Solar farm lights up job hopes

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: Hope is high the proposed solar farm will provide a huge boost to jobs in Gympie.
GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: Hope is high the proposed solar farm will provide a huge boost to jobs in Gympie. Contributed

JOBS, jobs, jobs.

The impact on local employment was the overwhelming focus of the response to a proposed solar farm at Lower Wonga.

According to developers Solar Q, the first stage of the farm's construction (a 350MW solar plant) would take about 18 months and create 450 jobs in that time.

Once completed there would be six to eight ongoing full-time positions, with more employment expected during servicing periods.

There is also the possibility of further jobs as later stages of construction brought it closer to the envisaged 800MW farm.

Samara Gosden was succinct in summing up the the concerns, writing "Good, give people from Gympie the jobs instead of bringing people from the Coast".

Lyle Janke echoed this sentiment, saying he hoped "the majority of the jobs go to locals," while Michael Nelson was more sceptical, writing that it would only amount to "new jobs for those qualified".

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There was also excitement over the impact the solar farm would have on the region's reputation not only in terms of visibility but on its role as a leader in the shift towards renewable energy.

"Should be doing this more in Australia instead of other types of power," wrote Lois Saedder.

"Imagine farming power in central Australia."

Emma Buhse wrote: "So exciting. Let's keep it going with the innovation and future tech stuff!"

With the controversial debate over the Adani coal mine still ongoing, Kate Maree said this development was a good step forward for the region in delivering an environmentally responsible project for the region.

"Hope to see more forward thinking in our region instead of pollution dirty coal or CSG (coal seam gas)," she said.

According to Shelly Hillier, any concerns were small compared to what the project could lead to.

"Bring it on," she wrote.

"Any growth is better than no growth."

Topics:  energy industry gympie business lower wonga solar farm

Gympie Times

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