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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).



What is the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project?

The Western Victoria Transmission Network Project is a new 190km overhead high-voltage electricity transmission line that will carry renewable energy from Bulgana in Western Victoria to Sydenham in Melbourne’s north-west.

It will create at least 300 jobs in construction and provide significant economic benefits to regional communities. We will use local goods and services, including accommodation providers, cafes and restaurants, throughout construction.

In this next phase of the project AusNet Services will be considering and assessing the further potential benefits for communities along the corridor, including the development of a community benefits fund.

The project includes:

  • A 220kV double circuit overhead line from Bulgana to a new terminal station north of Ballarat.
  • A 500kV double circuit overhead line from the new terminal station north of Ballarat to a new terminal station at North Sydenham.
  • Network upgrades to support the new assets.

The terminal station at North Sydenham will be adjacent to the existing terminal station and on land already owned by AusNet.


Top of page

Why is this infrastructure needed?

Victoria’s existing transmission network does not have the capacity to transport the renewable energy being generated in Western Victoria to the rest of the state.

Our energy network was originally built to carry energy generated from brown coal in the Latrobe Valley to the rest of the state. As we move from coal-generated electricity to sustainable green power, this critical upgrade of our transmission network will help to keep the lights on and power prices down.

Western Victoria is emerging as an important renewable energy generation region and has been earmarked for its own Renewable Energy Zone.

However, the existing transmission network in Western Victoria is already at capacity. This means only limited power can be transported out of the region into the wider network and this impacts power prices.

Top of page

How did you identify the single corridor?

Following consideration of community feedback, along with early investigations, we narrowed down the area of interest to multiple corridors in February 2021. Extensive community consultation and technical investigation have continued since then. The least constrained corridor has now been identified based on:

  • Consultation with landholders and local communities.
  • Technical assessment by environmental specialists.
  • Cost to electricity consumers – infrastructure cost is paid for by the consumer.

As part of the corridor selection process, independent experts assessed the feasibility of using the Western Highway as a corridor for either underground or overhead. The highway passes through major towns including Melton, Bacchus Marsh, Ballan and Ballarat. West of Ballarat, the highway passes through Beaufort and Ararat.

Our aim is to identify a final route within the single corridor that best minimises impact and disruption to the community and the key agricultural industries currently operating in western Victoria.

For more information on the transmission corridor, please follow this link to the Transmission corridor fact sheet – June 2021.

Top of page

Why couldn’t the proposed route simply follow the Western Highway?

The transmission line cannot follow the Western Highway through several of these sections because there is not enough room in the existing easement for a transmission line, with only 10 to 30 metres available in large sections.

In other areas, the transmission line’s proximity to the highway would be a significant safety risk. In some sections, significant deviations would need to occur to avoid existing reservoir infrastructure, affecting adjacent properties and residences.

The highway would be subject to significant and lengthy lane closures, both during construction and when maintenance works are undertaken.

Top of page

Who is delivering the project?

The project is being delivered by AusNet Services through its commercial division Mondo. AusNet Services was appointed by AEMO to plan, consult on, design, construct, own, operate and maintain this new transmission line.

AEMO is responsible for operating Australia’s largest gas and electricity markets and power systems. These include the National Electricity Market and interconnected power system in Australia’s eastern and south-eastern seaboard and the Wholesale Electricity Market and power system in Western Australia.

AEMO also operates the Victorian Declared Wholesale Gas Market and the Victorian gas transmission system; the wholesale gas Short Term Trading Market hubs in Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane; the Wallumbilla Gas Supply Hub in Queensland; and the Moomba Gas Supply Hub in South Australia.

As Australia’s independent energy markets and power systems operator, AEMO provides critical planning, forecasting and modelling, and power systems security advice and services, helping to ensure Australians have access to affordable, secure and reliable energy. Further information is available at www.aemo.com.au.

Top of page

What is the timeline for the proposed WVTNP?

We are now in the initial stages of planning, design and approvals, in particular the Environment Effects Statement (EES). We anticipate this will continue through until around early-2023.

The WVTP requires both Victorian and Commonwealth Government approvals before construction can commence.

