|Stakeholder Issue ||Western Power Response
How does Western Power calculate
compensation for their transmission
A key issue raised at the Information
Sessions was the perception that
compensation offered by Western
Power is inadequate, particularly
when compared to the ongoing
compensation payments offered by
wind farm operators, Alinta Gas and
Western Power pays compensation for easements based on standard
valuation principles and other relevant legislations, and as assessed by the
Valuer General's Office or any other independent valuer.
Western Power is legally bound to work within the current legislations. This
includes the Land Administration Act 1997, which sets the items under
which compensation can be claimed, and the Energy Operators (Powers)
There are two separate payments available to landowners:
- easement compensation; and
- payment for loss of production as a result of work for
investigation, survey and construction of the transmission line
works on their properties. This is fully reimbursed to the
Western Power always endeavours to carry out works with minimal
disturbance to properties. If damages occur on the property, Western
Power will restore it either by paying the landowner to do so, or engaging
the services of appropriate contractors.
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is reimbursed to the landowner, including any
reasonable costs associated with taking professional advice in calculating
CGT. If the CGT reimbursement is subject to income tax, then Western
Power will increase the reimbursement amount accordingly
If GST is applicable, Western Power will increase the amount of
Western Power understands that landowners are seeking a more attractive
form of compensation for a transmission line on their property.
It is not possible for Western Power to work outside the current legislations
and to do so would not be legal. In order to change the current
compensation requirements, legislative changes would need to occur and
this would need to be driven through your local Member of Parliament and
representative farming groups.
If affected landowners wish to seek professional legal advice regarding
easement documents, Western Power will contribute up to $500 towards
the cost of this advice.
|Community representation in the
Why did some landowners not know
anything about the project?
Why were old maps used to select
the transmission line corridor?
Why were some communities not
represented on the Corridor
Is there an opportunity to refine the
transmission line corridors that have
been identified by the Corridor
|In March 2007, Western Power commenced its investigation into a new
transmission line from Kojonup to Albany and from Albany to Wellstead. As
part of this project, Western Power held information sessions in May 2007,
to provide some general information about the project, obtain expressions
of interest to nominate for the Corridor Selection Panel and help identify the
The information sessions were advertised using local news and radio
media. Landowners along the two existing transmission lines from Kojonup
to Albany were also invited to attend.
In May 2007, members of the community were invited to nominate for a
Corridor Selection Panel. We received 24 nominations for the Kojonup -
Albany line and 16 nominations for the Albany - Wellstead line. Everyone
who nominated was invited to be in the Corridor Selection Panel. The panel
members represented a wide spread of the community between Kojonup
and Albany and Albany and Wellstead.
The corridors were selected using the most up to date maps that were
available to Western Power at that time and enhanced by the local
knowledge of the Corridor Selection Panel. Now that three distinct corridors
have been identified, we will be able to gather more detailed and current
information to work through the next stage of selecting the preferred
corridor. This stage will also incorporate the information we gather from our
forthcoming community workshops regarding constraints not noted on the
Western Power will use any additional information to refine the existing
corridors, which may require some minor modifications to avoid any new
constraints. The input of community members will assist in the refinement
|Implications if accidental conflict
occurs with transmission lines.
What are the legal implications for
landowners if a collision occurs with
a Western Power transmission
What are the insurance implications
for landowners with transmission
lines on their property?
|Once a preferred corridor has been identified, Western Power will work with
affected landowners to identify the 50 metre wide transmission line easement
within the 2 km wide corridor. We would aim to locate the transmission line in
a way that minimises the likelihood of any conflicts.
Any damage to a landowner's property or to Western Power's transmission
line due to collisions would be the responsibility of the person driving the
vehicle at the time of the collision.
Western Power is unaware of any insurance implications associated with
having a transmission line located on a property.
|Need for the transmission line
Why is the transmission line
|Western Power proposes to construct a new transmission line from Kojonup
to Albany. Based upon the current demand for power and the anticipated
growth within the Great Southern region, the transmission line is required to
secure adequate power supplies to both existing and new energy users in
the Great Southern region, by 2011.
