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An Ausnet Services online mapping tool will remain open until the end of the month – allowing people to ‘drop a pin’ on areas of cultural, historic or social significance.

So far the map has attracted 2800 comments across the Western Victoria Transmission Network ‘area of interest’.

Ausnet Services said that after October 30 it would collate the feedback it had received online but the information would stay on the website.

Project Director Francisco Vizcaino said the topics of biodiversity, agriculture, forestry and historical heritage had emerged as top priorities for many local communities so far.

Fire risk and the impact on the environment, land use and visual amenity were also common themes.

“The information and insights we have received through the online mapping tool are immensely valuable to the project team.

“It adds to the feedback we are hearing in the community drop-in sessions, where landowners and residents have met with us to share their questions, comments and concerns,” Mr Vizcaino said.

“The project team is using this data to narrow down the Area of Interest to a project corridor.

“A summary report of the feedback received will be shared on the project website in mid-November.

“We look forward to continuing to engage with all stakeholders as the project progresses to the next phase. This will include the Environment Effects Statement process, which will provide further opportunities for open and transparent community engagement and examination of the project in more detail,” Mr Vizcaino said.

“Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far.”

The project hotline is 9021 0674 or locals can email info@westvictnp.com.au

A drop in session was held at Ballan Recreation Reserve on Thursday

** Two more ‘drop-in’ sessions will be held by Ausnet/Mondo:

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

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

For more information click here.

Protestors at Thursday’s Ballan drop in session

** 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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