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State Significant Development

Response to Submissions

Sundown Solar Farm

Inverell Shire

Current Status: Response to Submissions

Interact with the stages for their names

  1. SEARs
  2. Prepare EIS
  3. Exhibition
  4. Collate Submissions
  5. Response to Submissions
  6. Assessment
  7. Recommendation
  8. Determination

Development of a 360 MW solar farm with energy storage and associated infrastructure.


This project is a controlled action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and will be assessed under the bilateral agreement between the NSW and Commonwealth Governments, or an accredited assessment process. For more information, refer to the Australian Government's website.

Attachments & Resources

Notice of Exhibition (1)

Request for SEARs (1)

SEARs (3)

EIS (15)

Response to Submissions (1)

Agency Advice (11)


Showing 1 - 20 of 144 submissions
Name Withheld
Inverell , New South Wales
Cedric Creed
Goovigen , Queensland
"I strongly object to this development on prime food producing land. These companies have no right to build these types of factories in the middle of our farm land. When will governments wake up to the toxic contamination that is going to make our ability to produce food for ourselves. All of this type of power generation does not work on a large scale as has been proven overseas."
Name Withheld
Hamilton , New South Wales
I wish to object to Application SSD-8911. Swan Vale is prime agricultural land and I feel this project has the potential to be disruptive in many ways. The first is the proposed road usage. Spring Mountain and Sturmans Roads are the main access routes for the local Swan Vale community. They connect the residents to the two main town centres and also serve to move cattle and livestock. These are quiet rural roadways, I am not confident they will cope with the extreme increase in traffic, but mostly I am concerned the heavy traffic required for construction will negatively impact the health, wellbeing and the livelihoods of the local community. This significant increase in noise and dust well as the safety implications of a country road not built for the heavy usage should not be overlooked. Secondly, I am concerned about the possible environmental implications of this project. The Swan Vale area is classified RU1 Primary Production, and Sundown Solar covers over 2000 hectares of this fertile farming land. The large scale clearing for such a project does threaten the local biodiversity and as such, I question the location choice for this solar farm.
Name Withheld
SWAN VALE , New South Wales
I am writing to express my objections to the Sundown Solar Farm project.
I have owned 2 farms in the Swanvale area for 40 years and have strong objections to this proposed development.
Firstly the use of Spring Mountain Road as the access point to the project. My 3 Grandchildren catch the bus at the intersection of the Gwydir Highway and Spring Mountain Road. Traffic mitigation strategies would appear to not take this fact into account as the strategy falls outside the hours the bus arrives in the morning and the afternoon and the traffic that will be in proximity trying to catch the school bus is potentially disastrous.
Secondly I have concerns of the potential harm that taking such a large volume of water from the water table will have on mine and surrounding farms ability to operate and the suggestion of approaching the bore license holders in the area to access their existing bores is ludicrous. I for one am a license holder and strongly object to even the thought of this. Accessing farm dams under harvestable rights is also a point I object to particularly as all this water will be used for is to wash panels and suppress dust.
The land rehabilitation study is also concerning to me and appears that the re-classification of prime agricultural land from what would appear to be a flawed study containing inaccuracies and missing information needs to be looked into further. I note that the re-classification of certain profile points in the tabled data differs from that in the profile background of the study. This would lead me to think that re-classification of the land has been done to allow a smoother path for this development and needs further investigation.
My family has always been passionate about the biodiversity of the place we call home and its protection. As a result, one of our farms has been put to a biodiversity conservation trust. Thus the suggestion of the destruction of six significant environmental areas to accommodate this development and to further harm 8 threatened species requires significant further investigation.
I have further concerns regarding this project specifically the noise emissions, and effect on local weather patterns from the creation of hot spots from a development of this size which I understand will be the second largest in NSW. However, my health has prevented me from doing further research but implore you to take my objections on board in a considered way so this development can be further investigated by the independent planning authority.
Yass Landscpae Guardians Inc.
WOOLGARLO , New South Wales
Please find attached my comments of objection to the Sundown Solar Farm on behalf of the Yass Landscape Guardians Inc.
George Papadopoulos
KELLYS PLAINS , New South Wales
