AusNet Services has revised the EES submission date to enable more time to consult with landholders prior to submitting the EES on the proposed route and complete the field surveys and investigations required. The submission date for the EES to the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning (DELWP) has now been revised from mid-2022 to late-2022.
The Western Victoria Transmission Network Project is a proposed new 190km high-voltage electricity transmission line that will carry renewable energy from Bulgana in western Victoria to Sydenham in Melbourne’s north-west. The project is critical infrastructure required to bring renewable energy from western Victoria to population centres.
Other factors including COVID restrictions, workforce isolations, additional Technical Reference Group review requirements, together with regional flooding around the Ballarat area have also influenced timelines for the EES submission.
The EES for the WVTNP will outline the existing environmental, cultural, land use and social values within the project area and the potential impacts of the project. It will also describe the proposed project design, technology and construction method, opportunities to maximise the benefits of the project and measures recommended to avoid and minimise impacts on landholders, communities and the environment.
Hepburn Shire Council has welcomed the announcement by AusNet this week that it intends to invest more time in carrying out consultation with landholders and the community on the proposed route for overhead transmission lines and a terminal station proposed as part of the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project.
Hepburn Shire Council is strongly opposed to the proposed route and 24ha terminal station in the Shire, which is planned to be located on some of the highest value agriculture land in the country.
“We are extremely disappointed at the historical lack of transparency and poor community consultation with this project. We hope an extension of time for the release of an EES means AusNet will use this time to listen to the community, consult properly with affected landholders and make significant changes to this project, including changing the route or placing the transmission lines underground,” said Mayor, Cr Tim Drylie.
“While Council is highly supportive of renewable energy, we are strongly opposed to the above ground transmission lines and the route proposed. As it stands, the project will have a significant impact on valuable agricultural land, significant landscapes and tourism, and we are already seeing the toll it is taking on the health and wellbeing of local residents.
To view the updated timeline, visit the About page of the WVTNP website and for more information on the EES submission and approvals process, visit the Planning & Approvals page.