On Monday January 3rd, Nine Network's "A Current Affair" reported the deplorable tactics being used on Western Victorian’ landholders affected by the proposed high voltage transmission project by AusNet's services.
Please find link to video:
Facebook Link to A Current Affair Story
Website Link to A Current Affair Story
The proposed 80 metre tall high-voltage transmission towers and terminal station project being undertaken by AusNet Services running through western Victoria will have a devastating and irreversible effect on the region. The proposed route will run through hundreds of private properties and have a direct effect on tens of thousands of community members, hundreds of businesses and on the natural environment. Parts of the proposed route run through Victoria's most high-risk bushfire areas as well as prime agricultural land.
"It's a very sad day when a government endorsed and supported company can behave in this way and not be held accountable. As the footage shared on A Current Affair shows, the abhorrent behaviour of AusNet Services is unacceptable. Over the past 12 months many within the community have faced similar bullying and harassment behaviour by AusNet as they force access onto private land" said Emma Muir, Stop AusNet’s Towers Campaign Chair.
"We understand this matter is under police investigation, and after viewing the extended footage of AusNet's aggressive actions, their deliberate efforts to instil fear and use violence is unacceptable and AusNet must be held to account."
In response to this footage AusNet claim they "reviewed all correspondence and the land access itself and believes its team acted appropriately under the circumstances".
Emma Muir responded to AusNet's statement, "Having eight men bully, intimidate and harass a landholder trying to protect his land and animals is intolerable and upsetting. AusNet are proposing to use outdated and dangerous technology for the proposed project and they are also employing old school tactics of fear and intimidation to force this project through."
"We understand that Minster Lily D'Ambrosio's office was made aware of this incident over 10 weeks ago and we have seen no evidence of a formal investigation, does the Minister approve or condone this behaviour? We are aware of AusNet continuing to demonstrate similar behaviour throughout the community."
The Victorian Government can halt or amend this controversial and devastating project and we need our politicians to stand up - they have the power and the ability to change this project which will save our food bowl, protect our beautiful environment, reduce future fire risk, and remove the massive mental health burden on so many local people.
Our community is taking a stand. The proposed approach by AusNet cannot be allowed to proceed. There is too much at stake, not just for our large community of concerned citizens, but for all Victorians. The impact on our communities is irreversible and unacceptable when there are better ways to deliver this project.
CONTACT: Emma Muir, MCHPA, 0412 685 404
MORE INFORMATION: stopausnetstowers.com.au or facebook.com/stopausnetstowers