Latest Project News

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Check this news page regularly to find project updates, including upcoming new fact sheets, engagement activities and opportunities.

Check this news page regularly to find project updates, including upcoming new fact sheets, engagement activities and opportunities.

  • Webinar recordings are live on the website

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    Thank you to everyone who attended a WVTNP webinar in September.

    If you were unable to attend any of the sessions, or would like to re-watch a webinar, the recordings of the webinars are now available online.

    We received numerous questions during the webinars. While we were able to ask the questions that related to the existing condition reports, unfortunately questions relating to impacts could not be answered at this time. We will share this information with you as it becomes available.

    Questions that were not asked in the webinar will be used to update our frequently asked questions on the website.

    Please follow this link to view the webinar recordings: https://www.westvictnp.com.au/get-involved

    One-on-one meetings with technical specialists

    Next week, we invite you to chat to the technical specialists one-on-one. There are still a number of spots available.

    Specialists are available for a range of different topics including:

    • Agriculture
    • Landscape and visual
    • Biodiversity
    • Bushfire
    • Electric and magnetic fields (EMF)
    • Compensation and valuation
    • Environmental approvals

    Bookings are essential

    Time slots are limited to 30-minutes each to ensure that everyone gets the chance to ask their questions. We ask that you respect the time allotted to you and move on at the end of your session.

    To book please follow this link: https://www.westvictnp.com.au/get-involved/news_feed/book-a-specialist-meeting

    After you have booked into a time slot, a Microsoft Teams link will be sent to you via email. Please get in contact with the project team if you require alternative arrangements for these sessions.

    Please call us on 1300 360 795 or email info@westvictnp.com.au

  • One-on-one meetings with specialists

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    Come and talk to the technical specialists conducting investigations into the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project (WVTNP).

    In October 2021, we invite you to chat to the technical specialists one-on-one. Sessions will be online in accordance with current COVID-19 restrictions.

    Specialists will be available for a range of different topics including:

    • Agriculture
    • Biodiversity
    • Bushfire
    • Electric and magnetic fields (EMF)
    • Compensation and valuation
    • Environmental approvals
    • Landscape and visual

    Bookings are essential.

    Time slots are limited to 30-minutes each to ensure that everyone gets the chance to ask their questions. We ask that you respect the time allotted to you and move on at the end of your session.

    To book please go to https://www.westvictnp.com.au/get-involved/news_feed/book-a-specialist-meeting

    After you have booked into a time slot, a Microsoft Teams link will be sent to you via email. Please get in contact with the project team if you require alternative arrangements.

    Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about the project, or the upcoming community engagement sessions or webinars.

    Please call us on 1300 360 795 or email info@westvictnp.com.au.

  • Webinars with technical specialists

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    In late September our technical specialists will be holding a series of webinars on a range of important topics. Webinars provide a COVID-safe way for community members to get the information they need.

    We encourage you to join us and learn more about the existing conditions across the Western Victorian Transmission Network Project area of interest. The existing conditions will inform the impact assessment reports for the Environment Effects Statement (EES).

    We have listened to your valuable feedback, and we know the landholders within the proposed transmission corridor want more details about easement compensation and valuation. We have also included a webinar on this topic.

    There will be an opportunity at the end of each presentation to ask questions.

    The dates and times for the webinars are below.

    DATE TIME SPECIALIST TOPIC
    Tuesday 21st September 7:30pm-8:30pm Biodiversity
    Wednesday 22nd September 7:30pm-8:30pm Compensation and valuation
    Thursday 23rd September 7:30pm-8:30pm Electric and magnetic fields
    Tuesday 28th September 7:30pm-8:30pm Bushfire
    Wednesday 29th September 7:30pm-8:30pm Agriculture
    Thursday 30th September 7:30pm-8:30pm

    Landscape and visual amenity


    Please follow this link to register: https://www.westvictnp.com.au/get-involved/survey_tools/register-for-technical-specialist-webinar


    Single corridor webinars

    Please join us live on Thursday 16 September to find out about how the single corridor was selected and to ask any questions you might have on the process itself.

    To provide more flexibility and opportunities for you to attend, one session will be at 11.00 am, the other at 7.00 pm.

    Please follow this link to register: www.westvictnp.com.au/get-involved/survey_tools/register-to-join-a-webinar


    Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about the project, or the upcoming online sessions by calling 1300 360 795 or emailing info@westvictnp.com.au.

  • Field surveys across the proposed WVTNP transmission corridor

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    Since we announced the single corridor for the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project (WVTNP) in late June, the project team has continued communicating and engaging with landholders as well as conducting vital field surveys for the Environment Effect Statement (EES). These studies will help determine the proposed final route for the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project.

