Anger at the Western Victorian Transmission Network Project has not abated within the narrowed investigation corridor around Ballarat, with opponents now organising their own community meetings.
Last week, several members of the community consultation group resigned, saying proponent AusNet was not taking their concerns seriously.
An open meeting was held in Waubra on Wednesday night, with about 100 community members attending, and a second meeting was planned for Clunes last weekend, but cancelled because of coronavirus restrictions.
Tourello farmer Katherine Myers said AusNet representatives were invited to both meetings, but did not attend the Waubra one.
Landowners along the 190km corridor have become "united", she said, which is "critical" for stopping the project - AusNet won a tender to build high-voltage overhead transmission lines from Bulgana, near Stawell, to the edge of Melbourne, to connect new renewable energy generators to the grid.
Opponents say if the infrastructure is necessary, putting the transmission lines underground should have been explored before committing to overhead lines, with fears the lines could affect farming on valuable volcanic land.
READ MORE: See the map here
Ms Myers, one of the CCG members who resigned, said people were looking for more clarity on the project, which is still developing its Environmental Effects Statement.
"The uncertainty is not helpful, uncertainty breeds anxiety," she said.
"People around here are incredibly concerned, one of our neighbours poured the slab on their brand new house the day of the announcement last year, they've got a couple of 1000 acres and could have put their house somewhere else.
"We're going to wait and see how we go with COVID (before organising more meetings), hopefully regional restrictions will be lifted sooner and we'll get back on the road.
"Otherwise we'll work out some alternatives with online meetings, and alternative options with getting in touch with and supporting the local community."
AusNet will hold more in-person one-on-one meetings with landholders when safe to do so, and has committed to more drop-in sessions along the corridor.
IN THE NEWS
"The Western Victoria Transmission Network Project thanks all members of the Community Consultation Group who have provided valuable input in the early stages of this essential project," a spokesperson said in a statement.
"As we enter this next critical Environment Effect Statement stage of the project, the Community Consultation Group will continue to play a vital role providing feedback and posing important questions.
"The Project has already been contacted by members of the community seeking to join the group and following a formal process we will welcome the diverse views and important feedback from these new members."
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.