The project is adjacent to three other existing or approved solar farms and several wind farms. Between Glen Innes and Inverell, there is now far more land mass dedicated to "green energy" than nature reserves, and indeed more than the nature reserves of the wider region. Despite this, this project will only generate less than one twentieth of the planned output of the New England REZ. Little thought has been put into the how this project along with all the other projects in the region, affect food security and pressure on farmers to sacrifice ecology for the sake of agricultural output.
The proponent does not indicate how these cumulative seas of black panels will affect atmospheric convection patternns and how this may alter the local rainfall patterns, wind patterns and intensity of storm activity. This project also an indication of how futile, ecologically destructive these projects are for the little electricity they generate - and example of how unsustainable this form of "green" energy is.
For these reasons I object to the project.
Name Withheld
SWAN VALE , New South Wales
I have lived in the Swanvale area at my current address for 40 years. We have a farm here and I raised my 3 children, and am lucky enough to have 3 of my grandchildren and son and daughter-in-law live next door. My 3 Grandchildren catch the school bus where all the construction traffic will pass through for the duration of the project. The increase in traffic, as well as 214 vehicles morning and afternoon passing through the place where the School bus drops and picks up the children is a potential disaster. It would appear from the traffic study that this has not been taken into account and should be one of the first things that is looked into.
I am also concerned for the lack of communication that we have had as residents within the buffer zone. We have received no communication, apart from the Department of Planning letter received in July.
The impact of the traffic on neighbors on the Spring Mountain Road particularly properties Warrawee and Menari given the proximity of their homes to the road will be unbearable. I also worry about livestock and wildlife on Spring Mountain road due to the increase in traffic and it seems that these things haven't been particularly considered in the traffic study and some lip service measures are suggested to mitigate the impact.
It shocked me, and I totally oppose the developer's proposal that they will approach the local bore license holders to access their existing bores to wash panels and suppress dust. I possess a bore license in the area and will definitely not be granting access to them to that bore. Water is such a precious resource and should be used to water stock not to wash solar panels and suppress dust. It also concerns me that bores will have to be dug on site and the impact that will have on the water table particularly as it seems the drought cycle is becoming shorter and shorter.
Due to the short timeframe, I have been unable to look at all documents however I am very concerned about the impact that a development of this size will have on the fauna and flora of this beautiful area. We have seen Koalas on our properties in the past however their habitat has been destroyed to the point we don't see them anymore. More removal of valuable habitat where they could thrive is not a good thing. The development area is also home to 8 threatened species which would appear the developer has no interest in preserving, I question the value of these projects particularly as local residents that are impacted see no benefit. We are still affected by energy price rises, but we're in a renewable energy hub and are forced to deal with the effects of their construction. There are better places for large scale solar farms as we often have low sunlight levels and it astounds me that a location such as this would be chosen in the first place.
I am also very concerned about the impact of noise due to the project. My home is 200 meters from the Gwydir highway and approximately 500 meters from the intersection of the Gwydir Highway and the Spring Mountain Road. Large trucks will need to use compression breaking at the front of my driveway to start to slow down to turn onto Spring Mountain Road. This will be very Disturbing. I am also aware of studies conducted on the low level hum that a large volume of Solar panels create and a development of this size will emit these frequencies. I also know of people in the local area that have denied the use of their properties as sites for solar farms due to concerns that they had regarding animal welfare due to the noise emissions. It is impossible for the developer to mitigate the noise emitted from the panels. We already feel the effects of the White Rock Wind Farm particularly at night of the low level hum that the turbines emit.
In conclusion it would be appreciated if this development is looked into further not just given the green light to go ahead without some further due diligence.
Name Withheld
INVERELL , New South Wales
I object to the Solar Farm by Sundown Solar being approved.

I am a local Inverell resident. I have become aware of the proposed Sundown Solar Farm along Spring Mountain Rd and Sturmans Rd at Swan Vale. I have spent some time reading through the available documentation and am shocked at the proposed increase in traffic for this peaceful rural community. This will have a huge impact on the local amenity, it will impact land values for those impacted properties and impact those residents mental health.

