The Hepburn Shire is reminding residents that the fight isn’t over when it comes to the Western Renewables Project.
As outlined in its latest Transgrid report, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) confirmed Mount Prospect near Newlyn is no longer the preferred site for a terminal station for the Victoria New South Wales Interconnector West (VNI West) project, instead identifying Bulgana as more appropriate.
However, Council remains concerned about other issues identified in the report.
The Mount Prospect site, while no longer the preferred site, still remains an option to build the terminal station.
Additionally, Council highlights the report indicated there were no changes to the proposed route of the Western Renewables Link transmission line through Hepburn Shire, and there is a recommendation to increase the capacity of the proposed power lines from 220kV (kilovolt) to 500kV.
Council also states that it’s disappointed there has been no consideration for the option to underground the power lines as a more environmentally friendly solution.
The solution is shared by protestors and land owners in the community, who’ve pointed to the damage the project will cause to land, particularly farmland as the towers dissect agriculture blocks in Victoria’s foodbowl threatening food insecurity, and increasing bushfire risk.
Hepburn Shire Council plans to make a “strong submission” to the AEMO in response to the consultation report, and is encouraging residents to express their views and concerns.
AEMO and Transgrid will host online and in-person information sessions on Wednesday the 22nd of March, details of which can be found here, along with the report and opportunity to give feedback.
Feedback is due by the 5th of April.