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through accountability, fairness,
tranparency and honesty"
The Power Line Upgrade Group (PLUG) are landowners in the Plantagenet Shire and the City of Albany in the south west of Western Australia. They are concerned about the method Western Power has been using to conduct its powerline corridor selection process for the Kojonup to Albany transmission line upgrade planned for 2011. The lack of community consultation in the initial stages has resulted in a great deal of mistrust toward Western Power and their consultant company GHD. The group feels the decision making process has been hasty and may have been using out of date information; for example one route goes straight across an emergency airfield.
PLUG realizes that Albany needs an improved power supply but are objecting to the corridors proposed. PLUG wants to encourage more consultation by Western Power (the local state-owned electrical power utility) and to influence the final decision on the proposed upgrade of the transmission capacity between Kojonup and Albany.
The three selected corridors traverse much of the Wilson Inlet Catchment. In the last ten or more years millions of dollars of public funds have been invested in the land care, bush-care and wildlife corridors in the area and natural resource management plays a significant part in the redevelopment of the Great Southern. The corridors also cross vineyards, olive groves and other intensive horticultural activities, which employ many people in the community. The perceived health concerns of electromagnetic fields on the population from the power lines of this size are also an issue that needs resolving.
The proposed line will be made of 50 metre high steel pylons. Western Power have stated that they will try and keep the transmission lines at least 500 metres from houses. It would be almost impossible to keep to these 500 metres in some of the more densely populated areas selected.
PLUG, 310 Healy Road, Narrikup, Western Australia 6326