Referring to the developers proposed map of where works would be taking place and it is general knowledge that the property where the proposed Solar Farm is to be constructed could be accessed from another access point that would not affect the open farming area that has been in existence along the Spring Mountain Road and Sturmans Road for generations, where the local farming community utilise these roads to move their livestock from paddock to paddock. The increase in traffic flow would pose a serious threat to their livestock and also to the workers who would travel this road to gain access to the worksite.

The water usage for the lifetime of the generating plant also stated in the proposal is a great concern, given the fact that the local stream has a quality of water for stock and human use that is of the highest quality. Noting that even the smallest hazardous material spillage in the vicinity of this water source would have enormous environmental impacts not just on the local habitants and livestock but also to the enormous micro and macro native flora and fauna that reside in this industrially untouched area.

Areas such as Swan Vale have, for many years contributed to the sustainable local economy. To hear that significant areas of land will be locked up and no longer available for agricultural production. The Solar Farm is a flash in the pan with unknown environmental impacts when compared to the longevity if sustainable farming practices. These practices have to be protected to ensure the area remains sustainable as it has done for well over 100 years.

the project developers and investors shall provide more clarity to the community with transparent dialogue and shall also investigate an alternative access route for the supply of material to the project and for the construction personnels access.
Name Withheld
SAUMAREZ PONDS , New South Wales
To the Planning Office,
I am writing this letter to express my most serious objection the proposed large scale solar farm on Sturmans Road, Spring Mountain. This proposal appears to have been kept very secretive up until last week which is absolutely despicable.
A number of factors in regard to this proposal are being grossly and negligently overlooked, these include the detriment of the farming and native lands in vicinity, within those lands, livestock and other native animals and birds. Most importantly the effects on human habitation in proximity to this horrific industrial scale solar installation.
Aside from the unknown and quite disgustingly unresearched harmful side effects that may pertain to this outdated, ineffective form of energy production to humans, animals and land there are other serious implications to those neighbouring this abhorrent proposal.
The sound and air pollution caused by the massive amount of cartage and machinery work must also be considered, there is also proven data showing the affects of this on surrounding people and animal including psychological conditions linked to the frequency of the current in the electricity conduits after the installations are complete.
The excessive use of Spring Mountain Road, which is not a high capacity thoroughfare will be come heavily congested with dangerous amounts of plant and vehicles. This will create serious problems for residents and more importantly an unnecessary risk of harm or death to residents and animals along this roadway and roadways adjoining.
The positioning of this proposed solar farm is a disgrace and only outlines even more clearly to everyday Australian taxpayers that the whole renewable energy agenda is a nothing more than a money-making scam for high rolling companies and their affiliates.
This proposal must not go ahead to avoid the disturbance to environment and the constituents that will be adversely impacted.
Gwymac Landcare Inc
Inverell , New South Wales
On behalf of Gwymac Landcare I am writing to object to the proposed Sundown Solar Farm project.
Gwymac is a Landcare organisation that supports the agriculture sector as well as biodiversity and conservation projects. Our aims are to protect the environment, not destroy it, and the Biodiversity assessment report contains some alarming statements. The area of the proposed development holds 6 Matters of National Environmental Significance (ES3.5 in the report) as well as 8 Threatened Species (ES3.4 in the report). The destruction of the habitat that this biodiversity lives in should not be able to occur. The traffic increase on the Spring Mountain Road will also affect Biodiversity as well as be a great risk to livestock that use this Road.
Late in 2022 a Koala was sighted on a property on the Spring Mountain Road (Trail cam evidence is able to be supplied for the sighting). Box Gum Woodland is prime habitat for koalas containing all food and habitat trees that the Northern Tablelands koalas prefer. This prime habitat will be removed due to the development and the report states that the trees could be used as habitat. Given the presence of a Koala in the buffer Zone surely further investigation needs to occur into the development.
The development site contains a significant amount of hollow-bearing trees that are prime habitats for the Pygmy Possum as well as many bird species. The method used to detect the Pygmy Possum in the study was admittedly the wrong method by the report writer. Surely this has to throw questions as to the validity of the study.
The area proposed for the development is known, and potential habitat for the Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrott. Both species have been decimated by the removal of their habitat. Swift Parrots have been sighted inside the buffer zone as recently as June 2023.
