LETTERS: Major problem with solar farming
Solar power fears
THE Wide Bay area is having $600 million dollars spent putting in more than one million solar panels as solar farms.
This is all very good for the warm fuzzy feeling of renewable energy, but there is a major problem.
I rang Bundaberg Regional Council asking them what conditions are placed on solar farms for the disposal of the panels at the end of life. The answer was none.
I rang the Federal Department of Energy and Environment in Canberra and asked what the federal policy was on disposal of dead solar panels. That question was obviously too hard or they don't have a policy as they have not as yet returned my call with the information requested.
The Queensland Government has a half-hearted PDF file called Queensland Solar Farm Guidelines and basically it says very little on the disposal of dead solar panels. It reads:
"Decommissioning takes place at the end of a solar farm's operational life but it should be considered in early developmental stages. Decommissioning activities may include: Removal of infrastructure from the site; disposal of components; recycling or reuse of the PV modules; stabilisation of land and soil remediation; revegetation works; returning the site to its previous use".
Note the word may. There appears to be no legislation into the disposal of billions of dead solar panels, which all contain heavy metals and toxic chemicals, including cadmium telluride, copper indium selenide, silicon tetrachloride, cadmium indium gallium, hexafluoroethane and lead as well as glass, plastic and aluminium.
So there is no regulation in place either locally, state-wide or federally to address this massive pollution problem that will raise its ugly head in the future.
Clean green solar power? What a load of rubbish.
The time has come for governments to wake up and legislate for the safe disposal of dead solar panels.
Also, to any farmer who has leased out his land for 20 or so years so a solar farm can be built on it, I trust that you have a bond in place to pay for the clean-up should the company go broke or walk away at the end of life of the farm.
An unhealthy focus
WHEN it comes to providing better health services, Labor's priorities are all wrong.
We have a bush baby crisis, with cuts to regional maternity services.
The latest code yellow crisis in South-East Queensland was the latest in a long list of Labor's health crisis.
Queenslanders deserve a world class public health system no matter where they live.
At the last state election, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk promised better local health services, but things have gone backwards.
Major public hospitals are at breaking point, with promised hospital upgrades years away from completion.
Ambulance ramping is skyrocketing, emergency departments are overcrowded and waiting times are blowing out.
These aren't just numbers in a spreadsheet - it is your mother, or sister or close family friend.
As a nurse, I understand that our hard working doctors, nurses and midwives need more help on the frontline to improve patient care.
It's time for Ms Palaszczuk and Labor to put patient care as their number one priority.
Opposition health spokeswoman