Cr Kathy Duff has called for the SBRC to mirror LNP policy on renewables (Photo: Maggie O’Shannessy)

February 19, 2024

South Burnett councillors have backed LNP State policy on renewable energy by adopting points put forward by the party’s State Council.

The decision to mirror the LNP position came during a Council discussion on February 14 of topics the SBRC wished to have raised at the next national conference of the Australian Local Government Association.

The conference is due to be held in Canberra from July 2-4.

Cr Kathy Duff asked the SBRC to submit a motion mirroring points about renewable energy from a State LNP motion, ie:

We commit to a moratorium of all large-scale wind, solar, pumped hydro and related transmission projects until:

1. A bond is held from the start of the project with guaranteed finance in place to cover decommissioning and full project removal, disposal and rehabilitation costs at end of life,

2. Appropriate regulations are in place to protect threatened and endangered species,

3. Large-scale renewable projects are subject to full State Government approval processes and be made impact-assessible not code-assessible,

4. An appropriate land-access framework to protect the environment, cultural heritage and existing land use is established,

5. Minimal impact upon existing ratepayers is negotiated,

 6. Australia’s food security is protected by prohibiting large-scale renewable projects on prime agricultural land (see Paris Agreement Article 2 1b),

7. All large-scale renewable projects comply with the same regulations that apply to agriculture and mining,

8. Large-scale renewable projects are added as a trigger to the EPDC Act (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act), and

9. A mandatory code of conduct is established to govern the renewable energy sector and renewable energy proponents’ conduct with affected communities

Cr Duff said she was concerned about the direction the region was heading as she believed it could be covered in wind farms and solar farms under the Wide Bay Regional Plan.

Cr Scott Henschen added another point:

10. Local Councils be notified prior to negotiations with interested parties about any renewable projects within their region.

He also asked that “gas” be included in the paragraph listing “wind, solar, pumped hydro and related transmission projects”.

During the discussion, Acting Mayor Gavin Jones said it was important to emphasise Councils were not the ones bringing renewable energy into their regions; companies were approaching landholders directly, and they were signing up.

“Then it’s the Local Government’s role that we get the very best we can … if it all goes through,” Cr Jones said.

* * *

Other topics put forward for discussion at the ALGA Conference included:

  • Ask the Federal Government for help with water security issues, and funding for potable water supplies
  • Seeking dedicated support for a national campaign for local governments and councillors (to build community trust in councils)
  • Funding and support to establish circular economic opportunities in regional areas
  • Housing support to address ageing infrastructure that is stifling residential opportunities

Councillors voted unanimously to submit the topics discussed.


3 Responses to "SBRC Backs LNP Renewables Policy"

  1. Will the LNP apply the same conditions to coal mines? How about subsidence of laser levelled prime agricultural land, caused by gas extraction. LNP should be supporting farmers on these issues

  2. The LNP’s policy appears designed to frustrate renewables projects so that coal and gas companies (the LNP’s major contributors) can get as free a rein as possible. This is chequebook politics and I’m certain Menzies is spinning in his grave.

  3. I’m just a tad puzzled by all this. The Nationals always used to be against anything that tied the hands of farmers. For example, vegetation management. They thought farmers were wise enough to figure out what trees to clear and what to keep. Likewise with firearms, waste disposal, crop spraying, access to the property by inspectors etc etc.

    They believed every farm was basically the family’s own little realm where they could do whatever they liked. Anything to regulate any activity was always strenuously and loudly opposed by the Nationals.

    But then a farmer gets approached by a wind or solar company. He or she thinks it over, does the sums and reckons they can can make a few extra dollars from leasing their land. They believe it’s a sound investment, and they can still keep on running cattle or sheep. But now the Nationals say “no”, you’re destroying the environment! You shouldn’t do it! We demand government oversight!

    When did the Nationals – who still dispute in some quarters that climate change is even real – ever really care about turtles, koalas or platypus? Suddenly they’re greener than the Greens.

    Coal and gas are very powerful masters.

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