The Land and Rehabilitation report also throws some questions. This land was classified as prime agricultural land. However, this report suggests a re-classification. The Soil profile data contains some inconsistencies, some profile assessments contain notes as to reasons why a reclassification is required, while others don't. Profiles 1 through 6 are all suggested as being re-classified. Profile 3 in particular is interesting as it states an effective soil level of 75 cms. Table 3 states however that it needs re-classification as it has a soil depth of less than 70 cms. These inconsistencies surely have to be investigated further as a re-classification from prime agricultural land gives a green light to the development, whereas being prime agricultural land prevents the development.
Given these reasons further investigation and input from the Independent Planning Authority must happen.
Carolyn EMMS
LAKE BARRINE , Queensland
I object to this proposal. The farming landscape to heavy industrial use is a completely different change of land use, which consolidates our concerns that this destructive proposal must not go ahead.
This project involves large scale development that the developer identifies as a solar plant, but in fact it is a proposal that will have lasting environmental effects, that is unfair to leave to the next generation.
There is no upfront bond for the removal of their industrial waste, and my research shows there is no benefit to Australia, on any level. These are not just solar farms, or solar parks, that this industry would have the public believe. It is in fact a potential toxic future hazard. This is not to mention the potential fire hazards from increased temperatures. Rainfall could be seriously affected by large scale industrial developments that covers the photosynthesis and biodiversity that makes our planet so different to other planets. There also may be increased temperatures of around 5% - 10%
There are illustrations of the source of other’s misery and slavery for this global corporate driven industry. Decisions that may cause serious environmental harm needs to be considered very carefully before inflicting this on the community, and our country. Yours sincerely Carolyn Emms
Lucinda LEWIS
Carcoar , New South Wales
I am writing to object against the the sundown solar farm project development proposed in the Swan Vale area. I grew up in the area, my parents, my brother and his children still live in the area. I have several concerns beginning with the safety aspect of having 400+ traffic movements through the intersection of Spring Mountain road and the Gwydir Hwy where 6 children catch the school bus each weekday which raises a huge safety concern.
I am also concerned that the solar array will impact weather patterns which have already changed in the recent past due to the wind farm and given the potential risk of the panel and battery components catching fire and the fact that the area is a no fly zone for firefighting aircraft because of the turbines.
Proposed tree clearing will also destroy the ecological communities including threatening koala and bird habitats which are important to the biodiversity in the area.
Proposed use of dam and creek water under harvesting rights will also effect the ecosystem in the area and the farming practices of the land holders who rely on the water.
Completion of more specific impact studies into the effect of this proposed development would be much appreciated.
Lock Rogers
GUYRA , New South Wales
The planning and promotion of Renewable energy is a criminal farce. It will make no difference to the global climate and potentially turn Australia into a third world country without reliable 24/7 energy while we give China a free kick by supplying coal to build a power station every fortnight. Wind and solar don't work any where in the world and who will be left to bury this monstrosity in land fill after it's short life.
There was zero consultation about this disastrous New England REZone that has been forced upon our magnificent area and community.
It makes no sense to supposedly save the planet by clearing trees and all manner of habitat and manufacture solar (not farms) made by multinationals ie mostly China.
There really are no positives about so called renewables.
Rick Martin
Ladysmith , New South Wales
With the proposal being a controlled action under the Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 I must assume the proposal covers a sensitive environmental area. This might include threatened species and tree hollow habitat allowing the threatened species to survive and prosper. I strongly object to the proposal to build a solar factory on such important land. I have seen the impact of destroying important habitat on the Bomen solar factory near Wagga. All the tree cover was bulldozed over and dumped on an adjoining property. I have viewed the dump site of the enormous stumps and hollow trunks covering close to 100 metres and wondered, what happened to all the wild life living in those hollow trunks. I must assume they were all killed in the name of renewable energy. With all the solar factories proposed this will mean the widespread destruction of threatened species across the state. As a person who has spent 35 years improving the environment on our family farm I am appalled that this destruction can continue unabated under the umbrella of the green energy religion.
You don't destroy the local environment to save the planet.
Name Withheld
GUYRA , New South Wales
Water is Essential.

