The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Coalition’s alternativ­e for transmissi­on lines


Victoria’s Liberal-nationals Coalition has proposed an alternativ­e route for transmissi­on lines designed to free up western Victoria’s potential as a renewable-energy engine room.

The State Opposition wants to reroute a Western Victorian Transmissi­on Network from Bulgana near Great Western to Sydenham via Mortlake and Lara.

It also wants to upgrade the capacity of the line to 500kv for the entire distance of the project and upgrade Bulgana Terminal Station to ‘future proof’ power-generating opportunit­ies in the Wimmera, Mallee and Western District.

Ausnet, the company responsibl­e for upgrading electrical infrastruc­ture for the Western Victorian Transmissi­on Network, has already confirmed its preferred 190-kilometre corridor for the network – from Bulgana to north of Ballarat to Sydenham.

It narrowed down the corridor, identifyin­g it as ‘the least constraine­d’, after shortlisti­ng options in February.

But the route has been highly contentiou­s, generating considerab­le opposition from Central Highlands communitie­s.

The State Opposition claims its alternativ­e route for the transmissi­on lines would ‘secure affordable, reliable and renewable energy in Victoria’.

Its plan also includes – • Directing Vicgrid to establish a Competitiv­e Evaluation Process through which the transmissi­on project and all future transmissi­on projects would be planned and costed. • Tasking the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria – together with the Australian Energy Infrastruc­ture Commission­er – with investigat­ing what options could be available to affected landowners to address legitimate interests and concerns. • Capitalisi­ng on more renewable-energy opportunit­ies in western Victoria limited by ‘old’ electrical infrastruc­ture designed to transport power to instead of away from the region. • Projects in pipeline, page 10.

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