LETTER: Take a pragmatic look at land development

REGARDING “Clarity on solar farm plans” (Sunraysia Daily, October 9-10), it is about time that Mildura Rural City Council came to terms with the reality that is facing this district and that is the properties that have been abandoned as far agriculture is concerned, their chances of coming back are minimal.

They where abandoned because many property owners found that dried fruits and wine grapes are simply unprofitable, many where working off farm, both husband and wife, simply trying to make ends meet, and even then they were going backwards.

With water licences now selling north of $5000 per megalitre and most growers are using in excess of seven megalitres per hectare that cost alone makes the redevelopment of abandoned properties unviable.

The other alternative of leasing water on an annual basis is also becoming unattractive due to price.

Cr Clemence claims solar farms increase temperatures by up to four degrees Celsius. Is he making this assumption by comparing a well-watered property or an abandoned dried out property.

The property I owned was watered by overhead sprays, next door was by drip, the rows lined up and driving my ag bike from my property onto the drip watered property you did not need a thermometer to tell you there was a difference in temperature.

It is time that council accepted that climate change is here now and things are most likely to get worse.

If the current downward trajectory of water flows in the Murray River does not dramatically reverse we are likely to see in the near future significant restrictions in water.

Lindsay Leake,

Mildura

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