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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2016) . . Page.. 150 ..

Ms Lawder: My question specifically related to conducting analysis into the impact that felling the yellow box trees on the site would have on the ecosystem.

MADAM SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order. The question was directly about analysis on felling the trees. I ask Mr Gentleman in accordance with the standing orders to be directly relevant to the question.

MR GENTLEMAN: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Yes, I was getting to that part of Ms Lawder’s question. She did ask about glare as well in the question, so I wanted to fully answer the question. In relation to the woodlands there, I have taken advice from the Conservator—

Mr Coe interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order! Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Thank you, Madam Speaker. As I was saying, I have taken advice from the Conservator of Flora and Fauna in relation to the yellow box woodland there and given instructions for conditions for the placement of the area surrounding the solar farm and also the number of trees to be removed in that section. Included in those conditions of approval are that those trees will be used for native habitat, so, when felled, they will be used either there or in other locations to support native habitat.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Minister, what steps have you taken to minimise the glare generated by this development, to reduce its impact on the local community, including users of the Monaro Highway?

MADAM SPEAKER: I call Mr Gentleman, the Minister for Planning, and you can now be directly relevant to the question of glare.

MR GENTLEMAN: The actual solar farm has not been constructed, so there is no glare at this stage. However, I have issued instructions in the approval process to the proponent to ensure that they use non-glare materials for the solar farm. As you are aware, photovoltaic panels are not a glare material; they take the sun’s energy and transfer it into electrical energy for the benefit of territorians.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: We wonder what else will be there when it is built. Minister, what feedback from the community consultation, if any, did you take into account in deciding to exercise your call-in powers to approve this solar farm?

MR GENTLEMAN: Yes, I did take into account community concerns. There were four submissions during the process through ACTPLA. I looked at all of those submissions. I looked at the particular aspects of those submissions, some of which have been mentioned today in previous questions, and I therefore put those approval conditions on the approval for the solar farm.

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