The proposed corridors for the Western Victoria Transmission Network project have been reduced to one which will have significant impacts on our community.
The Western Victoria Transmission Project says, “The purpose of determining the proposed single overhead corridor is to focus on a smaller, more practical area to undertake intense field investigations for the Environment Effects Statement (EES).”
Mayor, Cr Lesley Hewitt, said that Council had no notice of these changes and it was extremely disappointed in the lack of genuine consultation throughout this project.
“We understand the concerns of the community and appreciate the impact that these potential transmission lines will have on their properties and their livelihoods. We are furious that these impacts on our community have not been adequately considered,” said Cr Hewitt.
Council has been an active member of the Technical Reference Group established by AusNet to inform the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) providing much ground truthing information to appropriately inform the project.
“We have been advocating strongly on behalf the community and are extremely disappointed that this appears to have had little impact. At last night’s Council meeting, we committed $50,000 in the 2021-22 Budget to fund a formal submission on the EES and to continued advocacy on behalf of affected communities.”
“While Council is supportive of renewable energy, it is strongly opposed to the transmission lines being above ground and to the potential location of the substation, which will impact on valuable agricultural land and significant landscapes” said Cr Hewitt.
The Western Victoria Transmission Project maintains it has held extensive community consultations and that consultation is ongoing.
The costs and benefits of under grounding are disputed. Costs are estimated to between four and 10 times higher for under ground high-voltage transmission lines. Benefits are argued to include reduced bushfire and storm risk and greater amenity for farmers. There are a range of construction and maintenance issues for under ground transmission that are also the subject of ongoing debate.
For more information on the Council position on this project visit www.hepburn.vic.gov.au/western-transmission-lines-project/.
For more specific project information please refer to www.westvictnp.com.au.
A detailed map of the proposed alignment corridor is available at www.westvictnp.com.au/area-of-interest.