Hepburn Shire Council has added its voice to growing concerns regarding the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project, building 190 kilometres of new high-voltage powerlines across prime farmland.
In a statement, mayor Licia Kokocinski said council is "extremely concerned", had only been provided "limited information on the proposal", and remain "very unclear on proposed alignment, location of the terminal station", and how the proponent AusNet Services will "effectively communicate and compensate landowners".
She added council had formed a working group with other affected councils, including Moorabool Shire and the City of Ballarat, and called for a public community information session to be held.
However, project supporters noted it was still in its early stages, and exaggerating risks must be avoided.
Grampians New Energy Taskforce chair Stuart Benjamin said the state was undergoing rapid change in its electricity network, and needed new infrastructure.
"Everyone in Victoria wants the transmission lines - we want our lights to stay on over the summer, we know that to migrate from coal generators in the Latrobe Valley to a national energy grid fed by renewables from Tasmania and Victoria, particularly from Grampians, we need to change the network," he said.
CHECK OUT AN APPROXIMATE MAP OF THE AREA OF INTEREST FOR THE PROJECT:
"We have some of the most productive farming land in the Central Highlands, it's important the proponent takes that into account when planning the easement, and the technology for the poles.
"The proponent has the ability to adjust the route, and it's important they have discussions with landholders to get the path of least impact.
"The disappointing thing is that something has gone wrong in the consultation process where farmers think decisions have already been made, and this is fake consultation, and that is certainly not my understanding.
"We have genuine concerns that need to be, and will be, addressed, that shouldn't be devalued by fringe arguments that have no scientific basis."
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