Merriwa-Cassilis Alliance talk TransGrid at Parliament

Filed in Just In by May 13, 2021

REPRESENTATIVES of the Merriwa- Cassilis Alliance met with Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Environment and Energy Matt Kean this week to discuss the proposed TransGrid power line project.

The Alliance is concerned the current proposed route will heavily impact local farming operations and are asking for the transmission line corridor to be moved to public land.

Deputy Barilaro and Minister Kean made a commitment to explore all corridor options available, including those on public land, with a more in-depth analysis.

“My commitment to the Merriwa-Cassilis Alliance is to make sure that all route options for the Central-West Orana REZ transmission are run completely to ground,” Minister Kean said.

“I expect TransGrid to engage in meaningful, genuine consultation with the local community to try to find solutions that work for all parties,” he said.

President of the Merriwa-Cassilis Alliance Peter Campbell and Secretary Heidi Inder said the Alliance wants a two-way conversation so farmers can have a say in the project.

“Our objective is to move the proposed transmission lines off prime agricultural land on the Merriwa Plateau and utilise public land and expand existing infrastructure,” Ms Inder said. .

“It was great to have everyone in the same room to bring to light our concerns and the negative impact of Transgrid’s location of the proposed corridor. Going forward the alternative routes need to recognise and value the contribution of agriculture to our local and wider community,” Mr Campbell said.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said he will also be attending the next Merriwa-Cassilis Alliance meeting.

“It is important that we as a Government listen to our communities and my commitment is to do just that,” Mr Barilaro said.

“That is why I will be attending the next Merriwa-Cassilis Alliance meeting at the Merriwa RSL, we need to get this right and we need to include our agricultural land holders, families and local businesses in the discussion,” he said.

Terms of Reference and further detail on the project and corridors to be explored will be confirmed and discussed at the first consultation workshop, which will also be attended by representatives from the NSW Government’s Energy Corporation of NSW.

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