During this time there will be several opportunities for communities to have input into the process. The EES will be submitted in 2022 for formal public consultation and independent review. Construction timelines will be dependent on final approvals.

Top of page

What is an Environment Effects Statement (EES)?

The WVTNP is subject to an Environment Effects Statement (ESS), the most rigorous environmental impact assessment process in Victoria.

The EES process is administered by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) on behalf of Victoria’s Minister for Planning under the Environment Effects Act 1978.

The purpose of the EES is to ensure that major projects are designed, constructed and operated to minimise adverse environmental and community impacts.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) have convened an inter-agency Technical Reference Group (TRG) to advise the project on scoping and adequacy of the technical studies during the preparation of the EES.

The TRG includes representatives from a broad range of backgrounds and expertise:

  • DELWP Impact Assessment Unit
  • DELWP Environments (Grampians Region)
  • DELWP Regional Planning Services, Planning Group
  • DELWP Energy Group
  • Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
  • Department of Transport
  • Aboriginal Victoria
  • Heritage Victoria
  • EPA
  • Melbourne Water
  • Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority
  • North Central Catchment Management Authority
  • Wimmera Catchment Management Authority
  • Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority
  • Corangamite Catchment Management Authority
  • Parks Victoria
  • CFA
  • Energy Safe Victoria
  • Pyrenees Shire Council
  • Northern Grampians Shire Council
  • Moorabool Shire Council
  • Hepburn Shire Council
  • Melton City Council
  • Ballarat City Council
  • Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation
  • Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation
  • Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation

For more information on the EES process for the WVTNP, please follow this link to the Environmental assessment and key project approvals fact sheet – June 2021.

Top of page

Why don’t you underground the line instead?

The Victorian Minister for Planning has requested, under the EES scoping requirements, that we demonstrate consideration of feasible alternatives, including the rational for the preferred mode of construction - overhead or underground, including potential for partial underground construction - and other feasible alternatives raised through community and stakeholder feedback.

At this early stage of the EES investigations we do know that underground lines have a much larger construction footprint than overhead, can create greater ground disturbance and cost significantly more to build which leads to higher bills for Victorian electricity consumers, however there is a lot more work to be done through the EES.

Laying underground cables requires digging wide and deep trenches and directional drilling, as well as significant additional above-ground infrastructure. It also requires significant excavation and truck movements during construction compared to overhead lines.

This would result in significantly more land disturbance, resulting in a much greater environmental, cultural heritage and land use impact, along with resulting in higher costs and a much less flexible alignment.

For more information, please follow this link to the Living and Working with the WVTNP – summary guidelines June 2021. Note: the information within the fact sheet only relates to the WVTNP, and not existing infrastructure.

Top of page

Farmers, particularly potato farmers, say your transmission lines will destroy their business. How do you respond?

AusNet works closely with communities including farmers who already farm under the 6,500kms of existing transmission lines across Victoria, which includes irrigated horticulture and broad acre crops.

We have been listening closely to all the feedback and we are now in a position to provide much-needed certainty on this important issue.

We are pleased to be able to say there is no issue with farming operations continuing under the proposed overhead transmission line.

Our investigations show that based on our latest design assumptions, the equipment for potato farming will largely be able to be accommodated. At the next stage of corridor investigations, we will work with farmers within the single corridor to understand their specific operational farming concerns, and provide assistance, including discussing where adaptations or changes to their operations might be needed and compensated for.

Once the final proposed route is determined AusNet Services will be working very closely with every landowner to help them continue farming.

This includes designing any towers to located on properties to minimise impacts where possible, assisting farmers with obtaining special permits to operate certain machinery under the lines and compensating them for changes required to their farming operations, including equipment.

For more information, please follow this link to the Living and Working with the WVTNP – summary guidelines June 2021. Note: the information within the fact sheet only relates to the WVTNP, and not existing infrastructure.

For all other existing electricity transmission lines within Victoria, please refer to ‘A guide to living with transmission line easements’ available on the AusNet Services website here - www.ausnetservices.com.au/en/Safety/Working-Near-Lines

Please note that this guide applies to existing transmission line easements only.

