Landowners in AusNet's broad area of interest for the Western Victoria Transmission Network project may find out in November if they are within potential corridors for the high-voltage powerline's construction.
In an online Zoom panel, organised by state opposition MPs, AusNet representatives admitted communication with the community in the area of interest "could be done better", and answered some of the hundreds of questions submitted by audience members.
Many of the questions had been answered before in previous online question and answer sessions, including around firefighting capabilities near the 500kv lines and compensation for landowners, but this meeting also allowed the state MPs and federal Senator Sarah Henderson to directly ask AusNet and EnergySafe Victoria representatives about the project.
The Australian Energy Market Operator's chief external affairs officer Tony Chappel also answered questions - the independent national agency completed the work which recommended building the project.
Representatives also committed to providing more information about the decision to build powerlines above ground, instead of below ground - project director Francisco Vizcaino told the meeting he estimated below ground costs would be between 10 to 15 times as expensive, with costs passed on through power bills.
Moorabool Shire Council will hold online information sessions in the coming weeks, with independent experts on the EES process and land acquisition and compensation.
The finished project will include a new stretch of 220kv lines from Bulgana, near Ararat, connecting to a new terminal station to be built somewhere near Ballarat, then a new 500kv line from Ballarat to Sydenham in Melbourne's west.
The project is expected to be completed in 2025.
To find out more on the project, or have your say, visit westvictnp.com.au.
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