To grow All On Country, human, plant, animal, trees, Catchments, and these are NOT included at all in EIS reports, done by highly paid consultants, working for Big Dollar, yeah, yeah, yes.

So Ask for an Inquiry into Renewables, Everyone offering Submissions to , where the question is, who reads them ? Who does ? If it's One person reading them, how fair is that. And what are their qualifications ? Do they Grow Food ? Do they run Livestock ? Do they work in Rainforests ? Do they Walk Country ? Do they know Australia is a Dry Continent. Do they use a Tap excessively and not know where the water comes from ? Who knows Australia is a Dry Continent ?

Ask for an Inquiry into Renewables and Transmission Lines and Australian Government, who are supporting Renewables, reading Submissions, and bringing More into a Dry Continent.

Demand an Inquiry, as a Royal Commission, into Renewables and Transmission Lines and Australian Government, please. We must Stop These Things, Created in a Glacial Region called Europe, into North Eurasia, where Ice lies On this Continent, and Melts into Flow they Receive during 4 months to 6 months into 8 months now, of a year in a Northern Hemisphere Continent, Not Like Our Dry Continent At All.

We Are Not Europe.

We Have to offer Appropriate Care to A Dry Continent. And Renewables Are Not It. It's Rooftops because If it isn't, it will not be accepted by Who ? Who is saying Renewables ? Who is ? Australian Government. Yeah. Doesn't matter which party. Made are Deals Years ago.

Demand it be Rooftops. Helps Everyone then. Including Chalumbin that Must become a World Heritage Listed Region NOW. Or it is Loss of Wet Tropics in Australia. That will mean a Dry like Never before.

Stop These Things NOW. It's an Inquiry NOW. Demand it please please please please please. We Do Not Need them On Country you see. Put them on Rooftops. The subsidies Are there you see. Already there. Demand they go On Rooftops. Not Country. Not Country. Not Wilderness. Not on Farms, For Gods Sake. Not there. Not there. Not there.

We Do Not need them On Farmland. Not. Or it is All Renewables On Country. Powering Australia, Asia, Europe, etc etc etc............. It's Rooftops Or Nothing. Or Coal. To Brand New Power Stations. This is the one I prefer. It's Less Impact Power that IS the power named Reliable. All other COSTS Environments, Habitats, Farms, jobs, Wildlife, Australians, who'll pay More for what ? Everything. Importing Food we do not need. We need to grow our own. Ban Renewables On Country On Farmland In Wilderness and In Oceans Immediately Immediately Immediately. See a Future you may not have seen. And Stop it manifesting. We Do Not Need These Things - Renewables On Country On Farmland In Wilderness and In Oceans. We Do Not need them. Do Not. Do Not. DO NOT.

Pray to Stop These Things. Pray. Pray. Pray.

It is time to Stop Them Now.

You must do All you can to Stop this Solar Farm. Or we burn on the Top of the Range. From possibly west of Armidale to Coast. Therefore precious Habitats and Farms and communities, from this Solar Farm, right near Wind Turbines. You have to Stop it. We have to Help you. We Must help you. It's goes like this.

Heat Island Solar Farm Heats Air. Air rises and goes off into Atmosphere as a hotter air. It hits Wind Turbines that Uplift Cloud therefore any moisture in Cloud evaporates. It's Already happening On Country in NSW. It's Already happening.

We Have to Stop the rest in Plan. We have to say, We Have Enough Already. We have to say, Cease and Desist Every planned Wind or Solar Farm From Now. They, in combination, are drying out our Clouds our Land and All On Land Depend on.

No More Renewables On Country On Farmland In Wilderness or in Oceans.

No More.

No More.

It's No More. Until Research is offered to what is upon this Dry Continent now, re Renewables as Wind Farms and Solar Farms, that are altering Air into Atmosphere, in A Dry Continent, we still do not know is A Dry Continent. It is A Dry Continent. We are in a higher rainfall area on the Great Divide of the Eastern Seaboard. Watered by Cloud you see. Rain in Cloud. Rain as droplets large to tiny to so tiny we don't feel them but they offer the Land moisture, you see.

