LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Last week I received what l presume was a mass mail-out letter from the Liberal member for Ripon, Louise Staley, about the project to bring renewable energy from Stawell to Melbourne. This letter incorrectly refers to it as Labor's project.
The facts are these:
* it is not a state government project, it was formulated by the Australian Energy Market Operator, AEMO.
* it was AEMO who contracted power company AusNet to deliver the project and it was AusNet who decided the route
* the Victorian Government's involvement to date has been limited to requiring an Environmental Effects Statement though planning approval will now be required from both it and the Federal Government.
The aim of this project is a worthy one: to get more renewable energy into the grid. The proposed route has attracted opposition from the many communities through which the huge towers and lines will run. Those opposing it want alternate routes and methods of construction (e.g. underground) to be considered particularly through sensitive areas.
Ms Staley must be aware of the above facts. Rather than using taxpayer funds to mislead the public by incorrectly blaming the state government for everything related to it, I urge her to join with local political, council and community leaders in encouraging AEMO, AusNet and the state and federal governments to work together to find a better way of delivering this important project.
Jeremy William Harper, Kingston
The Western Victoria Transmission Network Project is structured as what is known as a long term waterfall or cascading project of outcomes, and in this case, consequences. The PMO (Project Management Office) has engaged a project structure based around the PMBOK methodology, from the well known Project Management Institute. This gives a background on what processes AEMO and associated key PMO participants will engage, particularly with the community.
Rolling back a project after certain milestones have been achieved may be seen in a PMO as unprofessional or failing a project. This will not be the case in regards to the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project. The requirements are not justified.
The project has developed a wealth of learned materials from different stakeholders and should re-engage a new project plan, from scratch. Considering the office itself has identified it hasn't run a project of this size for some time it should take the opportunity to pivot with agility, promptly.
Additional community engagement is still needed however that properly reflects the environmental and economic impacts across the potential physical paths chosen for the powerlines. Critically a more conscious list of requirements must be credibly derived from the newly learned materials.
Otherwise the project should be handed to another experienced organisation with higher Programme skills who engage appropriately with all stakeholders. A drive through the community will quickly demonstrate this is now paramount, particularly to State and National food supply.
Electricity doesn't replace nutrition and sustenance, nor should we have to import it.
Jeremy Stagg, Buninyong.
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