A renewable energy advocacy body has put its weight behind a proposed power transmission line in the area.
But the Australian Wind Alliance is also calling for meaningful consultation with landowners, who are raising concerns about the project.
The Post reported this week that Transgrid was planning to build a 630km electricity transmission line linking substations at Maragle, south-east of Tumbarumba, Wagga Wagga and Bannaby, near Taralga.
While the proposal has several hoops to jump through yet in terms of industry and planning approval, landowners say they're being "left in the dark" about the exact route and its impact.
Australian Wind Alliance national coordinator, Andrew Bray, said years of research had gone into demonstrating the need for the project.
"But it's been several decades since a transmission line of this magnitude was built and the nature of regional communities and their expectations have changed dramatically in that time," he said in a statement.
"We shouldn't lose sight of the clear need to upgrade the grid to allow for the much needed transition to renewable energy supply and compensate for the upcoming closure of ageing coal power plants."
However, he called for open and meaningful community consultation that would give people a say in the route. He argued this would result in a better outcome for the community and the company.
"The proponent needs to identify those communities with a stake in the outcome and work cooperatively with them to design appropriate benefit sharing programs that see the project contribute to (people's) lives in the short and long term," Mr Bray said.
The Alliance says the line, which requires a 100-metre wide easement, will allow for large scale renewable energy plants, including Snowy 2.0, to be built in sparsely populated areas, while still serving the needs of major population centres.
Bannister landowner and Wind Alliance board member Dimity Taylor wants to see "tangible" benefit in the form of community project funding.
The line will not cross her property.
A Transgrid spokeswoman said the company had held some one-on-one online meetings with residents and was planning to ramp up consultation when coronavirus restrictions eased. Representatives also met with Upper Lachlan Shire Council last October.
Mayor John Stafford told The Post that he hadn't fielded any direct representations from residents.
He rejected Bannister landowner Russell Erwin's comments that the council was "remarkably reluctant" to be involved and was more likely to "kow-tow" to state government agencies.
"I find them to be supine and totally unresponsive to concerns," Mr Erwin told The Post.
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But Cr Stafford said councillors and staff would act if they thought the complaints were justified.
"We'll take it up on behalf of people. It's just not something that's come before us," he said.
The State Government will decide the planning application, which is expected to be lodged in mid to late 2021.
Meantime, the action group 'Resist HumeLink' will be holding a community meeting at the Bannister Hall on Friday, July 10 from 6pm-7pm.
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