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State Significant Development

Recommendation

Wallaroo Solar Farm

Yass Valley

Current Status: Recommendation

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 100 MW solar farm and associated infrastructure, including battery storage facility.

Attachments & Resources

Notice of Exhibition (1)

Request for SEARs (1)

SEARs (3)

EIS (11)

Response to Submissions (2)

Agency Advice (20)

Amendments (6)

Additional Information (7)

Recommendation (2)

Submissions

Filters
Showing 1 - 20 of 103 submissions
Yass Valley Council
Object
Yass , New South Wales
Message
Attachments
John McBratney
Object
LANCEFIELD , Victoria
Message
Attachments
Name Withheld
Object
KOORINGAL , New South Wales
Message
Attachments
Name Withheld
Object
Bookham , New South Wales
Message
Attachments
Name Withheld
Object
Lake Albert , New South Wales
Message
I vehemently OBJECT & DO NOT CONSENT to the wilful destruction & serious/irreversible harmful environmental & illogical, unreliable energy consequences & sovereign risk of Wallaroo Solar Electricity Generating Works & Battery Energy Storage System - SSD-92746348 on the following grounds:-

Industrialised, Contaminating Solar/Wind Electricity Generating Works & BESS are causing catastrophic ECOCIDE throughout rural Australia, intentionally making us suffer outrageous energy prices/Cost of Living crisis, energy deprivation, austerity, making us beholden to unethical supply chains, subject to greedy multinationals, ceding control to the CCP & wrecking our children’s future!

This is a FAKE GREEN RenewaBULL GRIFT & PONZI SCHEME/SCAM ripping off Australian people - for a WEATHER DEPENDENT -IMAGINARY POWER - DELUSIONAL FANTASY - BASED ON GARBAGE IN GARBAGE OUT MODELLING THEORY - THAT WILL NEVER BE RELIABLE AFFORDABLE BASE-LOAD POWER - ALL UNETHICALLY BASED ON SLAVE LABOUR & CCP CONTROL - WITH STUPID, UGLY, BIG, SLABS OF INCAPABLE STONE-AGE TOXIC RUBBLE FOR A BLACKOUT FUTURE SOLELY BENEFITING NON-TRANSPARENT, DODGY, BULLYING BAMM-BAMM TRANSGRID + SHONKY DEVELOPERS + GREEDY MULTINATIONALS KKR & BROOKFIELD, etc.+ GLOBAL ELITES BLACKROCK & VANGUARD, etc.(Reference)

INSTEAD OF THIS TOXIC JUNK ENTOMBING PRODUCTIVE LAND, AUSTRALIANS DESERVE PLENTIFUL AUSTRALIAN POWER - COAL, GAS & A CLEAN, SAFE NUCLEAR POWER FUTURE THAT PROTECTS NATURE, CREATES BUSHLAND RESERVES, PROVIDES FOOD SECURITY, INDEPENDENT ENERGY SECURITY = NATIONAL SECURITY.

New Energy Development and Univergy International’s Wallaroo Solar + BESS proposal is based on LIES & DECEIT - including a few (of numerous)examples:-
*”Fire = low risk”
*”no higher level of fire risk.”
*”Solar panels have an inherently low risk of fire.”
*”The studies show that temperatures quickly begin to match surrounding ambient levels only a short distance (30m) from the boundary of the PV site.”
*After Decommissioning - “the land will be in a desirable condition and available to use for agriculture, grazing, residential or for any other intended use.”
*”We have a clear vested interest in helping the district thrive”
THIS IS ALL RUBBISH!!
*The clear vested interest is SUBSIDY MONEY at all costs!
*The Toxic Fire/Smoke Hazard Risk is carcinogenic, teratogenic, life threatening & enormous!
*The Heat Island Effect is FAR, FAR GREATER than 30m as explained by Greg Barron Gafford at the Shepparton Hearing - when questioned by Peter Hall.
Describing the need for further research specific to climatic conditions & an obvious increased Heat impact commensurate with large scale Solar EG Works as compared to his tiny 13 ha Solar site used for his Research.

