South Burnett Regional Council, Media Release, 9 February 2023
Mayor of the South Burnett, Brett Otto is urging local farmers and landowners to be vigilant when entering into discussions with proponents of renewable energy developments, including wind farms, solar energy sites and transmission lines.
The South Burnett region will play a major role in the Queensland Government’s Energy and Jobs Plan and is expecting an influx of renewable energy infrastructure developers.
Our region can expect to see more companies moving into the area and start approaching our local farmers and private landholders to acquire or lease their land.
“We certainly acknowledge the short-term construction phase benefits of renewables however this must not come at the long-term expense of our local communities,” the Mayor said.
Mayor Otto is highlighting the importance of landowners understanding their rights and not entering into contracts or land access agreements without adequate legal advice.
Mayor Otto has warned of potential issues to farmers who jump into agreements. Acting without expert advice could see farmers facing biosecurity issues, environmental impacts and possible restrictions to their farming activities.
“If these developers are serious, then they should be dipping into their corporate pockets to reimburse land holders for any specialist consulting or legal advice sought as part of their negotiations,” the Mayor said.
Mayor Otto has also pointed out the inadequacy of state regulations governing the activities of renewable energy companies.
“Government regulation does little to hold these companies to account and protect the rights of private land holders and their neighbours,” the Mayor said.
Mayor Otto is working closely with other regional Mayors in engaging with government to address these issues.
“There is massive implications for generations to come and I won’t be sitting back and allowing our residents to be taken advantage of or see the South Burnett left behind,” Mayor Otto said.