Page 2185 - Week 06 - Thursday, 26 June 2008

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unsuitable site. Since then my staff have taught me ACTmapi this evening, so I have got a new toy to play with on late sitting nights. It is quite instructive to look at block 498 because from the aerial photograph you can tell that it is not flat land at all—it is quite undulating, but there may be some north-facing slopes there. I do not actually give up on it entirely. There is another site in the Stromlo area, on the other side of the Cotter Road, which is, generally speaking, fairly flat and unencumbered by trees and it also may be quite good.

I am very pleased that the government seems to have in mind a fairly large solar array when we are looking at an area of at least 200 hectares in each of these blocks. Block 183 in Tennant does seem to be a bit of a problem. It is cleared land because it was all burnt out during the fires, and the most recent satellite imagery shows all the windrows of the burnt pines, which is also very good at showing the topography of the land. It is classified as mountains and bush with a plantation overlay, although the plantations have blown over after the fire. But it does seem to be rather steep country.

One of the most interesting is block 624 Gungahlin, which is the very end of Gungahlin, adjoining Mulligans Flat. The great thing about that is that it happens to be the most treed block in Gungahlin. It is 318 hectares and it is almost entirely bushland. Staff and others around the place have been looking at it and thinking that there are very few opportunities in that 300-odd hectares to look at a solar array.

There are a couple of promising blocks. One is block 35 Tuggeranong, and I am sure Mr Smyth could probably tell me this. It is that little bit of Tuggeranong that sticks out opposite Calwell; I think that is Melrose station?

Mr Smyth: Yes.

MRS DUNNE: I think that is a private lease so that may be already encumbered. The other one, which also looks pretty promising, is block 1653 Tuggeranong, which is 208 hectares. It sneaks into the border at the very bottom of the ACT and I suspect it is the block of land that ActewAGL were on the radio touting about how they had bought it for a great deal the other day from TransGrid so they could build their gas-fired power station. I suppose if Actew want to really become a multi-utility there is possibly some scope to build a gas-fired power station on that block and a solar farm as well. However, while the country seems to be fairly flat, it also seems to be fairly treed.

As I said before in the earlier debate, this is an extraordinarily important matter and I think that the process of site identification should be much more carefully handled than it appears to be so far.

Chief Minister

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11:37): After such a heavy week I thought for the Hansard readers in years to come that it might be useful to have a little bit of social commentary on the record. This is from an article called “The week that almost was” and headed “Hocus pocus, dear diary, why must people be so unkind?” It reads:

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