Powerline route sparks dispute

A PROPOSAL to build a 330-kilovolt powerline connecting the Lismore substation with the Dumaresq substation, west of Tenterfield, has been criticised by landholders along its route.

The powerline will be built by TransGrid and promises to achieve greater efficiencies in the transfer of power.

But members of the Tenterfield-based TransGrid Action Group say the unsightly 35m towers will deter tourists and tree-changers.

Bill Eastgate retired from Brisbane to his 60ha lifestyle block at Bryans Gap, near Tenterfield, at Easter. The day he moved he learned of the plan to drive a powerline through the middle of his property.

Last week, TransGrid released its new preferred route. While Mr Eastgate was relieved to discover the powerline would no longer go through his property, he is still against the plan.

“If I wanted to see electricity towers I would have stayed in Brisbane,” Mr Eastgate said.

Members of the action group are also concerned about possible health effects caused by electro-magnetic radiation from the powerline.

Mr Eastgate said the only assurance TransGrid would give was that powerlines would not go directly over people's homes.

“The jury is still out about the health effects of electro-magnetic radiation,” he said.

However, a spokesperson for TransGrid said there had been detailed studies into electro-magnetic radiation and no detrimental health effects had been established.

TransGrid also tried to select routes which would minimise visual impacts where possible, they said.

The action group is arguing the Government should be looking to 'alternative energy' and reducing consumption, instead of allowing further development of coal-fuelled power infrastructure.

The proposed powerline will run from Tenterfield roughly along the route of the Bruxner Highway, skirting to the south of Casino before connecting with the Lismore substation at McKees Hill.

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