Albury MP Justin Clancy has been approached by people from both sides of the debate over large-scale solar developments in Greater Hume Shire, and believes it's a good thing the first project will be decided by an independent body.
The 120 MW Jindera solar farm, which residents can make a submission on until Wednesday, is considered state-significant development.
Mr Clancy said because Greater Hume Council resolved last week to oppose the solar farm and its environmental impact statement, the project will now go to the Independent Planning Commission for approval.
"Because Greater Hume opposed the EIS, that means it automatically will now go to the Independent Planning Commission," he said.
"If council had supported it [the solar farm], it would have meant to go to the commission there would have needed to be 25 objections.
"The commission have got a level of expertise, they will be open for submissions, and will be able to make an independent adjudication."
Mr Clancy did not attend a community briefing by the planning department in Jindera last week, but a staff member from his office did.
"I understand there will be a local element to it as well with capacity for written and spoken submissions," he said.
"We'll make sure we are disseminating that information."
Mr Clancy said both supporters and objectors to solar farm developments had made representation to him.
"I've come from the land, so I recognise the importance of farming, but I also know there is a call from the community to move towards renewables, and it is striking that balance," he said.
"We go through periods of change where there is conflict of land use, and it is always a challenge.
"My perspective is having that independent adjudication is really important."
The Border Mail asked Farrer MP and federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley if there could be a space for the Commonwealth to create protections for productive agricultural land from solar development.
"There's not, it is totally in the state government's constitutional jurisdiction, we can't legislate even if we wanted to," she said.
"I've written to many ministers over the years ... the Commonwealth has no ability to prevent, or modify, a solar farm.
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"I've raised the concerns of people in conversations with NSW ministers, because I believe they need to understand the level of community angst.
"Personally, I would love to see them [solar farms] in the far west, near Broken Hill and in the western plains, where the first solar farms appeared.
"I do understand community concern about having them close to prime agricultural land, which is also close to the grid - that's the reason they're here."
Ms Ley said she'd been approached by farmers who are supportive, or "at least not against" the developments.
"People have come to me and to my office, and there's always concerns with solar farms close to agricultural land and farms," she said.
"It's not straightforward; even though there's no noise, there's very few moving parts, and solar farms are quite passive, they do generate strong feelings and I understand that.
"We also have a Wind Farm Commissioner who also talks to communities about solar, and I would be very happy, if the community would like, to invite him to come down and address a community meeting.
"That's really the only role I can play; the education role and referral role."
Two solar farms have gone out to public comment - the Walla project is open for submissions until December 2.