Once upon a time the Top of the Range of the Great Divide was Forest of Biodiverse nature, and Abundant Wetlands. Abundant. The Land here then was Wet Land. It was Wet. Held Wet by the Abundant Wetlands. Covered with thick ground cover biodiversity plus Forests of many kinds all over the Great Divide.

Once upon a time this Land had the Marsupial roo as the largest animal upon Land, to the tiniest of Marsupials, eg feathertail Glider possibly Extinct in this Continent under Human Impact and Feral Animal dominance. Cats kill please. Bounty them highly. Get them off Australia please. Then change your Land Management please. This is a Dry Continent we are incressing dry times upon. Yes we are. We must really know this is A Dry Continent, and Stop Renewables, please in Australia, please. Please. We need a Royal Commission Immediately into Renewables and Transmission Lines and Australian Government, who deal for money whilst taking public money, using it Inappropriately and without research that can Halt Renewables Immediately. This is a need now, because a Solar Farm in Uralla is Impacting air temperature, which is a Impact to Moisture in Cloud, seen or not. Cloud is Water molecules in Air. Seen or not seen. Heat evaporates Moisture. We Cumulative Impact A Dry Continent. We all do. Conditioned to.

We won't change Land Management when we need to. It's All of us here on Australia, A Dry Continent.

When we understand what Was here , prior to 1942, yes, War time, then, yes, then, then we will be altering our Land Management. Chemicals entered Australia in ways that take away Humus, Vital Humus. Humus. Australia is without Humus these days. We aren't knowing that. So when it doesn't rain, Land dries. It does.

Add Renewables On Country On Farmland In Wilderness and In Oceans and It All Changes you see. It All Changes. All of it. We have to Stop Adding any more and Research the Impact of the ones here now. Because they Are Impacting All On Country you see.

Understand these things please. Just please. It's Important.

We do not have a Glacier in Australia.

There is no Glacier upon our Northern Tablelands region. Maybole is a area with farms On it. When you understand that then you under A Dry Continent. Northern Tablelands Was the Water shed to the Darling Swamps. They were Swamps. Fed by Catchment Flow from the wetter Northern Tablelands. Not now. The Darling is a gully. Not a mass of Swamps. Not even a Floodplain any more. And that all happened under 204 years. Began only 204 years ago, the Alteration to a Dry Continent that Evolved Marsupials upon it over 180 million years.

We Dry rapidly these days. Because the Moisture isn't available these days.

Don't believe the Lie about Renewables as the answer. They are The Worst Ever so called Solution to a Hideous Agenda that is about the Northern Hemisphere Very Highly populated , Westernised to a 85 % of population at this time , watching the Arctic melt, and Ignoring Excess Traffic as Ice Breakers En Masse, Breaking Ice Each and Every day, year after year, after year, which began in about 1942. Heavy Traffic in Arctic Waters began to Increase in 1942 and from then. And to blame Coal is to understand the Power of a Few who Control our Planet, and do whatever they like to it, for Money. Just for Money. Now it's Renewables. Now. Ban Them Right Now, please all on Planet Earth, as Humanity wanting power. Wanting More as we view Mass Extinction. What are we doing ?

Change the way you live in A Dry Continent you now offer utmost Respect toward please.

Fight Against the Renewables Lie please all as Farmers we Need growing Food with what ? What do you need to grow Food ? Cloud. Moisture in Cloud. When you understand the High Value of Cloud , then you understand Heat Impact to Cloud. Ie Heat Impact to Moisture availability. We are Dependent on Cloud. Seen or not seen, Cloud is always present in atmosphere. And Once upon a time, Northern Tablelands was a mass of Cloud, each and every day, day after day, offering Moisture to Forests, dripping wet down into the Land , into Wetlands, into Aquifers, into Catchments that flowed into lower Altitude Catchments and into Wetlands that are Remnants now. Remnants. Gwydir Wetlands. So few left it's sad. They had a purpose you see. They kept the Land Wet. That's a purpose if you're A Dry Continent. We need to Protect Wetlands En Masse from now. From now. Now Now Now. They'll Save us. They'll Save us. Save us. You can't grow Food without Moisture you see. 2019 Do Not Ever Repeat. It altered Catchments we don't understand.

