Residents shocked over power substation
By HELEN JACK
HOW would they like it in their backyard?
That is the cry from residents in East Lismore, where Country Energy plans to build an indoor zone substation. The substation being planned for a vacant lot opposite Southern Cross University's Sirius College, in Military Road, measures 80 metres wide and 85 metres deep.
It will accommodate portions of two new underground 66kV feeder lines, which will run from the site to the existing 66kV sub-transmission line.
Resident Julie Bull said the Lismore City Council only alerted one homeowner in the street that the development was coming.
"If it wasn't for the landlord of that house sharing the information with their tenant, who in turn told the neighbourhood, no one would really have known about it," Mrs Bull said.
"Once we knew about it we found we only had a week or so to lodge submissions."
Furious over the lack of communication by council with the surrounding neighbourhood, residents are hosting a public forum on the substation plans on Wednesday at the East Lismore Bowling Club, from 5.30pm.
"It's a monstrosity," Mrs Bull said. "And once it's been built they are not going to rip it down."
Mrs Bull said residents were bewildered such a big substation was planned for a residential area.
"It should be in the industrial estate away from homes," she said. "We are worried about its electromagnetic field and how they propose to measure its emissions."
In a letter to council, residents outlined their concerns about the impact the substation will have on their lives. Noise was a major concern.
"It is clear at best the noise will be at the maximum permitted by the present policies of council," Mrs Bull said.
"The noise will be horrific, particularly for families with young children, 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
Residents are also angry about the visual impact of the substation, especially the inclusion of a wire fence topped with barbed wire.
The Lismore City Council and Country Energy could not be contacted over the weekend for comment.