Stop AusNet’s Towers Newsletter – October 2021

Forced Land Access in Melton and Toolern Vale

Forced Land Access in Melton and Toolern Vale results in more bullying and an alleged assault

Despite significant efforts in recent weeks by the Moorabool and Central Highlands Power Alliance (MCHPA) and landholders to negotiate suitable access arrangements with AusNet, and in light of MCHPA’s concerns about the validity and limitations of AusNet’s Section 93 powers under the Electricity Industry Act (EI Act) of compulsory access and the restrictions imposed by Covid regulations, AusNet has forcibly accessed several properties in Melton and Toolern Vale without landowner’s consent.

AusNet’s has imposed an aggressive timeline that has resulted in weeks of bullying and harassment of landholders. Landholders have been hounded by many phone calls and unsolicited visits.

To highlight the disturbing nature of this activity MCHPA has been advised of a physical altercation that allegedly resulted in an assault. We understand this matter is currently being investigated by the Melton Police Department.

We have been advised that AusNet staff accessing properties have scaled fences, left gates open, and allowed horses and livestock to run free.

MCHPA is very concerned that until resolution and agreement of AusNet’s rights to compulsorily enter private property, the company stands in potential violation of Section 93 of the Electricity Industry Act and of trespass and violation of the landowners’ rights and privacy.

It is of extreme concern to MCHPA that AusNet continues to ignore and defy the communities’ desires, whilst discussions are still ongoing with our respective lawyers and while legal uncertainty surrounds AusNet’s access to private properties.

Stop AusNets Towers Bonfire Event

Light ‘em Up and Stop AusNet’s Towers Bonfire Event

Bloody Well Done – We Lit ‘Em Up

The community of Western Victoria yesterday held it’s head high and stood united against this horrific project

On a blustery and wet Friday in September, community members along the proposed WVTNP corridor lit up the skies and kicked some big goals.

Our united stance against this appalling and ill-conceived project demonstrated the community’s resolve. In this ongoing fight the community showed we are here to stay the course and deliver a suitable outcome that all community members can live with.

It is estimated that over 460 landowners gathered debris, built stacks and lit up bonfires to say NO.

Thanks to all who participated let’s keep up the heat on the politicians, AEMO and

AusNet to take this project back to the drawing board.

Keep your eye on our Facebook pages (Moorabool and Central Highlands Power Alliance – Home | Facebook) as we hand out our Best in Bonfire Awards this week.

Social License

Social License – the key to electricity network development in Australia

Community opposition signals a new challenge that will be faced by every new transmission project unless an enhanced regulatory framework is adopted, and community stakeholders are allowed to actively participate in the decision-making process.

Developing constructive relationships and trust is most effective when it starts early, ideally during a project’s inception. Having routing and siting decisions guided by community through a more consistent rationale will be by far the greatest benefit to any electricity transmission project, particularly when considering the consequences of non-engagement. Community supported framework will produce more consistent, defensible, and transparent energy transmission route decisions.

It is time to use the best information available by engaging with landholders and communities to inform infrastructure planning and to strive for those solutions that are high performers on energy supply, social, economic and conservation impact.

Read the Full Story

Public Policy and Electricity Transmission Planning

Forty years ago, transmission planning policies did not fully appreciate ecological, biological, social, economic, cultural or communities impacted by electricity transmission lines. Instead, project proposals stumbled upon regulatory intervention, community opposition, and last-minute litigation because impact considerations had been left until the final siting phase. Most existing planning policy and resilience framework has a strong focus on activities around existing infrastructure, not new. Adopting this historical framework will result in reactive planning and mitigation measures rather than a proactive approach.

We cannot afford to approach the transition to renewable energy the same way we rolled out large-scale transmission lines four decades ago. By not considering more viable solutions, Network Planners, Operators and the Victorian Government will fail the economy, renewable investors, energy consumers, Victorian communities and the future of our energy grid.

Read the Full Story
Inaugural AGM

Inaugural AGM – Save the Date

The inaugural Moorabool and Central Highlands Power Alliance Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Thursday October 14th 7:30pm. The AGM will take place virtually via Zoom, more information will follow to MCHPA members. If you are not a member, please see details of how to become a member below.

Membership, Fundraising and Volunteers

Membership, Fundraising and Volunteers

If you have not yet become a member of the Stop AusNet Towers campaign, please sign up on our member’s page.

We rely on the generosity of many volunteers to keep the fight going however we also require expert legal, technical and campaign professionals to provide guidance and direction. In order to continue this support, your donations are always welcome, please see our donations page.

If you would like to volunteer, we are looking for someone to assist in coordinating our fundraising efforts, if you are a good organizer and communicator and feel you have a few hours a week to assist please get in touch with us at info@stopausnetstowers.com.au

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Stop Ausnets Towers

ABOUT US

Stop AusNet’s Towers is demanding better consultation and a genuine process to consider alternatives.

The Moorabool Central Highlands Power Alliance comprises landowners, residents and community group concerned about the impacts of this project on our lives, land, environment, community and future generations

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