The Darley community insist on a comprehensive analysis of underground alternatives prior to the submission of the EES, in accordance with regulatory requirements. The proposed option in the EES must be for underground cables, not overhead lines. Overhead lines would cause environmental impacts that are totally incompatible with the State and Regionally significant landscape of the Lerderderg State Park.
In the absence of intervention, 500kV overhead transmission lines will be proposed, suspended on steel lattice towers (up to 85 metres high). The lines would traverse eight kilometres alongside the Park within an easement up to 200 metres wide. The lines would be visible over a vast area, destroying the ambience and integrity of this remote and largely pristine region. Underground cables may be more expensive, but they have several offsetting benefits including minimal environmental impact, higher reliability, reduced maintenance, and less vulnerability to outages from lightning, storms, and bushfires.
The Lerderderg State Park is a special and irreplaceable place, is one of the most majestic parks in Victoria’s western plains and one of the community’s natural icons. It has fundamental cultural significance for Indigenous peoples and is very much loved and enjoyed by all Australians.
The unique character and values of the Lerderderg State Park must not be sacrificed for the cheapest transmission option, overhead lines, when viable and far less damaging underground alternatives are available.