The company behind the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project is holding the first of six online community engagement sessions from 10am tomorrow  (Saturday 4 July).

The 190km line of electricity pylons will start at Sydenham, and cross Melton, Moorabool and Hepburn before connecting with the Bulgana windfarm near Ararat.

Corporate Affairs Manager Helena Lilley said locals did not need to register to take part in the two-hour question-and-answer session, which would go live at www.wvtnp.com.au from 9.45am.

She said there would be a chance to ask questions during the session, or questions could be submitted in advance by emailing info@westvictnp.com.au

Five others are also planned over the next fortnight:

** Tuesday 7 July, 6-8pm

** Thursday 9 July, 6-8pm

** Saturday 11 July, 10am-12pm

** Tuesday 14 July, 6-8pm

** Thursday 16 July 6-8pm.

“We encourage people to attend,” Ms Lilley said.

“We’d hoped to hold our community information sessions in person, however the health and safety of the community and our team is our priority and we must follow all government directions regarding COVID19.”

Locals unable to attend online sessions but keen to have their say can call 9021 0674.

Ms Lilley said Ausnet was “pleased” with the 800-plus comments attached to an interactive map of the area of interest at www.westvictnp.com.au

“This information, along with environmental investigations and technical design is critical in informing our project decision-making.

 “Alongside early environmental and technical investigations, this input will help identify a preferred project corridor.”

She also said there were misconceptions about the height and spacing of poles, which would vary in size The tallest would be around 80m.

She said community engagement was planned for the duration of the project – including the investigation phase, planning, construction and development.

Construction is expected to take place between 2022 and 2025.

More than 300 landowners who had been contacted by Ausnet Services met at Myrniong almost a fortnight ago to share information, alleging they had been told pylons were going through their property and the route had been finalized.

Locals sent letters or approached about pylons mapped their properties at a meeting in Myrniong last month

Since then, several groups have sprung up including Moorabool and Central Highlands Power Fight, Western Victoria Transmission Network Project Ripon Consultation and a group affected by a planned electrical substation north of Ballarat.

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Gabrielle Hodson
Author: Gabrielle Hodson

Online, radio, TV and print journalist since 1993. BA (Hum) majoring in journalism Deakin University. Send us a news tip 🙂