[19 August/ABC News]

A renewable energy boom across the Darling Downs in Queensland has reinvigorated the region’s economy as farmers have turned to wind and solar farming. One council approved one wind and 11 solar projects worth AUD6 billion. Western Downs Regional Council Mayor, Paul McVeigh, detailed the projects in the pipeline. Hundreds of jobs were lost when the coal seam gas industry scaled back, and it was thought this new area could help the economy bounce back. Mr McVeigh said one job in their small town was valuable, so the potential of this brining hundreds was fantastic. Its first big project is the $200 million Dalby Solar Farm. Families who would overlook a large solar farm for 25 years were angry at the prospect. The Toowoomba Council noticed the trend and approved a billion dollar project that would be the biggest In the world if it was to go ahead. Mr McVeigh added the region was on track to becoming the solar farming capital of Australia.