Top of page

How can I get involved in the process, and how will my feedback be used?

We are listening to feedback from communities along the corridors. We understand the concerns of some landholders and local communities, and ongoing engagement continues to be our priority as the project develops.

So far this year, we’ve held ten community meetings attended by 670 people in total, established the Community Consultation Groups and held meetings with a range of businesses, landholders and organisations within communities.

Since the announcement of the project, we have received and processed about 4,000 individual pieces of feedback from across the area of interest.

As we investigate the single corridor to assess potential impacts and identify route options we want to hear from landowners as they have information that can help us identify the best route, with the least impact, within the corridor.

The EES provides a transparent investigation of potential environmental impacts and provides the community with an opportunity to review and provide feedback as the project develops.

As we continue to work through the EES process, we encourage you stay involved. If you have questions, please call 1300 360 795 or email info@westvictnp.com.au. To register for updates, please visit this link and record your details.

Top of page

Will there be compensation for landholders?

At this early stage of the project the final proposed route is not yet determined, and we are focused on investigating the single corridor to fully understand existing conditions and environmental sensitivities, and engaging with landowners in to best understand their current land use and activities.

During this next stage we will work with farmers to understand their specific operational farming concerns, and provide assistance, including discussing where adaptations or changes to their operations might be needed and compensated for.

Once the final route is identified later in the year, AusNet Services will contact every landholder within the potential final route, to discuss the requirements for an easement.

Landholders who have an easement on their property will be compensated in line under the Land Compensation and Acquisition Act 1986, which aims to ensure that they are no worse off financially.

This process involves the appointment of an independent valuer to ensure offers of compensation are fair and fully consider the impact of the easement.

If the easement impacts a landowner’s activities, for example, farmers’ use of agricultural equipment, we will work with landowners to identify alternative solutions, including micro-siting of towers, alternative practices, and potential equipment replacement via compensation.

For more information, please follow this link to the Living and Working with the WVTNP – summary guidelines June 2021. Note: the information within the fact sheet only relates to the WVTNP, and not existing infrastructure.

Top of page

What is an easement? 

AusNet Services owns and operates the majority of the electricity transmission system in Victoria. Our network of transmission towers and terminal stations support around 6,500 kilometres of conductors (the wires). The corridors of land on which this network is built are referred to as transmission line easements. 

An easement is a right to access, occupy and use part of the land owned by another person for a particular purpose. For example, the construction and operation of a transmission line. Easements are usually subject to any conditions negotiated between the grantor and grantee of the easement and are registered on the title to the land affected, creating a public record of the existence of the interest in the land. 

An easement is generally considered the best possible form of land tenure available to accommodate a transmission line and obtaining easements for the construction and operation of transmission lines is standard practice in Victoria.

Top of page

Are transmission lines dangerous in terms of bushfires – didn’t power lines play a role in Black Saturday?

Safety is our highest priority, and we can assure the community that this project is being planned and constructed to the latest safety and technical requirements.

Black Saturday was an unprecedented tragedy and one that none of us ever want to see happen again.

The Royal Commission into the Black Saturday bushfires made, among others, eight recommendations focused on reducing the risk of fires related to electricity distribution infrastructure including more inspections, better hazard management plans, improved training and infrastructure upgrades.

Across Victoria, over $1bn has been spent to implement the recommendations from the Royal Commission.

No bushfires were started on Black Saturday by high voltage transmission lines.

The project proposes to build high voltage transmission lines between Sydenham and Bulgana, to provide reliable, affordable power to Victoria, and unlock greater renewable energy investment in Western Victoria.

Top of page

The recent storms and damage in June to the network have highlighted issues associated with above-ground infrastructure. Why is the WVTNP any different and what assurances can you provide that this will not happen?

The recent storms have been unprecedented in their magnitude and impacts to many Victorian communities. Underground assets have also been impacted by falling trees, landslides and erosion.

High voltage transmission infrastructure is designed and constructed to Australian Standards and to comply with Energy Safe Victoria requirements.

The WVTNP will be designed, constructed and operated to adhere to those strict requirements and to mitigate against the recent conditions we have seen in Victoria.