Wallaroo’s 100 MW Solar Electricity Generating Works & 45 MW/90 MWh on this 393-hectare site would be an irresponsible entombment of limited, irreplaceable food growing land, an absolute eyesore - spoiling the pristine views into the Brindabella Mountains and adjoining ranges, inflicting a significant hazard on the adjacent MacGregor, Dunlop and Charnwood Communities of the ACT - with some residents less than 500m away.
The Ginnenderra Creek & Murrumbidgee River catchment would be subjected to serious/irreversible environmental harm from Solar contamination as numerous heavy metals - including lead - leach from the panels DURING THEIR OPERATIONAL LIFE ON SITE as they degrade, are broken, fractured by hail, if inferior, burnt, etc. (References: - Professor Ian Plimer’s Solar Contamination Audio + Amended Storm Water Management Plan, Unanswered MetkaEGN/Mytilineos Wagga Solar Questions, Photographic Evidence of Environmental Destruction Caused by Irresponsible Solar Construction Approvals at Bomen Wagga Wagga, Court Case - Sediment Run-Off Contaminating Land/Water - “Created, Operated, and Maintained a Nuisance.”)

The instrument of the NSW Parliament Modern Slavery Act 2021 has been ignored, as well as the Legislated Duties for Yass Valley Council NOT to Host, Procure or have a PPA with Unethical Slave Labour based energy generation.
Additionally, there is now a precedent set regarding the New Modern Slavery Condition (Reference:- Oxley Bridge Rd Uranquinty Solar Determination.)

