'I wouldn't farm it': Grazier's take on solar plans
A SOUTH Burnett grazier is not opposed to clean energy, but says his views on the proposed solar farm had not been heard.
Mike Bishop considered his options when Terrain Solar approached him to lease his land for a solar farm outside Kingaroy.
The landowner told the South Burnett Regional Council at its general meeting on November 21, he wanted to get his point across.
"Regardless of what will happen with the solar farm, I wanted to set a few things straight so people understood the situation of the landholder," Mr Bishop said.
He said he was told by Terrain Solar he could run sheep on the property where the solar farm was, which would be surrounded by a six foot security fence, paid by the developers.
"I can run 500 sheep in there and I can make more money out of that than I can leasing to these guys for the solar farm," Mr Bishop said.
Terrain Solar managing director Simon Ingram said the company always tries to work with the landowners.
"We always aim to integrate traditional land users like grazing into our solar farms," he said.
The proposed plans for the solar farm were rejected by the council because it would have been on Class A good quality agricultural land.
Mr Bishop and his neighbours to the south, west and east all use the land for grazing.
"There is the situation there where it is good grazing land, but I wouldn't farm it," he said.
He needs to be able to allow the sheep to spread out on the property so they can feed on the grass.
"When it rains the grass is always greener, always thicker in the other paddock where the sheep were, what you are doing is improving the land, not degrading the land if it's done properly," Mr Bishop said.
He was told by Terrain Solar the proposed location was the only viable place to put a solar farm near Kingaroy.
"With the situation of coal, I weighed it up, and all of the details," Mr Bishop said.
"Everyone knows there is an issue with electricity, in this country power prices keep going through the roof."