A helicopter checks a TransGrid transmission line on the Northern Rivers last November looking for any faults which might require maintenance.
A helicopter checks a TransGrid transmission line on the Northern Rivers last November looking for any faults which might require maintenance.

Public gets say on powerline

PUBLIC submissions have been called for on the proposed 330-kilovolt transmission line from the Lismore substation to the Dumaresq substation, west of Tenterfield.

TransGrid, the State’s transmission network operator, wants to build the 205km line to reduce losses of electricity along existing lines.

It said the line would save 33,000 tonnes of CO{+2} annually due to increased efficiency.

However, the project has run into stiff opposition from environmentalists and the Greens, who are concerned about the impact the construction of the line will have on the environment and local wildlife.

They also said the focus should be on the creation of renewable energy sources.

TransGrid announced last October the 60 metre-wide corridor would run roughly along the route of the Bruxner Highway, skirting to the south of Casino before connecting with the Lismore substation near the boundary of the Lismore local government area.

The company’s manager of projects, Don Paton, said at the time the corridor provided the best opt-ion in regards to topography, proximity to residences, vegetation, land use, visual impact, ecological and heritage concerns.

He said the route minimised the number of affected properties, reduced visual impacts and avoided endangered ecological communities, threatened species and habitats.

However, local environmental campaigner Al Oshlack said in his submission the line ‘opposes every principle of ecologically sustainable development’.

“In effect it will put further pressure for development on a part of the nation that already lacks adequate infrastructure to provide for the existing population,” he said.

The calling of public submissions is one stage in the approval process. If it is found the line will have a significant environmental impact a further assessment will take place.

Submissions should be addressed to the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

The closing date is February 4.

SHOULD THE TRANSGRID POWERLINE PROJECT GO AHEAD AS PLANNED?

SMS 0428 264 948 or email opinions@northernstar.com.au



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