Top of page

Will the WVTNP be upgraded to be 500KV for the full length?

As part of the Environment Effects Statement (EES), Ausnet Services is investigating the option to increase the amount of energy unlocked in Western Victoria, by changing the voltage of the 220kV section from Bulgana to a new terminal station north of Ballarat to 500kV end to end. It has been identified in the Renewable Energy Zone Development Plan Directions Paper and is being actively considered by the Victorian Government.

If this option is progressed for this project, the terminal station to be located to the north of Ballarat may not be required for this project.

Until a decision is made on the 500kV uprate option, we will continue to progress the current 500kV/220kV project configuration.

Further information on the Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) priorities can be found on the DELWP Energy website - www.energy.vic.gov.au/renewable-energy/renewable-energy-zones

The REZ Development Plan Directions Paper can be found here.



Top of page

What are the health implications for living near electricity transmission?

Electric and magnetic fields, commonly known as EMFs, are both naturally occurring and found wherever there is electricity. Natural occurrences include from lightning, solar activity, and the earth itself. All living organisms produce EMFs. Wherever electricity is flowing or there is an electrical force, EMFs are produced.

Leading health authorities worldwide, such as the World Health Organisation, have found no evidence that confirms the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields, the type emitted from transmission lines.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised that that:

  • “...current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequence from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields.”

In Australia, ARPANSA (Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) has advised that:

  • “The scientific evidence does not establish that exposure to the electric and magnetic fields found around the home, the office or near powerlines causes health effects.”
  • “There is no established evidence that the exposure to magnetic fields from powerlines, substations, transformers or other electrical sources, regardless of the proximity, causes any health effects.”

Top of page

Any other questions?

If you a landholder within the single corridor, your dedicated land liaison officer will be your main point of contact for all matters relating to your property. They will contact you to discuss access to your property, and to determine reasonable conditions of access that will minimise impact to you and your property where possible.

For interested community members, if you would like any further information about the project, please call 1300 360 795 or email info@westvictnp.com.au. To register for updates, visit westvictnp.com.au.

Top of page

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).



What is the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project?

The Western Victoria Transmission Network Project is a new 190km overhead high-voltage electricity transmission line that will carry renewable energy from Bulgana in Western Victoria to Sydenham in Melbourne’s north-west.

It will create at least 300 jobs in construction and provide significant economic benefits to regional communities. We will use local goods and services, including accommodation providers, cafes and restaurants, throughout construction.

In this next phase of the project AusNet Services will be considering and assessing the further potential benefits for communities along the corridor, including the development of a community benefits fund.

The project includes:

  • A 220kV double circuit overhead line from Bulgana to a new terminal station north of Ballarat.
  • A 500kV double circuit overhead line from the new terminal station north of Ballarat to a new terminal station at North Sydenham.
  • Network upgrades to support the new assets.

The terminal station at North Sydenham will be adjacent to the existing terminal station and on land already owned by AusNet.


Top of page

Why is this infrastructure needed?

Victoria’s existing transmission network does not have the capacity to transport the renewable energy being generated in Western Victoria to the rest of the state.

Our energy network was originally built to carry energy generated from brown coal in the Latrobe Valley to the rest of the state. As we move from coal-generated electricity to sustainable green power, this critical upgrade of our transmission network will help to keep the lights on and power prices down.

Western Victoria is emerging as an important renewable energy generation region and has been earmarked for its own Renewable Energy Zone.

However, the existing transmission network in Western Victoria is already at capacity. This means only limited power can be transported out of the region into the wider network and this impacts power prices.

Top of page

How did you identify the single corridor?

Following consideration of community feedback, along with early investigations, we narrowed down the area of interest to multiple corridors in February 2021. Extensive community consultation and technical investigation have continued since then. The least constrained corridor has now been identified based on:

  • Consultation with landholders and local communities.
  • Technical assessment by environmental specialists.
  • Cost to electricity consumers – infrastructure cost is paid for by the consumer.

As part of the corridor selection process, independent experts assessed the feasibility of using the Western Highway as a corridor for either underground or overhead. The highway passes through major towns including Melton, Bacchus Marsh, Ballan and Ballarat. West of Ballarat, the highway passes through Beaufort and Ararat.