    The much-needed project, that will carry renewable solar and wind energy to the national electricity grid, is subject to an EES, the most rigorous environmental impact assessment process in Victoria. The project is also subject to Commonwealth approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

    As with any major project, these field surveys include biodiversity, noise, electric and magnetic fields (EMF), Aboriginal cultural heritage, historic heritage, geology, soil contamination, surface water and groundwater, geotechnical, visual amenity and land use. We are focusing our investigations in those areas where desktop assessments, feedback from landowners and the community have identified a need for further assessment.

    The findings of the surveys will inform the selection of the proposed final route and provide an important opportunity to identify, avoid or mitigate potential impacts once the environmental considerations in the corridor are understood in detail.

    We have discussed land access consent and protocols with landowners to minimise interruption to their property, farming operations and livestock. Our staff and contractors follow individual landholders’ preferred biosecurity arrangements and standard procedures such as closing gates, avoiding disturbance to livestock, and driving on existing laneways and tracks.

    Our staff and contractors also adhere to Victorian Occupational, Health and Safety regulations, and will continue to comply with the directions issued by the Chief Health Officer of Victoria relating to Covid-19. We have a COVIDSafe Plan in place that will be followed at all times.


    Working with landholders

    We thank landholders for their cooperation allowing access to their land which has yielded valuable scientific information. We remain committed to working with landholders to determine appropriate access arrangements and establish when, where and how we enter their land. Nobody knows the land like they do. When negotiating voluntary land access consent, we work closely with each landholder individually to identify how we can minimise interruption to their property, farming operations and livestock.

    We are currently undertaking field studies on both public and private land. Most of the surveys will take place during daylight hours and involve environmental specialists walking over land or viewing the land from vehicles on adjacent public roadways. There are some investigations that need to take place at night such as identifying nocturnal species such as owls and bats and measuring background noise levels.


    Here’s a few of the surveys that are underway or planned

    Biodiversity – native vegetation quality assessments, threatened flora and fauna surveys, remote camera surveys for fauna and spotlighting for nocturnal fauna. The use of unmanned remote cameras for wildlife surveys is standard practice. The cameras will not be directed towards houses.

    Noise – measurement of day time and night time noise with handheld or tripod monitoring units that may be left in a location to determine noise levels over a period.

    Aboriginal cultural heritage - on foot observations and in some instances there may be some ground disturbance involving shovels, hand augers and hand sieves. Any ground disturbance will be backfilled upon completion and not left open overnight.

    Historic heritage – on foot observations, photographing artefacts (building components, household materials) and recording their positions via a GPS receiver. Aerial drones may be used in some instances for short and limited periods of time. The drones are registered with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and flown by an accredited operator.

    Landscape and visual amenity – visual assessment of landscape and photographs and videos taken for records and the creation of photomontages and other visualisations.

    Geology and geomorphology (study of landforms) – visual assessment of landforms and photographs taken for records.

    Contaminated land – shallow soil sampling from 0.5 to 1m below ground level to collect samples using a hand auger. The borehole is roughly the size of a posthole and will be backfilled upon completion and not left open overnight.

    General surveying – wooden stakes in ground in locations where geotechnical samples are required.

    Geotechnical investigations - these will take place in two stages.

    Stage 1 (September – October 2021)
    Soil samples taken via boreholes to investigate the soil composition and geologic conditions. A maximum of three vehicles (light vehicles such as cars and utes with augers and medium vehicles with augers on back) may be required at one location.

    Stage 2 (early 2022)
    Soil samples taken via boreholes and test pits. An excavator is required to dig a test pit.

    All boreholes and test pits will be backfilled upon completion and re-seeded, or re-instated as per the landholder’s requirement. Each borehole will require a maximum of two days on site and will be approximately 20cm in diameter. Test pits will be approximately 1m x 1m.

    If you are a landholder within the proposed transmission corridor, and have any questions about these surveys, please contact your dedicated Land Liaison Officer on the number you have previously been provided.

    For general information about the project please contact us by calling 1300 360 795 or emailing info@westvictnp.com.au. To register for regular updates and information about the project, please visit www.westvictnp.com.au.

  • Upcoming WVTNP webinars

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    The Western Victoria Transmission Network Project will be hosting webinars for the community where environmental and technical specialists will present their findings to date and answer any questions.

    All webinars will be recorded and be available on the project website.


    Single corridor webinars

    Please join us live on Thursday 16 September to find out about how the single corridor was selected and to ask any questions you might have on the process itself.