New Energy Development and Univergy International’s Wallaroo Solar + BESS plan has NO SCIENTIFIC RIGOUR, NO ENGINEERING FACTS, NO ECONOMIC BENEFIT, NO ETHICS, NO INTEGRITY, NO SENSE & is therefore, NO GOOD!
Attachments
Name Withheld
Object
DUNLOP , Australian Capital Territory
Message
As a Dunlop resident, who backs on to the Jarramlee Nature Reserve, and is in very close proximity to the sight of the proposed Wallaroo Solar Farm development (perhaps one of the closest residents distance wise), I have a number of concerns and objections to the project. First and foremost is the visual impact, with our home being placed within a high viewshed area. Currently overlooking a lovely nature view from our outdoor/deck area, (with such views being few and far between in a city such as Canberra), it is very disappointing that the solar farm is being planned in a position that ruins this for us, and many others who would be in a similar situation. For us, having a home that backs onto land, free of developments such as the proposed solar farm, is the biggest positive characteristic of our home, and ultimately the reason we live where we do. In fact, we have only recently had a brand new deck installed to capitalise on our view. The concern regarding the visual impact does not only relate in terms of view from our home, but also when accessing the Jarramlee Nature Reserve, such as when walking. What is currently surrounded by grasslands, animals, and overall nature scenery, will now be replaced by views of very unappealing solar panels, expanding over a very significant amount of land.
We are also concerned by a number of other things, also contributing the objection of the project. This includes the potential health risks that may come with having such a large solar farm, and associated electricity/electrical substations, etc. located so close to where we live.
The proposed solar farm also leaves us with significant concerns about the impact that this will have on the value of our home, as we are concerned that in the future, if the solar farm is to proceed as planned, potential buyers may share similar concerns that we have.
Whilst acknowledging that renewable energy is important and has many benefits, the location of this solar farm should be reconsidered, and should not be developed so close to the edge of the suburbs, so close to people's home. This is people's livelihoods that are being affected by this project, and consideration of this should be taken into account.
Belconnen Community Council
Comment
Belconnen , Australian Capital Territory
Message
Please see attached file.
Attachments
Andrew Duggin
Object
WALLAROO , New South Wales
Message
Major impact to area and right to quiet enjoyment. Require compensation that is commensurate to loss in land value due to this development.
Marilyn Gendek
Object
DUNLOP , Australian Capital Territory
Message
I object to the Wallaroo Solar Farm development application for the following reasons:
1. Level of Communication – The communication with the residents on the ACT border regarding the proposed Wallaroo Solar Farm (NSW) is questionable. According to the guidelines ‘Assessing large-scale solar projects in NSW, the applicant must detail consultation with affected landowners surrounding the development, as well as the local community and council. The EIS must describe how this consultation was carried out, identify any issues raised and, importantly, explain how they have been addressed.
Can you please explain to me how I have never been the recipient of any information regarding this development despite my proximity to the proposed location? No information or opportunity to engage in public meetings or surveys about the Wallaroo Solar Farm has been offered. The development application notice from NSW DPIE dated 22 May 2023 was the first notification received about the proposed solar farm.
This raises a question as to the depth and veracity of the consultation in relation to ‘potential amenity impacts to near neighbours’ as mentioned on page 36 of the April 2023 Environmental Impact Statement which have been downplayed. On page 28 of the EIS, it states that ‘As shown on Figure 2-4 approximately 336 potential receivers occur within 1km of the Development Site, and 4,028 potential receivers within 2km of the Development Site.” However, according to Appendix E4 only 94 people completed an online survey, hardly a representation of residents in the immediate area. According to the 2021 census, there were approximately 7,625 people in Dunlop alone. The ACT Belconnen Community Council has not been listed as having been consulted yet Belconnen contains Dunlop/McGregor and other suburbs within the impact zone (Figure 2-3 of the January 2023 Social Impact Assessment).
2. Location and impact on environment - The planned location of the proposed Wallaroo solar farm, estimated to incorporate 200+ hectares of solar panels, is on the border of established ACT residential suburbs. Its boundary is also next to ACT wildlife reserves and sanctuaries, recreational and exercise areas, and wide views across the open landscape and beyond which are important for wellbeing and relief for mental health issues. How many other solar farms in NSW are located less than I kilometre from city suburban residential properties? What are the locations of farms of 100MW or more? What consideration was given to significantly reducing the size of the proposed Wallaroo solar farm and locating it further away from the ACT residential border?
The size of the solar farm will have major negative impact on the aesthetics of the area. This has been documented as a main concern for residents. How has this been addressed to the satisfaction of the community affected? No amount of ‘barriers’ will make these suburbs or the solar panels, invisible. While the proposal suggests that the main impact will be to those close by, the proposed size of the solar farm is far more far reaching than that.
Additionally, there are solar panels which are designed to track the sun from East to West. This will have a significant potential amenity impact for ’neighbours’ from any reflection that may occur. How many residences are in direct line of vision? Will the tracking of these solar panels be extended during the summer months?
