Darley Power Fight have submitted a 35-page impact statement in response to the State Government of Victoria’s Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) Development Plan Directions Paper. Highlighting the profound impact on the Darley/Coimadai/Merrimu regions.
This impact statement specifically refers to the Darley/Coimadai/Merrimu regions of the Western: V3 Project, the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project (WVTNP) North Ballarat to Bulgana.
The project has been identified in the REZ Development Plan Directions Paper as having a ‘High Risk’ of delivery for the following reasons:
- Project within greenfield area therefore vegetation clearing required.
- Infrastructure close to sensitive areas
- Conflicting land use
- Potential conflicting regarding future residential development.
- Potential community concerns regarding increased visual impacts and environmental impacts.
AusNet Services has identified an Area of Interest (AoI) and has further narrowed potential corridors, one of these corridors runs immediately north of Darley. Our concerns relate specifically to this northern alignment proposed between the town of Darley and the Lerderderg State Park.
As residents, property owners, investors and business owners living in Moorabool we are devastated by the proposed alignment and will all be greatly impacted by the proposed corridor. We have dedicated considerable resources to identify the impacts on the proposed northern alignment on this narrow but significant corridor.
Our response to the REZ Development Plan Directions Paper included a thirty-five-page document which clearly detailed specific impacts on this region, including:
- Bushfire Risk
- Firefighting Risks
- Impact on Water Bombing efforts
- Safety Concerns
- Significant Habitat
- Significance Area
- Culture and Heritage
- Visual Amenity
- Tourism & Recreation
- Economic Impact
- Social License
The document informs on the impacts of the proposed Northern Corridor alignment near Darley/Coimadai/Merrimu as well as offering viable solutions that have a lesser impact on the broader community and significance environment. We believe building and maintaining strong social license is central to the delivery of Renewable Energy Zones and the future of this project.
Community engagement is most successful when it establishes and delivers on clear expectations and gives everyone in the community the opportunity to influence decisions in each aspect of planning, development and decision making, including the development of alternatives and the identification of the preferred solution.
We urged DELWP to insist on a comprehensive review of the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project and consideration of an underground solution. Overhead infrastructure in the northern alignment demonstrates a clear lack of planning, social license and understanding of the overwhelming impact on this important area.
We are in full support of Renewable Energy Zones but not when a potential corridor passes right through the heart of residential, significance areas, wildlife habitat and public open spaces. The irreversible impact on property values, visual amenity, wildlife, environment, and local community is huge.
You Can Provide Feedback
Everyone is invited to submit a response and we encourage everyone to do this. With these submissions, its important they are all unique in some way and for this reason we haven’t made this a letter you can just sign and send. We have prepared a Word template you can download and customise to address your own concerns. Submissions close on 31 March 2020 at midnight so please get your responses in. The letter template has the email address and subject line you need to use.