Atherton Solar Farm Gets Development Approval

| July 4, 2019

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Atherton Solar Farm is a proposed 81MW project we’ve previously mentioned. It will be situated near Tolga, a small town around 90 kilometres from Cairns by road. Before approval at a council meeting last week, a couple of councillors had to leave the meeting as they reported a perceived conflict of interest. One councillor said his son’s business and potentially his own will be bidding on work for the solar project. Another said her husband and son are involved in the civil construction sector and may tender on the job. Another councillor, Deputy Mayor Katrina Mellick, voted against the motion. According to the Cairns Post (paywall), Cr. Mellick is concerned the development will occur on what is considered good quality agricultural land and some residents will overlook the solar farm. “Put simply to me this is the right development at the right time but I just can’t see that it is in the right location,” said Cr. Mellick. There are still a number of conditions that will need to be met before commencement of construction, and before commencement of use the developer will need to prepare and submit Glare and Glint Assessment to Council for approval.

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