If a new transmission line is not installed there may be a need to `shed
loads' in the region as early as summer 2011. Load shedding ultimately
means Western Power is forced to implement power cuts so that the
system is not overloaded. This is an inconvenience to both residents and
businesses, along with the economic impacts that result from power
outages. Clearly, this is not Western Power's preferred solution.
A transmission line has also been proposed between Albany and Wellstead
in order to supply Grange Resources Limited with power for the start up
phase of the Southdown mine. This transmission line will supply the
Southdown mine from the available spare capacity in Albany until 2011,
when it is expected that the mine will go into full production and will require
more power, which will be provided by the proposed Kojonup - Albany
Irrespective of whether Grange decides to go ahead with its plans to develop
the Southdown Mine, a steel lattice tower transmission line will need to be
constructed between Kojonup and Albany to supply the Great Southern
|What are the technical
considerations when planning a
||When planning for a transmission line, Western Power needs to consider
likely future growth projections for loads, generators and transmission
capacity. Considerations for this project have included (but are not limited
- Significant growth, expected in local industry;
- Demand for power, projected to grow due to industrial and mining
- Increased power usage by existing customers and growth in local
- Proposed generators, including wind farms wishing to access the
market and meet new demand. The proposed transmission line
will accommodate these connections.
The transmission line is also important in helping to provide network
security. This means that if faults occur in one part of Western Power's
overall network, power can then be drawn from other parts.
What is a sustainability
|A sustainability assessment is a process to assist us in selecting a
preferred option when we are faced with various options to achieve a
particular outcome. The sustainability assessment will compare the
available options by considering the three key decision making factors: the
economic cost of the project, the environmental impact of the project and
the social impact of the project.
Historically, Western Power would select its preferred corridor and present
to the community as a completed process. By engaging in a sustainability
assessment, we encourage the community to have input into the outcome
of where the transmission line will be built.
The process is designed to ensure that the corridor is selected on common
values, which minimises the ability for different groups to lobby for
particular transmission line routes. Instead, the process focuses on the
relative importance of the decision making factors, which are then applied
to a number of different transmission line corridors, with the expectation
that one of the corridors will be identified as having the least impact on the
|How was the sustainability
assessment criteria selected?
||Representatives from Government, industry, specialist groups and the
community have been used to develop a standard framework of
'Sustainability Principles', which can be applied to a multitude of large,
The criteria must all be measurable within each of the corridor options, so
that they can be used to compare the impacts that each corridor has on each
criteria. Criteria that can't be measured or that are identical for all corridors
cannot be used to compare the corridor options. This does not imply that
they are not important criteria, only that they cannot be used to compare the
options in this process.
|How will the criteria weightings from
the workshops be used to select the
||Landowners affected by the transmission line corridor options were invited to
weight the relative importance of the criteria compared to each other. The
weightings provided by stakeholders (including landowners) will then be used
to qualify the relative importance of each criteria. For example, some
stakeholders may consider that the criteria 'views' is more important than the
criteria of 'impacts on recreation'.
In this instance if the first corridor had the least impact on views and another
corridor had the least impact on recreation, the first corridor would be
preferred as stakeholders considered the impact on views was more
important than the impact on recreation.
It is important to note that this example uses only two of the 14 criteria and
their respective weightings.
Once all of the criteria have been weighted, an integrated technical
assessment is used to determine of the impact of each corridor option. The
result of each of the technical impact assessments is converted into score for
each criteria. The scores then provide a standardised method of comparing
the extent of very different types of impacts against each other. A statistical
process is used to compare the scores for all 14 criteria to each other and to
compare the relative importance of those criteria. This process is called a
multi-criteria analysis.Once this process is completed, one of the corridor
options is expected to score the least impact on the community, based on the
criteria and their weightings.
How does Western Power intend to
prevent pole top fires?
What is Western Power doing to
improve current pole top fire risks on
|Transmission lines are required to be designed and built to very high
standards to ensure safety and reliability. The separation between live
conductors (wires) and tower members is adequate to ensure that there is no
chance of flashovers, which could cause fires.
The new transmission line will be constructed using steel structures (towers),
which cannot catch on fire like the old wood poles.
