Around 80 people have taken horses, dogs, cattle trucks, CFA vehicles and farm machinery to an Ausnet-Mondo drop-in session at Ballan – to show how vehemently they oppose a high-voltage overhead powerline.
The Western Victorian Transmission Network Project session is on at the Ballan football clubrooms until 6pm (Thursday), but opponents got there first at 1pm.
Protestors say the 500kV line should go underground because it will have a 60m-plus easement ‘strip’ and locals will not be allowed to farm underneath. They also fear the risk of bushfires, threats to birds and high winds causing the towers or lines to fall.
Signage included calls for Victorian Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio to visit the region or become involved in meetings with locals.
** Ausnet Services said in a statement it would continue to engage with the community and to understand and address concerns.
“As COVID19 restrictions are starting to ease, we’re able to provide even more opportunities to meet with the community and we encourage everyone to get involved and talk to the team,”Corpotrate SAffiars Manager Helina Lilley said.
** At least six of Moorabool’s 20 election candidates were also present at the protest. Another two attended a drop-in session at Gordon on Wednesday.
The Moorabool and Central Highlands Power Alliance is fighting a proposed 190km 500kV powerline from Sydenham to Bulgana near Ararat which developers Ausnet Services and Mondo say will have pylons up to 80m high.
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.
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