An action group will this Sunday update the community on TransGrid's plans for a large transmission line through the Southern Tablelands.
HumeLink Alliance Inc was formed in reaction to the company's proposal for a 360km transmission line connecting Maragle, Wagga Wagga and Bannaby, near Taralga.
Planning for the $2.4 billion project, designed to draw more renewables into the market and harness the Snowy 2.0 scheme, is well underway. But its 65m high transmission towers and perceived environmental, agricultural, amenity, economic and amenity impacts have united action groups along the route.
Alliance member and landowner Andrea Strong was hoping for a healthy turn-up at the heated Grabben Gullen Hall meeting at 2pm Sunday.
Speakers include Ted Woodley from the National Parks Association executive and Gurrundah landowner and Alliance member, Michael Katz. Mr Katz will also read a speech from Les Brand, managing director of Amplitude Consultants, the company providing technical advice on the transmission line's undergrounding study.
Ms Strong said the Alliance was originally raising money for the undergrounding study. However following lobbying and input from Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner, Andrew Dyer, TransGrid agreed to fund the study itself.
A steering committee, including Ms Strong and two representatives from the Wagga Wagga and Snowy Valley community consultation groups, was established to have input into the study.
"They released the study last Friday without consultation with the steering committee beforehand," Ms Strong said.
"We had concerns with the accuracy of the report and they have since retracted it and apologised.
"...They (TransGrid) talk about a just transition to a low carbon emission electricity sector. The just thing is to put it underground and then the regions can keep their landscape. We are not anti-renewable. The fight is for the environment."
The Alliance is also challenging the cost benefit of the 500 kilovolt line and the Snowy 2.0 scheme. Ms Strong, a former economist, said the group was concerned there was a net cost with the two projects because the transmission was not included in calculations for Snowy.
Moreover, the cost of that scheme had blown out from $2.1 billion to $5bn to $6bn.
The meeting will also discuss TransGrid's compensation offers, recently sent to landowners. Ms Strong described them as "totally inadequate," while co-Alliance member, Russell Erwin was scathing of the process.
The group is also calling for parity on compensation for wind farm turbines and transmission towers on properties. The former attracted up to $528,000 per turbine and the latter - $55,000, Ms Strong said.
Further, while wind turbines had to be located 1.5km from a residence, a transmission tower could be within 200 metres of a home.
"For wind farms, it is voluntary for people to have the turbines on their properties but for transmission lines, it can be compulsorily acquired. There's a big difference and it is inequitable."
TransGrid recently announced a refined 200m corridor for the infrastructure. The underground feasibility study is due to be released this month, following revision. An EIS is not expected to be publicly exhibited until early 2023.
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