Between a rock and a hard place
COLUMBOOLA Country operator Colin Jackson is feeling "more positive” about a massive solar farm to be built near his property following a meeting with Mayor Paul McVeigh last week, but won't take council at its word.
Until he receives "something in writing” from council, Mr Jackson won't be reassured the building of Luminous Energy's Columboola solar plant won't hinder access to his property.
The 809-hectare 300MW solar plant will be built close to Columboola Country, the caravan park Mr Jackson has owned and operated for more than 10 years.
Ryalls Rd will be the main thoroughfare during the estimated two-year construction phase and will be replaced by extending nearby Kerwicks Rd.
Mr Jackson said council had assured him the construction of the solar plant would not block off Kerwicks Rd.
"The concern is how the solar plant construction will effect Ryalls Rd and they said as a part of the application process the company building the solar plant must keep Ryalls Rd to the current standard,” Mr Jackson said.
"Apparently the current standard is whatever the standard of the road is when they first drive on to it.
"We the locals aren't very happy about that decision,” he said.
"I'm feeling a bit more positive that the road won't be closed but I'm not positive about the type of road we will end up with because as far as I'm concerned it's still going to be the same,” Mr Jackson said.
"I said to the mayor 'don't bulls**t me'...I want direct answers and we said we want that in writing... until we get something in writing we don't believe it.
"We are still in the same spot as we were...”