It was encouraging to read that Councillors agreed unanimously to “note Clarence Valley Council’s concerns” regarding a solar farm proposed for Lower Southgate (CVI 1/12/2021). I understand its construction will be in the magnitude of 64,000 panels.
I am not an affected landowner, but I do advocate for the sensible protection and conservation of our National Parks, and I refer to the Everlasting Swamp National Park situated contiguous to the development proposed.
Everlasting Swamp National Park comprises one of the largest coastal floodplain wetlands in New South Wales with less than five percent of the original remaining in the State. ESNP protects over 25 threatened species and is also habitat for many migratory bird species listed on international treaties (source NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service).
Overseas studies show the effect industrial scale solar farms have on avian life and here we have a proposal which could threaten one of NSW’s most important wetland conservation areas.
So, we have renewable energy versus ecology and the environment. I consider both but ecology and the environment are in situ and must triumph, whereas an introduced man-made structure of industrial magnitude is a completely inconsistent development for this specific location and the Clarence Valley generally. The proposed construction sits between Everlasting Swamp and the Clarence River.
I note final decision on the proposal is in the hands of NSW Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment…I just trust they will communicate with National Parks and Wildlife and that Clarence Valley Council will be a forthright contributor to the process ahead with councillors advocating for the protection and preservation of our remaining natural wonders.
Craig Hannam, Yamba