to city bankers and multi-national corporations.
Risk to food security
A threat to the ability of NSW to grow its own food.
“We are after all dealing with the livelihoods of farmers, the long-term impacts on rural townships etc, along with related issues of national food supply and export income of various types. All of those seem pretty important to me given the growing world-wide shortage of food in particular.” (Des Scahill on Solarquotes)
The proposed site is not appropriate for a solar “farm”
The site is prime agricultural land (Class 3) and is classed as RU1 under the local LEP (Local Environment Plan)
The proposed site is on the Gundary Creek flood plain running to undulating land to the east. The highest point on the eastern side is 750M above sea level.
The proposed site is part of the Sydney Water Catchment.
Goulburn has cloudy days 60% of the time (BOM data for 1971 to 2010 – Climate statistics for Australian locations).
Daily energy output in June is 2.5 times less than in December - based on historical solar irradiance and temperature data (Solar Panel Report 21 June 2021 based on data from Nearmap Ltd)
Goulburn Mulwaree Local Environmental Plan 2009 Classifications RU1 Primary Production and RU2 Rural Landscape contains the Definition of farmland and the Definition of farming.
The use of the term “Solar Farm” does not mean it is a farm. Goulburn Mulwaree Council definition of “farming” means the business or industry of grazing, dairying, pig-farming, poultry farming, viticulture, orcharding, beekeeping, horticulture, vegetable growing, the growing of crops of any kind, forestry, or oyster or fish farming within the meaning of the Fisheries and Oyster Farms Act 1935, or any combination of these businesses or industries.
GMC Local Strategic Planning Statement 18 August 2020
Renewable energy and extractive industries are growing sectors in Goulburn Mulwaree, however, ideally should not compete for land identified as being of prime crop and pasture potential. Areas of higher crop and pasture potential in our area tend to be lower lying areas surrounding water courses. Currently the Department of Primary Industries (Agriculture) is preparing regional maps to identify important agricultural land. This mapping combined with mapping identifying mineral resources and buffers will contribute to Council preparing a Agriculture and Resource Lands Strategy
The main zones which facilitate rural uses under the GM LEP 2009 are the RU1 Primary Production and RU2 Rural Landscape zones
Vision 2040 - Primary resource land is a valued asset; and primary industry is a significant economic sector within the LGA which contributes to positive environmental and social outcomes.
Example site - Wellington
The Southern Tablelands region is being crushed by city bankers, Global financiers and large multinationals.
The holding company of the Gundary solar facility proposer is located in the UK and is 50% owned by British Petroleum (BP).
Gundary Plain has over 200 years of rural/farming history and this will come to an end if the proposal is approved for
exploitation by a 12 year old foreign company and a city based property owner who has owned the property for around
2 Years. This development will be an unmitigated disaster on many levels.