3. Traffic management - There is a detailed plan as to how traffic will be managed entering from the Barton Highway to the Wallaroo location. This is a very busy major highway. Of concern is the increased heavy traffic on the Barton Highway and roads feeding onto the Barton Highway from ACT suburbs. The data used to establish an argument of safety using 2014-2018 data (thus 5-9 years old) is inappropriate for 2023. The crossroads intersection at Barton Highway, Kuringa Drive and Clarrie Hermes Drive is often a game of chance with speeding heavy traffic and trade vehicles. What assessment and potential impact has been carried out in this location? How will this area be managed?
Also, what is not mentioned is that access to the site proposed for the solar farm has the potential to be gained from the ACT side through Dunlop. How will trades and trucks be stopped from taking short cuts using back routes?
5. Noise control – Construction is expected to take 12-18months. Noise travels in all directions. The proposed solar farm is planned to be in a very open space. The very nature of the geography means that noise from the proposed solar farm during construction and after will be heard regardless.
The suburbs of the ACT in proximity of the proposed solar farm also have elevated landscapes. It is also an area which is often windy. Noise travelling from the proposed location on occasion such as gun shots and chain saws, can be heard. But for the most part the area is a valuable sanctuary of quietness where the wildlife and farm animals can be observed and heard. The methods for noise mitigation seem weak and planned for after construction should it be approved.
6. Waste from the solar farm – What is the process for the general disposal of solar panels that would need to be replaced? This is not clear.
Attachments
Name Withheld
Object
WALLAROO , New South Wales
Message
I don’t believe an environmental impact assessment has adequately considered endangered species or on the environmental impact on the land and surrounding land. I believe further due diligence is required.
Name Withheld
Object
WARRAWEE , New South Wales
Message
Documents attached:
1 - Objection letter, 2 - Legal principles re private nuisance, 3 - Wagga Wagga - uncontrolled runoff from solar project, 4 - USA court awarded $135 million to adjoining property polluted from uncontrolled runoff from solar farm.
Attachments
Name Withheld
Support
WALLAROO , New South Wales
Message
Attachments
Ginninderra Catchment Group
Comment
FLYNN , Australian Capital Territory
Message
Summary Submission of Feedback for Wallaroo Solar Farm Development Proposal to NSW Government
Submitted by: Ginninderra Catchment Group
The Ginninderra Catchment Group (GCG), representing 31 landcare groups operating in the Ginninderra Creek catchment and its major tributary, Gooroomon Ponds Creek, provides feedback on the proposed Wallaroo Solar Farm development. GCG raises the following issues:
Golden Sun Moth: The EPBC-listed Golden Sun Moth, known to inhabit the adjacent West McGregor grasslands and Lot 1 DP 1144979 directly east of the proposed Solar Farm, is not mentioned in the proposal. The presence of the Golden Sun Moth should have been included in the EPBC assessment, and GCG requests a further report from the proponents to rectify this omission.
Offsets for Gooromon Ponds Creek: Since the Solar Farm directly abuts significant sections of the Gooromon Ponds Creek, GCG seeks information about the proposed offsets for the development. If not appropriate to address at this stage, the GCG requests guidance on where such matters should be raised.
Representation as a "small business": GCG questions the proponent's representation of themselves as a "small business" and thus being exempt from certain fees under the EPBC Act. Considering the scale of the development, which appears to be a multimillion-dollar project, the GCG believes it should not be classified as a "small business."
Regarding revegetation, GCG suggests focusing on local endemic natives, including shrubs and groundcovers, and considering rare and endangered species. They recommend preserving Natural Temperate Grassland and Box Gum Woodland, avoiding generic landscaping native species, and undertaking climate-ready revegetation and proper maintenance plans. They suggest tree species selection for screening and buffering, involving slower-growing native trees like Eucalyptus and Casuarina near waterways, along with faster-growing shrubs and small trees such as Acacia species and Bursaria.
In addition to the feedback provided, GCG highlights relevant background matters, including local environmental challenges, cross-border issues with ACT, highly variable landholder demographics in Wallaroo, and concerns about soil dumping and potential urban development at Ginninderry. GCG also emphasizes broad environmental issues such as erosion, habitat degradation, and clearing of natural woodlands and grasslands.
GCG expresses interest in involvement in implementing landscape plans, offering feedback and consultation on the design and implementation of the site's landscape plans.
GCG emphasizes the importance of proper site preparation, including deep-ripping methods to limit future watering, and consideration of drainage lines, both existing and those altered due to construction. They propose undertaking revegetation during autumn to early spring, excluding peak winter, depending on plant size and species requirements.
By incorporating this feedback, the Wallaroo Solar Farm development can address important environmental considerations, protect habitat, and enhance local biodiversity.
Attachments
Name Withheld
Object
CHARNWOOD , Australian Capital Territory
Message
This proposed development will harm the visual amenity of the Wallaroo region, despite efforts to minimise such, and set a precedent for future similar developments. I submit that, in such circumstances, one cannot take claims of the project's minimisation of visual impact seriously, because there will likely be additional solar farms or other industrial developments built in Wallaroo over time, leading to a massive degradation in Wallaroo amenity.

