Powercor held the first of two community meetings on Saturday, December 2 which got "heated" according to one resident. The electric company is set to build the $30 million substation at 203 York Street in Ballarat East, much to the "disgust" of some neighbours. Resident Jenny Paterson put in a petition in May to have the City of Ballarat council advocate for the substation to be built elsewhere. She said about 30 people were at the meeting while she was there. "It became quite heated because the community has waited far too long for any consultation or information about the substation to be placed in York Street in an extremely inappropriate spot," she said. On Monday, November 27, the company announced the substation would be built at 203 York Street ahead of a planned briefing with Eureka MP Michaela Settle and the council. Construction for the substation will start at the end of 2024 and be running by the end of the February 2026. The announcement showed an artists render of the fenced site and a $2 million community benefits package. Ms Paterson said the "community has no trust in their [Powercor] consultation process." She was concerned the neighbours would be "trapped in poverty" over " the devaluation of peoples properties and their inability to sell them". The community meeting, according to Powercor spokeswoman Emma Tyner, would allow residents to discuss the look of the fence and any concerns they had. Ms Tyner said Powercor was aware of the disappointment in the community. "We want to bring them in to help us shape the outside of this project," she said. "We want to work really closely with those neighbours and help explain the reasons why this summit zone substation is so critical for the Ballarat region." Ms Tyner said Ballarat needed this site as the two other stations were "nearing capacity." "It is so critical because what we're seeing is a real growth in the Ballarat area," she said. "For us to continue to provide safe and reliable power we need a third." Ms Tyner said the community meetings have a range of experts do discuss aspects of the project like health and safety, acoustics and water management. "What is also key to this as the co-design part of the project, so we're really encouraging community members who are attending to help us co-design the outside of the fence, choose colour, material design, landscaping and lighting," she said. Ms Tyner said Powercor looked at "a range of alternative sites including existing zone substations." She said the 203 York Street site was viable as it was close to "existing 66 KV [kilovolt] network" and would be able to connect into that. The Courier attempted to attend the meeting but was turned away.