What Have We Done?
PLUG members have worked hard to bring the issues to the attention of the affected communities, Western Power, and the politicians who can influence decisions.
- Community Awareness:
- Met with other concerned groups to consolidate community information and to present a united opposition to the processes being undertaken by Western Power
- Met with Western Power to discuss these concerns and exchanged letters with WP following up communication from WP to Wilson Tuckey
- Joined Advisory Group and attended Advisory Group Workshops arranged by Western Power
- Written to Grange Resources to inform them of PLUG's support for a direct transmission line from Kojonup to their planned mine
- Political Participation:
- Lobbied the Premier of Western Australia and the relevant Ministers as well as our local politicians detailing the areas of concern
- Assisted with a Petition to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs
- Assisted in Initiating a Parliamentary Hearing
- Contacted the Ombudsman to investigate avenues of complaint
- Produced media updates through our established media avenues, to keep the public informed
- PLUG is following developments in Bridgetown with the development of a Biomass Power station utilizing pine and eucalypt harvesting residue to create 40 megawatts of base-load for the town and surrounding area. We believe the same option can be applied to the Great Southern region; two companies have previously expressed
interest in developing biomass power at the Mirembeena Industrial area north of Albany.
Future Course of Action
PLUG is pushing to have the process restarted in order to involve far more community input. Notification of landholders and the development of the criteria to assess the powerline route require involvement of the community from the very beginning. PLUG will require Western Power to initiate a Social Impact Study, as part of any Environmental Impact Study. This process will examine all aspects of the powerline, especially the 'vision' of all people affected, and assist in the development of criteria used to weigh options. Organisations such as UWA are capable of producing this study. At our meeting on 15th August, Doctor Colin MacGregor of Narrikup, a Research Fellow at UWA Albany, presented an overview of the Social Impact Study.
PLUG has also received positive feedback from the State Ombudsman acknowledging there may be an avenue to seek discussion with Western Power through that office if the community feel the process has been unfair. The initial discussions will be followed up.
- Initiate a Website incorporating information from other action groups
- Affiliate ourselves as a subcommittee of the Narrikup Progress Association or similarly the Plantagenet Shire for legal purposes.
- Research and provide information on the legalities of WP & contactors accessing properties
- Research the compensation avenues and Grange aesthetic compensation