    One session will be at 11am, the other at 7pm.

    Please follow this link to register: https://www.westvictnp.com.au/get-involved/survey_tools/register-to-join-a-webinar

    Presentations from technical specialists

    In late September the technical specialists will be holding webinars on the following topics:

    • Agriculture
    • Landscape and visual
    • Biodiversity
    • Bushfire
    • Electric and magnetic fields (EMF)
    • Compensation and valuation

    Registration for these events will be made available shortly. This will be advertised in an e-update.

    Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about the project, or the upcoming online sessions. Please call us on 1300 360 795 or email info@westvictnp.com.au.


  • Working together to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage in western Victoria

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    AusNet Services acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands on which the proposed Western Victoria Transmission Network Project will operate, and pays respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.

    An important part of the technical investigations currently underway for the Environment Effects Statement is the identification of any Aboriginal cultural heritage present within the project area.

    We are working closely with the Registered Aboriginal Parties across the project area to prepare Cultural Heritage Management Plans (CHMPs). The CHMPs outline the measures to be taken before, during and after the construction of the proposed WVTNP to manage and protect Aboriginal cultural heritage.

    Notifying landowners underway

    Under section 54 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006, we are required to notify landowners who own property within the project area that a CHMP is being prepared. AusNet is in the process of formally notifying and liaising with these landowners and answer any questions about the CHMP process or the project in general.

    Preliminary desktop investigations will be undertaken to identify locations within the project area where field studies may be required. These field studies may include a ground survey and/or subsurface excavations. We will again contact landholders in advance of any proposed field work to discuss the agreed protocols for accessing their property.

    We continue to comply with the directions issued by the Chief Health Officer of Victoria relating to Covid-19 and we will assess the restrictions in place at the time any field work is proposed before proceeding.


    Traditional Owners connection to Country

    We encourage you to learn more about the Traditional Owners and their long and deep connection to Country by visiting the websites of the Registered Aboriginal Parties across the project area.

    If you would like further information, please contact us, call 1300 360 795 or email info@westvictnp.com.au. To register for regular updates and information about the project, please visit www.westvictnp.com.au.

  • Important environmental studies are continuing

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    We’ve reached an important step in identifying our preferred single corridor for the proposed Western Victoria Transmission Network Project, but there’s still a lot more work to do before a final route is determined.

    The project is subject to an Environment Effects Statement (EES), the most rigorous environmental impact assessment process in Victoria. The EES is still in its early stages of preparation.

    The EES process provides an integrated and thorough investigation of potential environmental impacts and provides the community with an opportunity to review and provide feedback as the project design develops.

    The Planning Minister’s assessment of the EES gives decision-makers (such as other Ministers and statutory authorities) the information they need to determine whether approvals should be granted and what conditions should apply.

    What’s happening now

    To prepare the EES, we’re undertaking environmental investigations to understand potential impacts from the project and identify how they can be avoided, minimised or managed, including through the route selection.

    This includes technical investigations into a range of factors including visual impacts, farming practices and land use. We are also considering undergrounding in accordance with the EES scoping requirements, including full undergrounding and partial undergrounding.

    To ensure we fully understand the existing conditions and environmental sensitivities of the land for the EES, we need to access properties within the corridor to conduct surveys and understand how properties are used so we can try to avoid and mitigate impacts as much as possible. These studies include ecology, historical and Aboriginal cultural heritage, geotechnical, land use, and visual and landscape amenity.

    Our land liaison team have been contacting landholders over the past month to discuss this process and to mitigate the interruption of these surveys to their property, lifestyle, farming operations and livestock.

    Opportunities for input

    There will be many opportunities for landowners and the community to provide further input as the EES process progresses.

    We’re holding community engagement sessions soon with technical experts and WVTNP team members, and these sessions are being widely advertised. To ensure that we can run the sessions efficiently, safely meet COVID requirements, and give everyone an opportunity to meet with the team, we have an online booking system.

    Planning, design, assessment and decisions about approvals for this project will continue until approximately mid-2023.

    More information

    If you have any questions about the EES process or the project generally, please contact our dedicated team by emailing info@westvictnp.com.au or calling 1300 360 795.

  • AusNet Services announces the proposed single overhead corridor

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    In February, following many months of community consultation and land investigations, we refined the area of interest for the proposed overhead transmission line in western Victoria down to multiple corridor options.

    We have spent the past months looking closely at several important considerations, such as the location of residences and how landholders use their property, the location of conservation reserves, the habitat of significant flora and fauna, Aboriginal cultural heritage, historic heritage, and land use planning. We are today releasing details for the proposed single overhead corridor.