Even with steel structures, wild fires under and adjacent to transmission lines
can cause the conductors to anneal and sag below design limits. The
solution is to keep vegetation under the line to acceptable levels. Grass and
low level remnant vegetation does not usually contain sufficient fuel to cause
a problem. Taller vegetation under transmission lines is removed or trimmed
to maintain electrical safety clearances and to reduce 'fuel' to acceptable
Western Power has recently submitted its proposed maintenance works
program to the Economic Regulation Authority. This extensive program is
designed, amongst other things, to improve reliability of power. 45% of the
$3.5 billion recently allocated to Western Power will be spent in regional
areas. Over the next 4 years, this is expected to produce improvements to all
areas of the network, including the services and support we are able to
provide to rural communities.
The reduction of pole top fires is receiving special attention, including:
- Silicon coating of pole top equipment;
- Aerial line washing;
- The use of steel cross arms; and
- Introducing steel poles and towers into our network.
What are the health effects of
electromagnetic fields emitted by the
|Power frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are a natural by product of
electricity and are found where ever electricity is used. There are two
components of EMF, the electric field, which is related to the voltage or
pressure which forces electricity along the wires and the magnetic field,
which is related to the current or the flow of electricity.
Over the past 35 years, more than a thousand studies have been conducted
to examine the potential health affects from exposure to EMF. These studies
have assessed both electric and magnetic fields, however the primary focus
of the EMF health debate has focused on the magnetic field component.
There are some studies, which suggest that there is a link, some that do not
and others, which raise more questions. On the balance of all the research,
the scientific evidence does not indicate that exposure to power frequency
EMF is a hazard to human health.
It is important to note that EMF levels dissipate rapidly to negligible levels as
you move away from the source.
Powerlines are not the only source of EMF. Some examples of EMF levels
are shown below.
It should be noted that guidelines for human exposure to EMF in Australia
- Transmission line, directly under the line - 10 to 200 milliGauss (mG)
- At the edge of the easement - 2 to 50 mG
- Electric blanket - 5 to 30 mG
- Personal computer - 2 to 20 mG
- 1000 mG for continuous 24 hour per day exposure.
- 10,000 mG for a few hours per day (occupational purposes).
Western Power designs, constructs and operates all its powerlines and
facilities in compliance with the guidelines recommended by the National
Health & Medical Research Council of Australia (NH&MRC). This guideline
is currently administered by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear
Safety Agency, an agency of the Commonwealth Department of Health
charged with the responsibility for developing safety standards associated
with electromagnetic radiation, and electric and magnetic fields.
Whilst the EMF health issue will remain dynamic and a concern to the
community, Western Power will continue to closely monitor overseas
research and support such research here in Australia through its
membership of the Energy Networks Association. It will also continue to take
advice from the Australian Radiation Protection & Nuclear Safety Agency and
other Australian health authorities on the issue.
What opportunities do landowners
have to voice their ideas about the
|Western Power is available to answer queries and follow up on concerns
regarding this project, or any other. Landowners can phone Project Officer
Lyall Murphy on 9326 4744 or email [email protected] or
write to Western Power, GPO Box L921, Perth WA, 6842.
Other options for landowners who may wish to voice their opinions about
the project include:
- speaking with your local Member of Parliament;
- lodging a submission with the Economic Regulation Authority;
- providing comment during the public comment period set by the
environmental Protection Authority during environmental
approvals process; or
- attendance at future information sessions scheduled to be held in
late October 2007.
|Alternate Power Options
Why can't the power just be
generated locally to produce power
using renewable energy such as
|Since the disaggregation of Western Power in April 2006, Western Power is
no longer responsible for the generation of power. Western Power's charter,
as the network operator, is to provide network access and infrastructure
services to enable the transport of electricity from points of generation to
points of demand. In order for generators to provide power into the network
and for consumers to draw power from it, it is essential that sufficient
transmission capacity be provided. Without this, the system is unable to
transport the electricity to where it is needed.
