August 30th, 2022Kyle’s Rant
FIRST we had AusNet. Proposed high voltage transmission lines across Hepburn and Moorabool shires – with a terminal station at Blampied.
Now we also have the proposed Victoria-New South Wales Interconnector (VNI) West project, a high capacity 500 kilovolt double-circuit overhead transmission line – with a terminal station at Mt Prospect.
At this rate the region will become a criss-cross of overhead wires linked by massive metallic towers, ending in buzzing terminal stations. What a great look for locals and visitors to enjoy. Farewell pristine vistas and valuable farming land, and hello giant webs of wire.
Why are the federal and state governments allowing this? Because it’s cheaper to run wires overhead than think about the future, spend a bit more and go underground.
How do they sell it? They say it’s all about renewable energy. So, if you complain about these ugly lines running through pristine vistas, you’re against renewables. Don’t you care about our future, or the future of your children and your children’s children? How very selfish.
Oh, you do care about renewables! That just makes you a NIMBY. You want to save the planet but not if it’s in your backyard. How very selfish.
It’s a hard one to fight. The governments are well funded with taxpayer dollars and also very good at holding information sessions to make people think they have been listened to and had their say. Good at dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.
(Ed’s note – fellow editors please do not write in and tell me those two apostrophes don’t belong there. I know, just looks odd otherwise.)
But I think we have to fight. Decisions like these cannot just be about dollars. There must be another value on people and livelihoods and vistas.
How much value do you place on a farmer, working land bought with their hard-earned money, selling fresh produce to their community and raising their family?
How much do value you place on a visitor to the region, driving through pristine countryside, breathing deeply, relaxing, before returning to the business of Melbourne?
How much value do you place on the many small communities coming together to celebrate births and weddings, to mourn deaths, to dance and chat, to play sport?
And how much value do you place on the environment, on native habitat which is already under threat by the continuing urban creep into the regions?
Governments must place value on these things and that value is greater than the dollar savings of building lines overhead rather than underground. To do otherwise is short-sighted and, quite frankly, devaluing lives.
Governments are only elected to carry out the wishes of the people. And it is clear the people of the region do not want these lines or terminal stations. If you are in doubt just head towards Newlyn and look to the left to read Piss Off AusNet on the hill. Nothing subtle about that sentiment.
I think the really selfish move here is by the governments and shareholders of these massive energy companies to try and railroad regional communities and people into something by calling it for the greater good.
It is not good. It is bad and ugly and damaging to lives and livelihoods. Piss off AusNet and VNI. And the federal and state governments who allow this to happen. Spend some of your huge profits and your taxpayer money and put these lines underground. Respect our region and value our lives.
Ugly transmission wires rant over!