Our aim is to identify a final route within the single corridor that best minimises impact and disruption to the community and the key agricultural industries currently operating in western Victoria.

For more information on the transmission corridor, please follow this link to the Transmission corridor fact sheet – June 2021.

Top of page

Why couldn’t the proposed route simply follow the Western Highway?

The transmission line cannot follow the Western Highway through several of these sections because there is not enough room in the existing easement for a transmission line, with only 10 to 30 metres available in large sections.

In other areas, the transmission line’s proximity to the highway would be a significant safety risk. In some sections, significant deviations would need to occur to avoid existing reservoir infrastructure, affecting adjacent properties and residences.

The highway would be subject to significant and lengthy lane closures, both during construction and when maintenance works are undertaken.

Top of page

Who is delivering the project?

The project is being delivered by AusNet Services through its commercial division Mondo. AusNet Services was appointed by AEMO to plan, consult on, design, construct, own, operate and maintain this new transmission line.

AEMO is responsible for operating Australia’s largest gas and electricity markets and power systems. These include the National Electricity Market and interconnected power system in Australia’s eastern and south-eastern seaboard and the Wholesale Electricity Market and power system in Western Australia.

AEMO also operates the Victorian Declared Wholesale Gas Market and the Victorian gas transmission system; the wholesale gas Short Term Trading Market hubs in Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane; the Wallumbilla Gas Supply Hub in Queensland; and the Moomba Gas Supply Hub in South Australia.

As Australia’s independent energy markets and power systems operator, AEMO provides critical planning, forecasting and modelling, and power systems security advice and services, helping to ensure Australians have access to affordable, secure and reliable energy. Further information is available at www.aemo.com.au.

Top of page

What is the timeline for the proposed WVTNP?

We are now in the initial stages of planning, design and approvals, in particular the Environment Effects Statement (EES). We anticipate this will continue through until around early-2023.

The WVTP requires both Victorian and Commonwealth Government approvals before construction can commence.

During this time there will be several opportunities for communities to have input into the process. The EES will be submitted in 2022 for formal public consultation and independent review. Construction timelines will be dependent on final approvals.

Top of page

What is an Environment Effects Statement (EES)?

The WVTNP is subject to an Environment Effects Statement (ESS), the most rigorous environmental impact assessment process in Victoria.

The EES process is administered by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) on behalf of Victoria’s Minister for Planning under the Environment Effects Act 1978.

The purpose of the EES is to ensure that major projects are designed, constructed and operated to minimise adverse environmental and community impacts.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) have convened an inter-agency Technical Reference Group (TRG) to advise the project on scoping and adequacy of the technical studies during the preparation of the EES.

The TRG includes representatives from a broad range of backgrounds and expertise:

  • DELWP Impact Assessment Unit
  • DELWP Environments (Grampians Region)
  • DELWP Regional Planning Services, Planning Group
  • DELWP Energy Group
  • Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
  • Department of Transport
  • Aboriginal Victoria
  • Heritage Victoria
  • EPA
  • Melbourne Water
  • Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority
  • North Central Catchment Management Authority
  • Wimmera Catchment Management Authority
  • Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority
  • Corangamite Catchment Management Authority
  • Parks Victoria
  • CFA
  • Energy Safe Victoria
  • Pyrenees Shire Council
  • Northern Grampians Shire Council
  • Moorabool Shire Council
  • Hepburn Shire Council
  • Melton City Council
  • Ballarat City Council
  • Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation
  • Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation
  • Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation

For more information on the EES process for the WVTNP, please follow this link to the Environmental assessment and key project approvals fact sheet – June 2021.

Top of page

Why don’t you underground the line instead?

The Victorian Minister for Planning has requested, under the EES scoping requirements, that we demonstrate consideration of feasible alternatives, including the rational for the preferred mode of construction - overhead or underground, including potential for partial underground construction - and other feasible alternatives raised through community and stakeholder feedback.