I suggest it would be far better to block the development, and instead one should take advantage of Wallaroo's proximity to Canberra to encourage tourist and agricultural economic developments (e.g. wineries, harvest trails, etc.). Developing the solar farm would prevent alternative investments. The community does not want to lock itself into solar farms at the expense of all other potential developments.
Michael Henderson
Object
MAXWELL , New South Wales
Message
I believe this solar farm is going to be built on more of Australia’s agricultural land
That location I believe is too close to residential housing and Will affect many local resident
All the solar farms are built by foreign investors and all profit goes overseas as investors are only using Our Agricultural land for their financial gains there is no consideration for the communities around these solar sites for the lifestyle and country living The solar farms should be built not on prime agricultural land but out on less productive Agricultural land out on the Hay plains where there is Longer sunlight hours and less community impacts
Is it about time our Australian government realise there is a shortage of prime agricultural land and really address the issues where they’re building the solar factories
I totally object to this development
Name Withheld
Object
,
Message
Good morning,

I have seen the documents provided on the planning portal for the Wallaroo solar farm.

I do not support the solar farm in the proposed location and would like further clarifications on the information provided as listed below:

A) From Appendix D.1
1) Location
i. The project has been listed as a State Significant Development for NSW. The site could have been located in other NSW locations apart from the 2 lots of land adjoining the ACT border. Why this location?

ii. The 2 PV arrays in the project are located within 900m of homes in Macgregor, ACT which is a concern.


B) From Appendix E.1
2) Landscape Character Zones
i. The plan does not show the intended master plan for Ginninderry and all the additional residences who will be impacted to the west of the solar farm. (as per current Ginninderry master plan on their website)


3) Mapping
i. Viewshed and reverse viewshed show significant areas where the project is visible from the residences in the ACT.


4) 2km
i. What is the significance of the 2km - 2.5km zone from the project zone? Most of the plans in the information provided refer to that distance.

ii. Why is the project not located further within NSW so as to provide a larger buffer zone to existing ACT residential properties?


C) From Appendix E.2
5) Planting
i. There wasn’t any mention of heat generated when the panels are exposed to sunlight for an extended period. Eg) during summer. How hot do the panels get? Is any information available?

ii. Will the planting, intended to screen the PV array, get scorched due to rise in temperature or glare / glint from the panels?

iii. What is the effect of the microclimate, generated by the expanse of hot solar panels, on the surrounding suburbs?


D) From Appendix E.6
i. Most of the results from the risk matrix are seen to be medium. These appear to be high given the surrounding ACT suburbs have a predominantly residential land use. People remain in these areas for an extended period of time.

ii. The likelihood of certain events occurring can be mitigated by hiring qualified personnel however human error can occur at all levels of expertise and experience. Failure of plant could also occur despite maintenance, etc. The proximity of the solar farm and the risks associated, which are listed in the risk register, will increase insurance premiums for the residents in the surrounding suburbs.

iii. I could not see mention of waste generated, from the solar farm and not the workers on site, and disposed off from the site. What is the nature of waste, if any? How is it disposed off?

iv. Under the topic of weather, there was no mention of hailstones.
West Belconnen has already been hit by severe storms in Jan 2020 & 2022 with frequent reports of hailstones, some giant in size. Some of the storms enter the ACT from West Belconnen. Could the damage to equipment from giant hailstones increase the risk rating to high?


E) SEARS
i) A letter from the NSW Government dated 31/03/2023. Given the increase in capacity of the BESS, the government asked for the preliminary risk screening and

“…….ensure that the Preliminary Hazards Analysis considers all recent standards and codes and verifies separation distances to on-site and off-site receptors to prevent fire propagation and complies with Hazardous Industry Advisory Paper No. 4 ‘Risk Criteria for Land Use Safety Planning (DoP, 2011)…..”