A transmission line transports the bulk supply of the power throughout the
The existing transmission system servicing the Great Southern region
cannot accommodate additional power stations (generators) in its current
form, without augmentation. Providing additional capacity and network
augmentation will allow for:
- Meeting the growing electricity needs of residential consumers and
the provision of bulk electricity supply to large industry and mines
in the region;
- Development of renewable energy projects; and
- Maintaining the overall stability and security of electricity supply in
|Are alternative forms of energy
considered in the sustainability
||The sustainability assessment was only used to select a suitable corridor for
a transmission line. It did not consider any other options for the supply of
power to Grange or to the Great Southern.
Grange has conducted its own studies on the provision of power to its mine
and has determined that a transmission line is the most economic option.
Regional generation has not been considered as part of the sustainability
assessment of the transmission line corridors. The possibility of an alternate
form of power generation, capable of providing for the Great Southern in
place of a new transmission line cannot influence which of the corridors are
selected using the sustainability assessment.
The potential for electricity generators connecting into the transmission line
once the transmission line has been constructed can however be used as
part of the selection criteria.
|Grange Resources Limited
Why should landowners suffer the
expense when a private company
like Grange will benefit from a new
transmission line when there is no
|Grange Resources is a customer of Western Power and has the same rights
to have a power connection as other businesses such as farms, wineries,
residents and the like. The legislation that Western Power operates under to
connect customers (Electricity Industry Act 2004) does not differentiate
between large or small customers in this regard.
Many landowners in the Great Southern and elsewhere have benefited from
this (and prior) legislation to have their farm houses connected to the
electricity network via power lines crossing neighbouring properties.
There are significant potential longer term benefits to the community in
having Grange's involvement in the project, as Grange will be required to
contribute a significant amount to the construction costs. Once the
transmission lines are constructed, they will belong to Western Power and
will provide us with opportunities to further upgrade the regional electrical
system in the Great Southern in the future, at a much lower cost (relatively
speaking) to general consumers and new customers wishing to connect to
What constraints were used in
selecting the proposed corridors?
What is the proposed separation of
existing housing to the transmission
Is the proposed separation related
to the perceived health effects of
the transmission line?
|A number of different factors and constraints must be taken into account
when selecting a transmission line corridor. These constraints have been
identified through discussion with local government authorities, communities
and in house technical experience over a number of years.
Prior to selecting the transmission line corridors, a number of constraints
were identified as being "no-go" areas. These were identified on social,
technical or environmental grounds and included: conservation estates,
areas with cultural or ethnographic value, airstrips, the Stirling Ranges and
the Porongorups. Other constraints to be avoided where possible were
features such as existing housing, structures and dams.
Western Power proposes to maintain a separation of 500 m from the
transmission line to existing housing, wherever possible. In some
circumstances this may not be achievable, however Western Power is
committed to resolving these issues on a case by case basis with each
The minimum safe distance from houses, based on electrical clearance, is 25
metres. However, for aesthetic reasons, we propose to allow 500 metres
separation in appreciation of the view that many people choose to live in the
country to enjoy wide open spaces.
|Lack of initial notification for
project information sessions
Why did it take so long for
landowners in the region to find out
about the project?
Why didn't Western Power use the
Synergy electricity accounts and
shire rate notices to contact
|During the criteria weighting workshops, some members of the community
were concerned that they had no prior knowledge of the project and previous
In March 2007, Western Power commenced its investigation into a new
transmission line from Kojonup to Albany and from Albany to Wellstead. As
part of this project, Western Power held information sessions in May 2007, to
provide some general information about the project and obtain expressions
of interest to nominate for the Corridor Selection Panel.
The information sessions were advertised using local news and radio media.
Landowners along the two existing transmission lines from Kojonup to
Albany were also invited to attend.
Once the Corridor Selection Panel had identified the transmission line
corridors options, the process of contacting the potentially affected
landowners began. Letters were sent to these landowners using the mailing
addresses on the property's Certificate of Title. Any letters that were
returned were then checked against the relevant Shire's ratepayer
information. Of the approximate 800 letters sent, 60 letters were returned.
It was perceived that Western Power had not done enough to inform the
community and could have used shire rate notices or Synergy Electricity
account details to contact those potentially affected within the region.
