Our region is fast on its way to becoming an Australian leader in solar power generation. Yesterday, the first solar panels were installed at the new solar farm at Swan Hill’s Blackwire Reserve. The first power is expected to be produced from the farm early in 2018, with almost 50,000 solar panels to be installed at the 19MW plant.
Also this week, construction company UGL finished an expression of interest process for subcontractors to work at the Bannerton solar farm, about 12km south of Robinvale. The 100MW solar farm will power Melbourne’s tram network, will include 320,000 PV tracking solar panels and will be built within one of the orchards at Almas Almonds.
Another solar farm of 100MW is being planned for Wemen, while planning approval is being sought for a solar farm at Pethard Road, in Robinvale.
We all know that our region is blessed with an abundance of sunshine, and we now have the opportunity to harness this to add an important, sustainable industry to our region.
While the solar industry is quickly developing, our mainstay – agriculture – continues to grow and innovate too.
This week, Councillors continued our series of industry tours to learn more about business innovation in our region and about ways we can support business.
As stonefruit picking season hits its straps, we visited the packing shed at VF Siciliano and Sons and the Morpeth Farms orchard in Woorinen, as well as the new Mallee hay compression plant at Ultima. Once again, we were blown away at the quality, vision and drive of local businesses and thank them for giving us an insight.
Turning point for students
Year 12 graduation ceremonies have been happening right across our region as students formally finish their secondary schooling.
Completing year 12 is no mean feat – congratulations to each of you for your effort and persistence.
Now as you look towards getting your ATAR and moving on to work or study, you might be thinking about moving away from our region. Wherever you go, please be an ambassador for our region, bring your friends for a visit, and remember that you are always welcome back.
And, if you’re staying in our region, we look forward to you continuing to be part of our community and making a contribution through work, study or community involvement.
Finally, the CEO John McLinden and I will be in Robinvale on the morning of 13 December to meet with local community members to discuss their ideas and concerns. If you would like to make an appointment to meet with us, please call Sharon Lindsay at Council on 5036 2333.