At this early stage of the EES investigations we do know that underground lines have a much larger construction footprint than overhead, can create greater ground disturbance and cost significantly more to build which leads to higher bills for Victorian electricity consumers, however there is a lot more work to be done through the EES.

Laying underground cables requires digging wide and deep trenches and directional drilling, as well as significant additional above-ground infrastructure. It also requires significant excavation and truck movements during construction compared to overhead lines.

This would result in significantly more land disturbance, resulting in a much greater environmental, cultural heritage and land use impact, along with resulting in higher costs and a much less flexible alignment.

For more information, please follow this link to the Living and Working with the WVTNP – summary guidelines June 2021. Note: the information within the fact sheet only relates to the WVTNP, and not existing infrastructure.

Top of page

Farmers, particularly potato farmers, say your transmission lines will destroy their business. How do you respond?

AusNet works closely with communities including farmers who already farm under the 6,500kms of existing transmission lines across Victoria, which includes irrigated horticulture and broad acre crops.

We have been listening closely to all the feedback and we are now in a position to provide much-needed certainty on this important issue.

We are pleased to be able to say there is no issue with farming operations continuing under the proposed overhead transmission line.

Our investigations show that based on our latest design assumptions, the equipment for potato farming will largely be able to be accommodated. At the next stage of corridor investigations, we will work with farmers within the single corridor to understand their specific operational farming concerns, and provide assistance, including discussing where adaptations or changes to their operations might be needed and compensated for.

Once the final proposed route is determined AusNet Services will be working very closely with every landowner to help them continue farming.

This includes designing any towers to located on properties to minimise impacts where possible, assisting farmers with obtaining special permits to operate certain machinery under the lines and compensating them for changes required to their farming operations, including equipment.

For more information, please follow this link to the Living and Working with the WVTNP – summary guidelines June 2021. Note: the information within the fact sheet only relates to the WVTNP, and not existing infrastructure.

For all other existing electricity transmission lines within Victoria, please refer to ‘A guide to living with transmission line easements’ available on the AusNet Services website here - www.ausnetservices.com.au/en/Safety/Working-Near-Lines

Please note that this guide applies to existing transmission line easements only.

Top of page

How can I get involved in the process, and how will my feedback be used?

We are listening to feedback from communities along the corridors. We understand the concerns of some landholders and local communities, and ongoing engagement continues to be our priority as the project develops.

So far this year, we’ve held ten community meetings attended by 670 people in total, established the Community Consultation Groups and held meetings with a range of businesses, landholders and organisations within communities.

Since the announcement of the project, we have received and processed about 4,000 individual pieces of feedback from across the area of interest.

As we investigate the single corridor to assess potential impacts and identify route options we want to hear from landowners as they have information that can help us identify the best route, with the least impact, within the corridor.

The EES provides a transparent investigation of potential environmental impacts and provides the community with an opportunity to review and provide feedback as the project develops.

As we continue to work through the EES process, we encourage you stay involved. If you have questions, please call 1300 360 795 or email info@westvictnp.com.au. To register for updates, please visit this link and record your details.

Top of page

Will there be compensation for landholders?

At this early stage of the project the final proposed route is not yet determined, and we are focused on investigating the single corridor to fully understand existing conditions and environmental sensitivities, and engaging with landowners in to best understand their current land use and activities.

During this next stage we will work with farmers to understand their specific operational farming concerns, and provide assistance, including discussing where adaptations or changes to their operations might be needed and compensated for.

Once the final route is identified later in the year, AusNet Services will contact every landholder within the potential final route, to discuss the requirements for an easement.

Landholders who have an easement on their property will be compensated in line under the Land Compensation and Acquisition Act 1986, which aims to ensure that they are no worse off financially.

This process involves the appointment of an independent valuer to ensure offers of compensation are fair and fully consider the impact of the easement.

If the easement impacts a landowner’s activities, for example, farmers’ use of agricultural equipment, we will work with landowners to identify alternative solutions, including micro-siting of towers, alternative practices, and potential equipment replacement via compensation.

For more information, please follow this link to the Living and Working with the WVTNP – summary guidelines June 2021. Note: the information within the fact sheet only relates to the WVTNP, and not existing infrastructure.

