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The People Vs AusNet.

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Western Victoria. A battle between a foreign owned multi-billion-dollar corporation and a self funded, grass roots community campaign.

Moorabool Central Highlands Power Alliance (The People) consists of landowners, residents, farmers, and community groups concerned about the impacts of AusNet’s project on their lives, land, environment, the community, and future generations.

AusNet want to build a 190km long high voltage transmission line from Bulgana to Sydenham. This would include around 380 towers at a height of 80metres. As tall as the MCG lights. Plus, a massive terminal station located in Ballarat. This will need to claim twenty hectares of privately owned land. The land would be compulsorily acquired from families that have held this land for generations.

This project must first be approved by the state government. Even when The People have written to MP Liliana D’Ambrosio, who is the current Energy minister, regarding the project and its impacts, they have been told that it is the only viable option.

With this project by AusNet, the impact of this project on such a large scale will destroy native habitat that is in the path of these powerlines. The path cuts through numerous National parks. The Werribee Gorge, Wombat State Park, Brisbane Ranges National Park, Lerderderg Gorge and Creswick Regional Park. It will also diminish land and property values. Vital agricultural land will be lost. The liveability and well-being of tens of thousands of people will be destroyed. With powerlines being the major factor in the Black Saturday bushfires, this also escalates the substantial risk of more bushfires.

The People have come up with their own solutions. They want a commitment from the state and federal governments, that an independent analysis of other alternatives and their costs and benefits. A better consultation and a genuine process to consider alternatives. Commit to a safer and smarter technology. Deliver the project in a way that minimizes the impact on communities. They support renewable energy sources and want green energy generated in Western Victoria to connect to the rest of the state.

Even with underground transmission lines, it is safer and more efficient. It might be more expensive to install, but it is proven to be of equal cost over the life of the project.

The People have been waiting too long to hear from any MPs, so have now decided to take their fight to Spring St. On Tuesday the 8th of March, they will be protesting. They will form a tractor procession that will include tractors, horses, agricultural vehicles, and fire trucks. This procession will start at Cathedral place and end at parliament steps at 12.45pm. This will be followed by speeches. Steve Curry, actor from the movie The Castle, will also be joining the affected community members on the day.

For more on this, check out their website.

stopausnetstowers.com.au

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