A solar farm is a Hazardous Industry.
It needs to be sited in an appropriately land use zone away from residential land.

I look forward to your responses.

Kind regards.
Rosemary Miller
Object
RYE PARK , New South Wales
Message
I strongly oppose this project because of the loss of habitat of already threatened wildlife and birds species, fire danger and possible leakage of toxic metals and chemicals plus being an absolute eyesore
Mary Vickers
Support
MULLION , New South Wales
Message
The location of this project is ideal - a good use of already cleared rural land and close to existing transmission facilities. This will be a positive contribution to net-zero emission goals.
Nick O'Leary Wines
Object
WALLAROO , New South Wales
Message
We have made significant investment on our land - We have 35 acres of vines - a 500 tonne winery and employ 8 people in this business.
We have recently opened a Cellar Door Restaurant which employs up to 18 people.
We strongly object to the project.
It is proposed on our neighbouring property. This land is prime agricultural land, something Wallaroo is renowned for.
We have a thriving local winery community and the social and economic impacts would be significant if this project is approved.
The visual impact.
This will decrease our property value.
Why should the owner of this land be financially rewarded whilst many others are financially impacted in a negative way.
Name Withheld
Object
WALLAROO , New South Wales
Message
To whom it may concern,

I am writing to strongly object to the Wallaroo Solar Farm Proposal. The following points outline the reasons to which the solar farm should not be considered due to its close proximity to residential areas.

Changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) in Dec 2021 were brought in to ‘protect the local character and support the growth of regional cities.’ Canberra with a small population of approximately 470,000 and with regional city characteristics should be considered a ‘regional city’ for the context of this proposal. The proposed Solar Farm is only 550m to 750m to the Canberra suburbs of Dunlop and MacGregor. This is greatly closer than the 5-10km range which the Planning Policy 'seeks to restrict renewable energy projects' from building within.

As quoted by The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Executive Director of State Policies and Strategic Advice, Felicity Greenway , “That’s why we’ve updated our planning policy that covers infrastructure projects to ensure that solar and wind projects can only be approved if they would not have significant impacts on the future use of land, views, and scenic quality of regional cities.”

The visual impact of the proposed solar farm is extensive and is considered to be a moderate to high constraint. Aerial imagery shows over 5000 affected residences within 2km of the subject land. In 2020 South Australia initiated new planning provisions for solar developments including a setback of 2km from Township, Rural Settlement, Rural Neighbourhood and Rural Living Zones for a solar farm of 50MW+. The Wallaroo Solar farm is double that at 100WM.

The proposed solar farm will impact the scenic quality of the regional area. Canberra was famously designed by Walter Burley Griffin. Griffin's vision for Canberra aimed to create a capital city that seamlessly blended with its natural environment. He envisioned Canberra as a "garden city," incorporating green spaces throughout the urban fabric. He believed that a strong connection to nature would contribute to the well-being and quality of life for the city's residents. Therefore, the proposed solar farm, at its intended location, strongly contradicts Griffin’s legacy and what Canberra stands for.

Under the Yass Valley Local Environmental Plan 2013, the subject land is zoned RU1 Primary Production. The proposed Solar Farm does not meet the objectives of the zone. The proposal will greatly impact the biodiversity of the area due to the nearby crown water courses and the displacement of threatened flora and fauna. The proposal does not maintain the rural character of the area and would be in high conflict between the adjoining land uses. The Solar farm is not appropriate to the rural environment in which we need to protect the significant natural resources, prime cropping land and pasture land.

In view of the above, I recommend the proposed development to be declined to preserve the local amenity, health and visual aesthetic of the existing landscape.

Thank you for your consideration.
Kindest,

Pagination

Project Details

Application Number
SSD-9261283
Assessment Type
State Significant Development
Development Type
Electricity Generation - Solar
Local Government Areas
Yass Valley

Contact Planner

Name
Cameron Ashe