A group lobbying to put high-voltage overhead transmission lines underground is taking its roadshow to Mill Park Ballan from 6pm tomorrow (Friday) and Springbank Recreation Reserve in Wallace from 2pm Saturday.

Moorabool and Central Highlands Power Alliance also launched a new red-and-white-branded campaign simply called ‘Stop Ausnet’s Towers’.

It follows a huge response to a stand at the Darley Market last weekend – and a 50-person protest at an Ausnet/Mondo drop-in information session at Melton on Tuesday (pictured).

Come to Ausnets Drop in session today and tomorrow at Melton.

Posted by Moorabool and Central Highlands Power Alliance on Monday, November 23, 2020

The group wants the Western Victorian Transmission Network to go back to the drawing board – after a line stretching 190km from Sydenham to Bulgana has been proposed, to connect the region’s growing windfarms to the grid.

The Alliance says the smallest of the 380 pylons will be more than 56m – or higher than the West Gate Bridge – while the tallest will be more than 73m high – or larger than the MCG light towers.

“If Ausnet gets it’s way, this project will devastate our communities,” Chair Emma Muir said.

“Bushfire risk will skyrocket, high-value agricultural land that feeds Victoria will be destroyed and land values will plummet.

“This project will cause immeasurable economic damage to local farmers and irreparable harm to the environmental landscape – to say nothing of the amenity and liveability of our region and the wellbeing of residents.”

The project also includes an as-yet-unnamed site for a terminal station north of Ballarat.

“It’ll consume more than 20ha of private land and leave a tangled web of overhead powerlines, easements and towers feeding into a power station around 10 times the size of the MCG.

“We support renewable energy and want green energy generated in Western Victoria connected to the rest of the state, but overhead powerlines are unsafe, inefficient and will destroy our precious landscape.

“Underground transmission lines might be more expensive to install but it’s safer and more efficient.”

The group wants the State and Federal governments to commit to “full genuine consultation” and to conduct an independent analysis of the alternatives and their costs and benefits.

“We also want them to commit to better, safer, smarter technology that minimized the impact on communities.”

Image: Nathan

The roadshow will hit the region on:

** BALLAN, Mill Park, 6-8pm Friday 27 November,

** WALLACE, Springbank Recreation Reserve, 2-4pm Saturday 28 November,

** CRESWICK Market, 21 Victoria St, 8am-1pm Saturday 5 December,

** DARLEY Market, Darley Park, Fitzroy St, 8am-1pm Saturday 5 December,

** MYRNIONG, St Annes Winery Market, Garrads Lane, 10am-4pm Sunday 13 December.

Anti-overhead transmission line on the Western Freeway at Leigh Creek

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Main image: Nathan

Gabrielle Hodson
Author: Gabrielle Hodson

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