Since the desegregation of Western Power into four separate business
entities in April 2006, Western Power no longer sends out electricity bills or
newsletters. Privacy legislation also prevents us from having access to other
companies' databases. Another disadvantage with this option is that not
every property has a power connection and many electricity accounts are in
the name of tenants rather than property owners.
|Visual impacts on properties
||Western Power recognises that the visual impact of its infrastructure can be
a concern to local communities and other stakeholders.
Some section of the line may be visible to users of roads, from dwellings and
from recreational areas.
The corridor selection process and the next stage of line route selection are
committed to minimising visual impacts where possible. Things that can be
done include positioning transmission lines through gullies and along existing
fence lines and adjusting structure heights and span distances.
Visual impacts were also considered in the sustainability principles that were
assessed in the corridor selection process.
A Visual Impact Assessment (VIA) will be undertaken for this project. The
assessment will examine local character, natural areas, heritage areas and
Information from the VIA feeds into the environmental approvals process. It
can include recommendations on structure placement, structure heights and
local screening methods.
|Why can't the line be placed
within the State Forest/Nature
reserve, instead of private land?
||One of the great challenges faced by Western Power is balancing the various
competing needs of different stakeholder groups. Wherever the line is
located, someone will be impacted. As such, Western Power carefully
considers and balances social, economic, technical and environmental
considerations in making decisions.
Understandably, some landowners have expressed a preference for the line
to be located on Crown Land or in a Nature Reserve rather than on their
properties. They felt that this would provide a more direct route for the
transmission line, which would in turn be cheaper.
Some of the key issues associated with travelling in a straight line, or through
nature reserves include:
- Associated environmental impacts including advice from the
Department of Environment and Conservation that a transmission
line is not a compatible use for a nature reserve; and
- Any attempt by Western Power to run a transmission line through
reserves that protect remnant native vegetation is likely to attract
a higher level of environmental assessment. This would set back
the project schedule by approximately 2 years, with no
guarantees of approvals at the end of the process. If the project
is not completed by Summer 2011 there is a high probability that
serious power outages will occur throughout the region.
If GPS interference is experienced
as a result of the transmission line,
what will Western Power do to over
|Western Power has engaged a consultant to investigate the potential for
interference from transmission lines and the effect on GPS systems. Current
information would suggest that the transmission line is generally unlikely to
cause interference to GPS. However, Western Power will continue to
investigate the potential impact and explore ways to overcome any problems
that are identified.
In order to assist with our research, Western Power is encouraging any
landowner who may already have an existing line on their property and has
experienced GPS interference to contact us. Please provide the details of the
interference experienced and the make and model of the GPS system.
|Aerial spraying and transmission
Aerial spraying is common practice
in the farming community. What will
Western Power do to ensure the
safe and efficient operation of
farming practices such as this?
|Western Power will work with landowners affected by the preferred corridor
to determine a line route that has, as much as reasonably possible, minimal
impact upon farming activities and operations. The line structures (towers),
for example, could be located along fence lines, or a suitable distance into
paddocks to minimise the impact of access requirements for machinery,
particularly for wide machinery such as boom sprays. Further considerations
may include adjusting the height of the towers and varying span distance
between towers to better suit particular farming operations.
With regard to aerial spraying, Western Power does not place limitations or
provide any further guidelines to the normal safety regulations as required for
standard aerial spraying practices. Safety is the responsibility of the pilot.
|Construction and maintenance
access to the line
What construction and
maintenance access requirements
will Western Power have?
Will Western Power inform local
landowners when access is
Some landowners were concerned
about construction and
maintenance workers accessing the
line through their properties without
consent and potentially threatening
Quality Assurance and
System (EMS) accreditation.
|Western Power is committed to improving the way we liaise with
communities, including farmers.
Western Power will work with individual landowners to ensure that our
construction and maintenance works do not affect the quality assurance and
EMS status of properties.
We will endeavour to ensure that landowners are notified prior to us
accessing the property for construction and then future maintenance
Western Power encourages long term, cooperative management strategies
such as staff awareness training, vehicle equipment hygiene and vehicle and
plant washdowns. We encourage you to contact us with any specific queries
Western Power will also discuss noxious and declared weeds with
landowners and the Department of Agriculture and Food to ensure
brushdown/washdown facilities and signage is set up where applicable.