Top of page

What is an easement? 

AusNet Services owns and operates the majority of the electricity transmission system in Victoria. Our network of transmission towers and terminal stations support around 6,500 kilometres of conductors (the wires). The corridors of land on which this network is built are referred to as transmission line easements. 

An easement is a right to access, occupy and use part of the land owned by another person for a particular purpose. For example, the construction and operation of a transmission line. Easements are usually subject to any conditions negotiated between the grantor and grantee of the easement and are registered on the title to the land affected, creating a public record of the existence of the interest in the land. 

An easement is generally considered the best possible form of land tenure available to accommodate a transmission line and obtaining easements for the construction and operation of transmission lines is standard practice in Victoria.

Top of page

Are transmission lines dangerous in terms of bushfires – didn’t power lines play a role in Black Saturday?

Safety is our highest priority, and we can assure the community that this project is being planned and constructed to the latest safety and technical requirements.

Black Saturday was an unprecedented tragedy and one that none of us ever want to see happen again.

The Royal Commission into the Black Saturday bushfires made, among others, eight recommendations focused on reducing the risk of fires related to electricity distribution infrastructure including more inspections, better hazard management plans, improved training and infrastructure upgrades.

Across Victoria, over $1bn has been spent to implement the recommendations from the Royal Commission.

No bushfires were started on Black Saturday by high voltage transmission lines.

The project proposes to build high voltage transmission lines between Sydenham and Bulgana, to provide reliable, affordable power to Victoria, and unlock greater renewable energy investment in Western Victoria.

Top of page

The recent storms and damage in June to the network have highlighted issues associated with above-ground infrastructure. Why is the WVTNP any different and what assurances can you provide that this will not happen?

The recent storms have been unprecedented in their magnitude and impacts to many Victorian communities. Underground assets have also been impacted by falling trees, landslides and erosion.

High voltage transmission infrastructure is designed and constructed to Australian Standards and to comply with Energy Safe Victoria requirements.

The WVTNP will be designed, constructed and operated to adhere to those strict requirements and to mitigate against the recent conditions we have seen in Victoria.

Top of page

Will the WVTNP be upgraded to be 500KV for the full length?

As part of the Environment Effects Statement (EES), Ausnet Services is investigating the option to increase the amount of energy unlocked in Western Victoria, by changing the voltage of the 220kV section from Bulgana to a new terminal station north of Ballarat to 500kV end to end. It has been identified in the Renewable Energy Zone Development Plan Directions Paper and is being actively considered by the Victorian Government.

If this option is progressed for this project, the terminal station to be located to the north of Ballarat may not be required for this project.

Until a decision is made on the 500kV uprate option, we will continue to progress the current 500kV/220kV project configuration.

Further information on the Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) priorities can be found on the DELWP Energy website - www.energy.vic.gov.au/renewable-energy/renewable-energy-zones

The REZ Development Plan Directions Paper can be found here.



Top of page

What are the health implications for living near electricity transmission?

Electric and magnetic fields, commonly known as EMFs, are both naturally occurring and found wherever there is electricity. Natural occurrences include from lightning, solar activity, and the earth itself. All living organisms produce EMFs. Wherever electricity is flowing or there is an electrical force, EMFs are produced.

Leading health authorities worldwide, such as the World Health Organisation, have found no evidence that confirms the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields, the type emitted from transmission lines.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised that that:

  • “...current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequence from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields.”

In Australia, ARPANSA (Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) has advised that:

  • “The scientific evidence does not establish that exposure to the electric and magnetic fields found around the home, the office or near powerlines causes health effects.”
  • “There is no established evidence that the exposure to magnetic fields from powerlines, substations, transformers or other electrical sources, regardless of the proximity, causes any health effects.”

Top of page

Any other questions?

If you a landholder within the single corridor, your dedicated land liaison officer will be your main point of contact for all matters relating to your property. They will contact you to discuss access to your property, and to determine reasonable conditions of access that will minimise impact to you and your property where possible.

For interested community members, if you would like any further information about the project, please call 1300 360 795 or email info@westvictnp.com.au. To register for updates, visit westvictnp.com.au.

Top of page