    We have also heard extensively from the local community, landowners, landholders and other stakeholders on what matters to them. All feedback has been carefully considered by our project team.

    The purpose of determining the proposed single overhead corridor is to focus on a smaller, more practical area to undertake intense field investigations for the Environment Effects Statement (EES).

    For further information about the corridor, including a detailed map, click here. All fact sheets, including the transmission corridor fact sheet, are available on the right of this page.

    Further engagement opportunities

    As we progress the design and planning of this proposed project, there will be many opportunities for landowners and the community to provide further input as the EES process continues.

    For those whose properties are no longer within the single corridor, we thank you for your participation in the process to date.

    For those whose properties are located within the single corridor, we absolutely understand that you may have some concerns, and ongoing consultation with you continues to be our priority.

    Every reasonable effort is being made to reach people who live or own property or businesses within the proposed corridor. All landowners and landholders within the proposed single overhead corridor will be contacted shortly by an AusNet Services representative to discuss the next steps.

    Aerial and on ground surveys to commence

    As part of our continued investigations, we need to capture high resolution elevation and geographic data to inform the project’s cultural heritage management plans and rigorous Environment Effects Statement studies.

    To do this we will be undertaking flyover surveys next week between Monday 5 July and Friday 9 July, to capture light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data and aerial imagery.

    Field staff will be on the ground collecting control points from today onwards. This will not require accessing any private property. The control points are points on the ground or permanent structures whose horizontal and vertical location is known. To ensure accuracy, the control points are used to match data capture from the helicopter with their exact location on the ground.

    The surveys will then be undertaken via helicopter over four days between Monday 5 and Friday 9 July (weather dependent).

    We understand that helicopters may cause disturbance, however they are the most efficient and safest way to undertake these aerial surveys. Our goal is to provide early notification, so you have time to make arrangements if required.

    If you would like further information, please contact us, call 1300 360 795 or email info@westvictnp.com.au. To register for regular updates and information about the project, please visit www.westvictnp.com.au.

  • AusNet releases two more fact sheets focused on land access and key approvals

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    The Western Victoria Transmission Network Project (WVTNP) is progressing.

    We are today releasing the Environmental assessment and key project approvals fact sheet and the Land access for environmental and engineering studies fact sheet.

    The Environmental assessment and key project approvals fact sheet outlines:

    • Environment Effects Statement (EES) process, purpose and engagement phases.
    • Key project approvals required.

    Click on this link to read the Environmental assessment and key project approvals fact sheet: https://www.westvictnp.com.au/62122/widgets/312640/documents/207514

    The Land access for environmental and engineering studies fact sheet outlines:

    • Why we need access to people’s properties.
    • The type of scientific and engineering studies that may be completed.
    • The process for discussing access and agreeing on conditions landowners may have for people accessing their land (e.g. biosecurity).

    Click on this link to read the Land access for environmental and engineering studies fact sheet: https://www.westvictnp.com.au/62122/widgets/312640/documents/207515

    If you would like further information, please contact us, call 1300 360 795 or email info@westvictnp.com.au. To register for regular updates and information about the project, please visit www.westvictnp.com.au.

  • Living and working with the WVTNP summary guidelines

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    Thank you for your continued interest in the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project (WVTNP).

    More than 600 people attended the ten community drop-in sessions to ask questions and provide valuable information about their property and the area of interest. Restrictions on use of land within easements has to-date been one of the primary concerns raised by community members, landowners and farmers in the region.

    In response, we are today releasing the Living and working with the WVTNP summary guidelines.

    The summary guidelines outline:

    • Status of the project.
    • What is an easement.
    • Overhead 500kV transmission line easements and the activities permitted and not permitted, including farming.
    • Overhead 220kV transmission line easements and the activities permitted and not permitted, including farming.
    • Activities that will, and will not, be permitted if any section of the line is underground.
    • How and when maintenance activities will be carried out.
    • Information about access tracks.
    • Information on other land uses.
    • Safety guidelines and resources.
    • Safety assessments on existing AusNet Services easements, including the process for requesting assessments.

    The summary guidelines answer some of the key questions around what proposed activities and development within WVTNP easements are permitted, may require AusNet Services permission, or are prohibited.

    Click on this link to read the summary guidelines: https://www.westvictnp.com.au/62122/widgets/312640/documents/207107

    We encourage you to be involved in the process and register for e-updates via our website www.westvictnp.com.au or contact us by phone 1300 360 795 or email info@westvictnp.com.au.


Page last updated: 01 October 2021, 13:02