Council adopts High-Voltage Transmission Line Setback Policy
Published on 23 December 2021
Council has voted unanimously to adopt a High-Voltage Transmission Line Setback Policy, to address concerns around the proposed transmission lines.
Moorabool Shire currently houses three wind farms and is intended to accommodate over 70km of the 500kV Western Victoria Transmission Network Project (WVTNP). Moorabool also forms part of the State Government’s Western Renewable Energy Zone (REZ), which has earmarked potential projects to achieve Victoria’s renewable energy transformation.
With existing and prospective renewable energy infrastructure projects in mind, it is a necessity for Council to adopt a policy position on transmission infrastructure.
Moorabool Mayor Cr Tom Sullivan said while Council does not dispute the importance of significant renewable energy infrastructure projects and is supportive of the transition to renewable energy, it is essential that this is delivered through sustainable outcomes where the long-term impacts to our community and the natural environment are not unreasonably compromised.
“The policy seeks to implement the most recent transmission line setback recommendation handed down in the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner’s 2020 Annual Report, which recommends a minimum setback of 200m from residences for powerlines that are 220 kV or greater (see recommendation 126.96.36.199),” Cr Sullivan said.
Council has identified at least 15 individual residences situated within 100m of the WVTNP’s 500kV powerline through Moorabool, and an additional 23 within 200m. Unsatisfactory setbacks also highlight landowner compensation concerns, given that compensation is related only to the acquisition of land for easements and not for impacts to amenity for neighbouring properties, even if the transmission infrastructure is geographically closer to their residence.
“We’ve been advocating for undergrounding the WVTNP since 2019 and strongly endorse the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner’s recommendation (5.2.11), which states: ‘Where possible, transmission infrastructure should be placed underground and/or well away from residences and road reserves’,” Cr Sullivan said.
To read the independent underground report commissioned by Council visit: https://www.moorabool.vic.gov.au/
To read the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner’s 2020 Annual Report (released 28 October 2021) visit: https://www.aeic.gov.au/publications/2020-annual-report
For more information on Victoria’s Renewable Energy Zones and the Directions Paper (released February 2021), visit: https://www.energy.vic.gov.au/renewable-energy/renewable-energy-zones