The Department of Agriculture and Food and AWB International can organise
farm biosecurity warning signage for landowners that can be used to help
with long-term management. These signs are placed on gates and direct
anyone who needs to gain access to first call the landowner who can then
advise them of the specific entry conditions.
A project specific Environmental Management Plan will be developed to
manage these issues. In addition, Western Power is currently drafting a
procedure to address biosecurity issues during maintenance and
construction at an organisational level.
Movements and compliance of contractors will be closely monitored by
Western Power during construction.
Although access roads are used on a regular basis during the construction of
the line, once the line is operating there are minimal maintenance
requirements, particularly because it is constructed from steel. Generally
inspections are carried out annually and are done via helicopters.
Any damage that occurs to land during the construction of the line will be
restored once construction has been completed. This will either be organised
by Western Power, or Western Power will pay the landowner to restore the
land. This will be discussed with property owners at a suitable time.
There is currently legislation before Parliament in regards to biosecurity and
Western Power will comply with this legislation once adopted.
How will Western Power combat
potential soil erosion issues?
|Western Power will use various methods to avoid contributing to soil erosion
in the area, including:
- Clearing to be minimised in erosion-prone areas where possible;
- Breakaway ridges will be avoided where possible;
- Clearing methods that keep vegetation rootstock in place may be
- Water run off contours will be installed across sloping ground if
problems arise around access tracks;
Any eroded areas will be restored at completion of construction and will be
monitored in accordance with the Environmental Management Plan that will
form a part of the construction contract.
|Will there be opportunities for
||Western Power will encourage contractors to seek local employment where
this is possible.
The construction of transmission lines is a specialist field and there are only
limited companies within Australia who have accreditation to do so. As such,
local employment will generally be for supply of materials.
The construction of this line will also enable growth in the Great Southern
region and, in turn, create more job opportunities for locals.
|What will the transmission line
||The most efficient and economic design for the transmission line is lattice
steel structures. That is what Western Power is proposing to install for this
project. Structures are generally about 50 metres high and have span
distances of 400 - 500 metres.
|Privatisation of Western Power
Who is Western Power and are
there any plans to privatise the
Could some flexibility in
compensation arrangements be
written into easement documents
so that if Western Power was
privatised in the future,
compensation arrangements may
change to reflect a change in
|In April 2006, following a decision by Parliament, the `old' Western Power
separated into four completely separate energy businesses:
- Western Power - responsible for the transmission and distribution
powerline network within the South West Interconnected System
- Verve Energy - a generation business that produces electricity at its
- Synergy - an energy retailer that sends electricity accounts,
organises connections and helps SWIS customers manage their
electricity requirements; and
- Horizon Power - is responsible for all aspects of generating,
transporting and retailing electricity to customers in the Kimberley,
Pilbara and parts of the Mid West and Goldfields (outside the
Western Power is owned by the Western Australian Government and is
required to operate in accordance with legislation enacted by the Parliament.
The Government's stated position is that they have no plans to sell or
privatise Western Power.
Any change to Western Power's ownership status will have to be legislated
and this legislation will deal with existing assets, such as transmission lines
and associated easements. Western Power has not in the past and would
not introduce a new clause into the easement agreements.
|If the Grange line comes north of
the Stirling's, and Western power
chooses to return extra capacity to
Albany via a transmission line from
Grange back to Albany, is it
possible or indeed preferable to use
a single pole transmission line as
against a tower?
Is this just a cost based decision,
and if so what are the cost
implications of the two choices?
|The option to use towers on any line project is predominantly cost based.
We estimate that the cost of installing poles is 1.3 - 1.5 times more
expensive than installing towers. The use of towers does offer some
advantages over poles in that: the towers can be spaced further apart,
meaning there are less of them on landowner's properties, and towers can
be constructed taller allowing us to span over some vegetation avoiding the
need to clear it.
|Assuming the current transmission
line to the east of Albany Highway
is upgraded to the same capacity
as the present line to the west of
the highway, and the return line
from Grange is a single pole
transmission line, how long would
this provide Albany's power needs
into the future?
||Using the most recent load forecast for the Albany region, upgrading the
eastern line with a single circuit line along with the required associated
infrastructure would provide for the regions power needs for approximately
20 years. If both of the lines in question were rebuilt and constructed as
double circuit lines (and assuming the load forecast does not change) then
this would provide for the regions power needs for at least 50 years.
|Where the transmission lines go
through timber plantations, what is
the nature of the compensation?
