Farming certainty under proposed Western Transmission Line

Farming certainty under proposed Western Transmission Line

Extensive research and engineering investigations for the project have confirmed that farming will be able to continue underneath the potential new electricity transmission line proposed for western Victoria.

The Western Victoria Transmission Project is planning a new 190km transmission line from Bulgana to Sydenham, which will help to reduce the cost of electricity while allowing new renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar, to power Victorian communities. 

This critical project will create more than 300 jobs during construction and provide major economic flow-on benefits for businesses across western Victoria.

Executive Project Director, Stephanie McGregor, said AusNet acknowledged and understood the uncertainty around the issue of farming under the potential transmission line.

To provide much-needed clarity on this important issue, AusNet’s expert engineers fast-tracked investigations into potential agricultural activities and machinery height limits under the proposed transmission line.

“We have listened to feedback from the regional communities, as well as from farmers who already farm under the 6,500km of existing transmission lines across Victoria,” Ms McGregor said.

“We’ve also undertaken extensive further work and can confirm that farming will be able to continue under the proposed new transmission line for Western Victoria if an overhead option is chosen – including irrigated horticulture.”

“These summary guidelines for the project are based on these investigations and clarify the agricultural activities and operation of machinery that will be permitted along the transmission line easement.”

The Living and working with Western Victoria Transmission Network Project summary guidelines outline the activities permitted within both 500kV and 220kV line easements as part of the project.

This includes operating centre-pivot and lateral moving irrigators within permitted heights under the proposed transmission lines.

However, the operation of large water spray irrigators of the gun type would not be permitted under the proposed overhead transmission lines due to safety risks.

If there is a need to operate vehicles and agricultural equipment above permitted heights, AusNet will work with landholders to identify alternative solutions including micro-siting of towers, alternative practices, and potential equipment replacement via compensation.

“Once the final route is determined later in the year, we will be working very closely with every landowner to help them continue farming with as little impact as possible,” Ms McGregor said.

Detailed investigations into the concerns of landowners and the wider community are continuing through the Environment Effects Statement process.

The Living and working with Western Victoria Transmission Network Project summary guidelines will be made publicly available on the project website and shared with landowners.

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