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Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Community consultation on the proposed transmission line that will deliver New England’s abundant renewable power to the rest of the state is now underway.

EnergyCo began their consultations on the proposed transmission line with engagement of directly affected stakeholders last month, and next week will begin broader consultation through a series of information sessions.

LocationDateTimeRegistration link
Armidale
Armidale Town Hall, 127 Rusden St, Armidale NSW 2350
Tuesday 20 June 202311am to 2pm3pm to 6pmRegister here
Uralla
Uralla Neighbourhood Centre,27 Salisbury St, Uralla NSW 2358
Wednesday 21 June 202311am to 2pm3pm to 6pmRegister here
Walcha
Walcha Bowling Club,14E Croudace St, Walcha NSW 2354
Thursday 22 June 202311am to 2pm3pm to 6pmRegister here
Dungowan
Dungowan Hall,Ogunbil Rd, Dungowan NSW 2340
Tuesday 27 June 202311am to 2pm3pm to 6pmRegister here
Murrurundi
Murrurundi CWA,109 Mayne St, Murrurundi NSW 2338
Wednesday 28 June 202311am to 2pm3pm to 6pmRegister here
Scone
Scone Motor Inn, Apartments and Conference centre,55 Kelly St, Scone NSW 2337
Thursday 29 June 202311am to 2pm3pm to 6pmRegister here

As transmission lines are one of the more unsightly and controversial aspects of developing the New England Renewable Energy Zone, consultation is expected to be extensive. This round of consultation will focus on the preliminary placement of transmission line study corridors and energy hubs.

Heidi McElnea from the Community Power Agency, a not-for-profit cooperative working to bring communities to the centre of the transition to renewable energy, says those interested should go along if they can.

“If you are not able to attend the session, we encourage you to register for project updates at nerez@energyco.nsw.gov.au or call 1800 061 114 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).” 

Local member for the Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has already had his say on the subject in a speech to parliament, saying the transmission lines should be put underground, and where possible on public land rather than private land.

“Given that this infrastructure is intergenerational – it will be there not just for 10 or 20 years, but likely for 60 to 100 years – and there is the ability to amortise the cost of the infrastructure over multiple generations, we must seriously look at undergrounding some of the large transmission lines where possible to avoid land use conflict and also to avoid the inevitable argy-bargy that happens,” Mr Marshall said.

“There is enough argy-bargy already with some of these poorly thought-out projects.”

“The renewable energy zones can only work if there is a substantial amount of community support and willingness.”

“I have said many times in this House and in public that I am a strong advocate for the renewable energy industry, but that should not be taken as me saying that our region is a welcome mat to be walked over by any particular proponent.”

“We have may good quality renewable energy projects which have been built or are under construction in our region, but we will not accept poor projects, poor planning and poor outcomes for our community,” he said.

Marshall also welcomed the delay to the energisation of the New England REZ to 2029, saying it gives the necessary time to get it right.

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