Moorabool Council has published a report that says putting high voltage transmission lines underground is a viable option.

It comes after widespread community opposition (pictured) to a series of powerlines with pylons up to 80m high proposed across the Shire.

Council engaged an independent consultant to compare 500 kV overhead transmission lines with underground cables of the same voltage.

“The report found that the undergrounding of powerlines is indeed a viable alternative for the proposed Western Victoria Transmission Network Project,” Chief Executive Derek Madden said.

“There is no reason these lines can’t be placed underground. With this independent report to back us, we’ll continue to push for this.”

The report, Comparison of 500kV Overhead Lines with 500 kV Underground Cables was based on literature reviews and data modelling.

For more information go to:  https://www.moorabool.vic.gov.au/western-victoria-transmission-network-project

** Meanwhile, WVTNP developers Ausnet Services will host a series of community drop-in sessions over the next month, to allow locals to discuss the 190km Sydenham-to-Bulgana powerline with their team, provide feedback and ask questions.

Project Director Francisco Vizcaino said as AusNet Services worked to narrow down the project corridor, local communities had told them online what was important them.

“Our online mapping tool has so far received 2,600 pins from participants – with biodiversity, agriculture, forestry and historical heritage emerging as top priorities for many local communities,” he said.

“This is in addition to recent online community forum sessions which raised important community concerns around bushfire risk, health impacts, route selection and overhead lines.

“We genuinely want to work with landowners and residents to minimise impacts the project may have on families, properties, businesses and communities.

“As we start to emerge from lockdown, we’re finding more ways to safely meet with the community to further explore these insights and discuss community concerns.”

All drop-in sessions will take place between 2-6.30pm and the first gets going at Stawell Bowling Club on Wednesday (30 September).

Others include:

TUE 6 OCT, BALLARAT – CE Brown Reserve, Dowling St Wendouree;

THU 8 OCT, CRESWICK – Mt Prospect Tennis Club, Bridge St;

WED 14 OCT, GORDON – Recreation reserve, Willunga Ave;

THU 15 OCT, BALLAN – Recreation reserve, Cowie/Atkinson sts;

WED 21 OCT, DARLEY – Darley Park, Grey/Fitzroy sts;

THU 27 OCT, MELTON – Melton South football club, Reserve Rd.

For more information click here.

** During COVID19 lockdown locals opposed to the project have formed the Moorabool and Central Highlands Power Alliance.

The project would also involve the creation of a new substation north of Ballarat – possibly in the Clarkes Hill area, where the line would be able to intersect with a Ballarat-Bendigo transmission line.

The push to put the lines underground comes after the 2002 Murraylink project saw the Victorian and South Australian electricity grids connected with a 180km long set of underground cables.

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Gabrielle Hodson
Author: Gabrielle Hodson

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