The new major electricity transmission line is set to come through the City of Melton, to deliver power generated from windfarms in Bulgana (near Stawell) in western Victoria, to Sydenham in Melbourne’s north-west.
This is not a Council project and we do not have a role in determining the corridor or approving the project for the proposed transmission lines.
The project is the subject of an Environment Effects Statement (EES) approval process that is the responsibility of the Minister for Planning and is being overseen by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). Details about this process can be found at Planning Victoria website.
This is a privately delivered project in which the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has appointed Ausnet/Mondo to construct and operate the transmission line. Approvals including EES will be considered by the Victorian Government.
Council acknowledges that the transmission lines are critical infrastructure for the future expansion of Victoria’s renewable energy generation capacity and have many potential benefits for our community and the entire state.
However, the process and information to support a decision on a final route needs to be well considered, including a genuine level of engagement with impacted landowners.
Where will the Transmission Line be located?
On 1 July 2021, AusNet Services announced a preferred overhead transmission line corridor through the north of City of Melton. It is understood that the previous alternative alignment through Exford and Melton West will not be pursued. You can view the corridor option here.
This includes details of proposed Community Consultation and notices to affected landowners located within the proposed transmission line corridor.
What is Council doing?
Melton City Council is working closely with other affected councils, including Moorabool Shire Council, Hepburn Shire Council and the City of Ballarat. We are providing input to the project through a Technical Reference Group to ensure the assessment process is thorough and considers the impacts on our local community.
Specifically, we have advocated for improvements to the consultation program to better engage with residents/landowners so their concerns are heard. We have also asked for clear, open and genuine engagement with affected landowners on the information that has informed the decision on the transmission line corridor through the City of Melton.
We have also advocated for Ausnet to undertake a full assessment to determine the route of least impact including consideration of undergrounding of the powerlines, particularly in sensitive areas. We have received assurances from AusNet that underground options are being investigated for sections of the proposed corridor. We will continue to monitor the progress on this investigation.
Council will continue to advocate for the best information to be made available to ensure our community are placed in an informed position to assess how they may be impacted by this project.
We have been receiving enquiries from residents who may be affected by this project and we have done our best to ensure their information needs have been met.
Whilst Council does not have any role in the approval project, our role is to advocate on behalf of residents to achieve the best outcome for our community.
What can you do?
For more information or to raise any concerns, we encourage you to contact AusNet directly via westvictnp.com.au or by calling 03 9021 0674 and providing them with your thoughts and feedback on the project.
We strongly encourage everyone, whether the project directly impacts you or not, to visit: westvictnp.com.au to see the area of interest and highlight the locations that are important to you.