Darley Power Fight had a productive 2-hour meeting in Darley today (21 April 2021) with Mr Andrew Dyer, the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner. Andrew and his team came to better understand the impacts of overhead transmission infrastructure through our region.
A small team represented the concerns of the local community, addressing the many impacts of this project on residents in Darley, Coimadai and Merrimu. We left no stone unturned and covered the following topics:
- Environment (Biolinks, Landscape character, habitat, weeds, disease, erosion, fauna and flora)
- Bushfire Risk (Fire-fighting, Water Bombing, Ignition, dry woodland)
- Visual Amenity (Volume of residents, urban growth framework, property values)
- Tourism (Recreational tourism, 1001 Steps)
- Economic Impact (Business, agriculture, regional appeal, land, urban growth)
- Safety Concerns (Rescue efforts)
- Poor Consultation (Social License, Legitimacy, Credibility, Trust, community push-back)
- Desired Outcomes
We designed and professionally printed a 36 page ‘Cumulative Environmental Effects’ brochure that we gave to Andrew for some light reading. This document details all impacts with supporting facts and evidence.
Andrew provided us with a few avenues to pursue which we will certainly be doing. We made it very clear that we will continue to place immense pressure on key stakeholders and that the impact on so many residents, in such a beautiful region must be mitigated. The significance, character and amenity of this highly valued landscape must be protected.
The Commissioner will work collaboratively with all levels of government, scientists, experts, industry and the community to resolve complaints from community members about proposed and operational wind farms, large scale solar farms (5 MW or more), storage facilities, such as large scale batteries (1 MW or more) and new major transmission projects.
The Commissioner will refer complaints about wind farms, large scale solar farms, storage facilities and new major transmission projects to relevant authorities and help ensure that they are properly addressed.