On Monday February 8th over 200 concerned residents from Darley, Coimadai and surrounding areas attended a Community Information Session hosted by MCHPA at the Bacchus Marsh Golf Club in Darley.
This information session was an opportunity for the community to gain a deeper insight into the proposed Western Victoria Transmission Network Project (WVTNP), and importantly how the community may assist in campaigning to “Stop AusNet’s Towers”.
The proposed towers are going to have an enormous and detrimental impact on the landscape, community, local business and the environment. The following key concerns with regard to impacts of the WVTNP were raised throughout the session:
- Visual impact and subsequent decrease in property values – a conservative estimated drop of 30-50% is to be expected. This will result in reduced landholder’s equity and access to finance and will in turn reduce Council rate income and associated services.
- Environmental impact resulting in an increased threat to native animal habitats and endangered species as well as impact several State and National Parks and for you the Lerderderg Gorge.
- Increased Fire Threat. This Project will increase the risk of catastrophic bushfires and reduce the ability of the CFA to fight bushfires in what is already a high fire danger region.
It was noted there are many other community concerns associated with the towers.
The MCHPA presented suitable alternatives that have not been explored by the WVTNP’s nor by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator). This information was well received by those in attendance.
At the conclusion of the Presentation questions and concerns were raised as to how this project will have a direct effect on individuals, specifically on their property value and quality of life. Community members expressed their numerous concerns with the project and the profound negative impact of the proposed towers. Of particular note throughout the session Community members demonstrated a keen appetite to lobbying against the proposed towers.
We look forward to continuing with this level of Community engagement.