Are there complications with
respect to the tax implications of
managed investment schemes,
which are the basis of many of the
plantations in the great southern?
|Timber plantations are treated as a crop and compensation is assessed
based on the loss of plantation resource. Components of compensation
include discounted revenue, discounted costs and the net present value of
the resource to be cleared, less the revenue achieved from the sale of any
product that is cleared for the construction of the transmission line.
Compensation payments as a result of vegetation clearing for a powerline, is
treated as income and must be included in annual income summaries.
The income tax treatment will follow the stadard practices for assessing tax,
however how the tax payable is assessed will depend on the type of
plantation investment that is selected.
- Ownership Investment:
- Owner receives payment, which is treated as income in the
tax year received or incorporated in standard farm income
- Past costs that were claimd as deductions stand
- Future costs Expected cannot be claimed.
- Leasehold Investment - Where persons have invested in a
Managed investment Scheme (MIS) or prospectus, the following will
- Investors are allocated woodlots, as defined in the specific
MIS document, which typically range from 0.33 to 5
ectares in size;
- The MIS Company will be the party who initially receives
- MIS companies normally pool harvesting revenue across
the entire operational area and when revenue distributions
are made, it is dopne equitably, even though propductivity
varies from woodlot to woodlot. There is no record of
wood harvesting from any particular woodlot;
- MIS may in some circumstances at the time of plantation,
establishment, underallocate woodlots on properties thus
allowing for reallocation of investor woodlots for causes
such as fire losses, vehetation clearing, other damages or
- If an MIS company cannot reallocate investor woodlots,
then there is potential that the lease is cancelled or
reduced in size and the investor should be compensated
via the MIS Company. This would mean that the specific
investor would ultimately receive the income, minus
expenses (usually defined in the MIS document). All tax
deduction claims would stand but revenue received would
be treated as income in the year received.
The application of the above information will vary depending on the type of
investment and specific circumstances. Landowners, plantation owners and
investors should seek further advise from specialist accountants or the
Australian Taxation office.
|If landholders fully intended to grow
plantation timbers in a particular
paddock that is to be in the path of
the transmission lines, but have not
as yet planted, do they have access
to compensation for loss of
||Assessments for compensation are not carried out by Western Power, but by
Licensed Valuers. Western Power would usually engage the Valuer
General's Office to carry out this work.
A standard principle of valuation is to assess compensation based upon the
highest and best use of the land. If the highest and best use is to grow
plantation timber then that would be adopted by the valuer and compensation
|Is compensation paid as a one off
or as an annual payment in
recognition of loss of earnings?
||Under present legislation compensation is a one off payment, and is
assessed on the market value of the land, recognising items such as:
- The effect of restrictions imposed by the easement on the use of
the land, such as the impact on farming activities;
- The area of land rendered unproductive by structures and any
- Loss of rent. For example, where a landowner has an agreement
with a tree plantation company;
- Loss of future potential, such as tree plantations;
- Impact on subdivisional potential where this can be shown to be
real, not speculative; and
- An allowance for future extra farm management costs.
|Who would need to authorise a
transmission line through a National
Park and what is the likelihood of
getting approval in this regard
||Any proposal likely to have a significant environmental impact requires
approval from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The EPA would
assess (with advice from the Department of Environment and Conservation
and the Conservation Commission) the proposal, with the Minister for
Environment having the ultimate authority to grant approval. Western Power
has received advice from both the district and regional DEC offices that they
would object to such a proposal unless all other options were exhausted.
If Western Power were to refer a project to the EPA that traversed a national
park, the project would most likely be formally assessed. This can potentially
take at least two-years not including time allocated for appeals. The
assessment may find that the environmental impact of traversing a national
park is unacceptable and the project may not receive approval. It would not
be in the State's interests to pursue a route through a National Park, as WP
needs to have a viable line route in time to meet the predicted increases in
the Great Southern's power requirements by 2011-12.