The term 'million-dollar views' is usually reserved for glistening vistas on Sydney Harbour.
But a recent decision to block a large-scale solar farm on the outskirts of Mudgee recognises rural views have a high value, too.
The NSW Land and Environment Court has dismissed an appeal against the local council's refusal to allow the development of a 25,000-panel solar farm project, which has been in and out of court for the past five years, rejecting the project because of the impact it would have on the region's "scenic quality".
The land and environment court distinguished between the prescriptive guideline aspect of 'visual impact' as well as 'landscape character' in its judgement, and declared the development was "unsuitable" for the proposed site while it would also "intrude into the landscape".
This is a significant outcome.
And not just for Mudgee but also for many communities who have felt the government and its regulations have been paying lip service to supposed safeguards to visual amenity.
It recognises that we rural people happen to like where we live and there's a value underpinning how it looks.
On the Gundary Plains, south-east of Goulburn, neighbours surrounding a proposed Lightsource BP solar farm are fighting to hang on to their own million-dollar outlook.
They are at risk of disappearing under a sea of more than 740,000 solar panels - nearly 30 times the size of the solar farm knocked back at Mudgee.
Another project proposed by a different entity just down the road could eventually take the total number of panels in the Gundary region to 1.6 million over almost 1500 hectares - that's if they all get the tick of approval.
Those Gundary neighbours are too often dismissed as NIMBYs - that is, Not In My Back Yard - but why can't that be an argument?
The appropriateness of where projects are located and the impact they have on the look and value of the land needs more airtime in the debate.
The government's guidelines for large-scale wind, solar and transmission infrastructure insist applicants consider visual impact early in the site selection and design process to "minimise impacts", and mitigation strategies must be adopted.
New visual impact assessment tools for wind and transmission line infrastructure are also in development, and guidelines for 'benefit sharing' and compensating affected neighbours make it all very formulaic.
Affected neighbours at Goulburn are concerned the government will get around its own visual amenity guidelines - along with any other roadblocks for that matter - by declaring large projects like the one at Gundary as Critical State Significance Infrastructure (CSSI), which enables the government to push through a decision and also limit options for the community to oppose or seek modifications to a development.
NSW Farmers Association has already strongly opposed the use of such a lever.
Balancing the need for land to host new energy developments with a broader desire to preserve rural landscapes will be a tightrope act for a state government which has committed to mandatory renewable targets and a swathe of new renewable energy zones.
But decisions like the one at Mudgee give me hope that not all is lost.
- Lucy Knight is a woolgrower from the NSW Southern Tablelands and a former Press Gallery journalist.