Protest Against Renewables please. Please. Please. Please please please. We Do Not need them you see. They are Not for this Dry Continent, Watered by Cloud. By Cloud. Created by the Water Cycle. What pumps it ? What ? Once upon a time Forests covered Australia. Swamps were in abundance. Wetlands were in Abundance. That Was how everything evolved. Over 180 million years. Largest animal was Kangaroo over that time. Yes it was. The mega fauna didn't make it. Things were Changing upon a Planet, as a Field Form Phenomena, changing planetary wide Eon Evolved Land Surfaces. Clearing of Forests has Altered this Planet's Magnetic Field. And that Alters it all. Plant Trees everyone. They are Important. As are Wetlands. If you have them on your Land , fence them off please. They are Valueable. Ever so Valueable. Ever so Valueable.

Ban Every new Proposal re Renewables as Farms On Country On Farmland In Wilderness or in Oceans Immediately. Stand up for Country. Say No to Renewables On Country. Demand they go On Rooftops From Now. A far better solution than what Idiots worldwide offer a Planet.

Go Rooftops Now
Ben Whelan
LISTON , New South Wales
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposal to build the Sundown Solar Farm.
I am the manager of the property Warrawee located at 155 Spring Mountain Road, Swan Vale. This property is noted as R14 on documents presented by the project’s proposer and is composed of Lot 140 on DP 753305 which you will note is split into two by Spring Mountain Road which dissects the lot.
I have a number of concerns relating to the proposed construction and its impact on the health and safety of the workers on the farm, including contractors and of the health and wellbeing of the animals grazing and being managed on the property. In addition, concerns are held regarding the health of the district and the strain being unfairly placed on the local farming families so an overseas based company can build a solar farm with the long term aim of employing 2 - 3 staff.
As a farm we employ local staff and spend money in the local community. The risk to the staff and contractors involved in our operation and of our family is of particular note when we see the upgrade to Spring Mountain Road which includes increasing its width to 7.8 metres of gravel and promoting its use for construction vehicles with up to 460 vehicles, including heavy trucks and buses travelling at 100km/hr, traveling the route daily. This road is currently a quiet rural road servicing a few family farms. As the property dissects our property the cattle have right of way on the road and it is unfenced with cattle grids at both ends of the property on the road. If the road is upgraded in width and 460 vehicles are travelling on the road there will be issues regarding the safety of our family and staff as we manage the transition of animals around our property and to our cattle yards.
If this road is to proceed, how is the developer going to solve the conflict between cattle and humans needing to cross the road given the number of vehicles and heavy vehicles they envisage using the route? As a farming business we cannot be restricted in our movements across the road and have a right to the safe usage of our lands and transition to infrastructure. It would be my understanding that the developer would also have a duty of care to everyone engaged in the development process so will need to ensure safe passage for these contractors as well.
In addition the widening of the road will lead to increased maintenance costs for the council and also for us as landholders as we deal with the increased traffic, particularly heavy traffic, over cattle grids which we are ultimately responsible for. There is mention of one replacement of a cattle grid. Who is going to maintain the grids, old and new, during and after construction as the grids aren’t made for constant heavy vehicle movements? Under current guidelines our family would be responsible for them but we shouldn’t need to bear the cost of replacement and upkeep after significant wear has occurred to them as a result of the proposed construction and nor should we be required to maintain something which we haven’t organised the installation of or agreed to. Will the developer make agreement to care for the grids in perpetuity?
Spring Mountain Road is our only access point in and out of our property and is used constantly to run our farming operation with staff travelling from Glen Innes. As an operating business the road cannot be closed at any time and we must have access to the Gwydir Highway for our staff, cars and trucks. The proposer has made no mention of how they will replace the bridge whilst still allowing access for us. When heavy rain occurs Swan Brook is impassable and certainly heavy trucks are unable to travel a route that does not involve a bridge.
I note the noise levels of construction of the road will be above that which is acceptable to residential areas and humans. I’m presuming that although not mentioned, and it is an operating rural area, that the noise levels are also above what is acceptable for animals. The developer has no solution to this and it appears we just have to accept the noise for the length of the construction project. In a rural environment, where I am responsible for the health and safety of my staff and the wellbeing of the animals in my control this is not acceptable and a clear breach of my duty of responsibility. It is not acceptable for the proposer to just indicate they’ll let us know when there will be noise. The ramifications for future issues and my duty of care do not allow this to be acceptable.
In addition, it is advised that vibration levels to our property will be above human comfort levels. Again, this is not dealt with and there is no respect paid to us, our property and our animals and is clearly not acceptable. We are operating a business and respect must be paid to that and all the health and safety requirements that I need to meet in my business must be extended to that of the proposer. I cannot ask someone to work in conditions which may cause damage to themselves and as the manager I don’t wish to be exposed to that. I’m also sure that animal welfare agencies would be aghast if they knew animals were being exposed to these conditions. The animals, staff and I can not simply leave if the noise or vibrations are beyond our comfort levels so any letter box drop makes no difference.
If vibration levels are high I’m presuming that some damage may occur to our infrastructure. There appears to be no concern for this but I would request the developer be asked to engage a private certifier to inspect the current state of the infrastructure at the start of the project and reinspect at the end to ensure that any damage is paid for and fixed by the proposer. I would hope a fund was set aside for this and as property owners we weren’t forced into legal action after the event as a result of damage.
The dust suppression program discussed by the proposer is not sufficient to maintain a healthy lifestyle of which rural communities should be entitled to expect. Dust from the construction will naturally make its way into our farm house and will create significant issues with allergies. The dust will also collect externally on our equipment and sheds and will create increased maintenance issues therefore increasing our operating costs. Again, this is not acceptable and we should not be forced to live in an unhealthy environment.
In addition, dust is seriously detrimental to animals and limits their ability to process food. It is also known to cause stress in animals. This means our animals will suffer and we will suffer financially when we try to sell them as they will not be gaining the weights they should and can suffer from respiratory disease making them unsaleable. Finally, dust also has a significant impact on the ability of our pastures to thrive again impacting directly on the health of our animals.
We must have assurances from the developer that they will comply with biosecurity guidelines and that no one will enter our property without first seeking permission and complying with our biosecurity needs. We cannot risk the serious impact that the importation of weeds and disease can have on our farm.
I have major concerns with the battery storage on the site and the implications of any damage and compromising of that battery. We need to be assured that our district will not be impacted and our water supply will not be compromised if any catastrophic incident should occur with either the solar panels or the battery.
Swan Vale is a quiet rural area with families conducting viable farming operations. We are already surrounded by solar farms and wind farms and the addition of this solar farm with its risks and the construction traffic, noise and dust that we will need to endure during the construction of this project is unacceptable and intrusive on both humans and animals. We are trying to run our farm in a respectful manner which creates happy neighbour relations and happy animals. The disturbance to our property from the development will cause much angst and concern for our animals and degrade the end product we are trying to sell into a public arena which is more and more focussed on wanting to know where the product came from and that it was a healthy and happy environment.
I would particularly like to point out that we had no prior knowledge of this application and although heavily affected, have not been contacted by anyone regarding the project. The receipt of a letter regarding the ability to comment on the project approximately three weeks ago, was our first contact with the company and I would be interested to know how the developer has engaged with the local community given they have not engaged at all with our family and has not encouraged fair and meaningful community discussion as advised by the Independent Planning Commission.
Name Withheld
Adam Bell
BROKE , New South Wales
My objection is set out in my attached letter dated 3 August 2023.
Susan Frazier
BROKE , New South Wales
I object to the proposed development of a 360MW solar farm, battery energy storage and grid connection at Sturmans Road, Spring Mountain by Sundown Solar Pty Ltd, application no. SSD-8911. Please see my attached letter of objection.
Phil Hurford
ELSMORE , New South Wales
I strongly object to this project or any others that affect any usable agricultural land and impact local roads
and landholders that have to suffer the inconvenience of heavy traffic on unsuitable roads.
There is also the danger of introducing or spreading noxious weeds.


Project Details

Application Number
EPBC ID Number
Assessment Type
State Significant Development
Development Type
Electricity Generation - Solar
Local Government Areas
Inverell Shire

Contact Planner

Nestor Tsambos