Terry Redmond

Terry Redmond, the local member, has been actively supporting PLUG:

Meeting with Bill Hollingworth

Bill Hollingworth on behalf of the PLUG group met with Terry Redmond with the following concerns.

  1. Encourage Grange Resources to choose their preferred route. This variable is creating much uncertainty. The direct route north of the Stirlings is the preferred (PLUG) route for a 220 Kv line.

  2. If the new line must go ahead, limit size to 132Kv pole line alongside existing wood pole line from Kojonup to Albany. Due for renewal in 2015 on. The easement is already in place. This line will give a 5 year period to consider alternatives.

  3. Investigate alternative power generation potential in the Great Southern to supply anticipated needs from 2013 on. EG: biomass, wind, gas - with particular reference to the inefficiencies of transporting coal fired power over the distances indicated. This is especially relevant with the global climate change debate.

  4. If a new line is essential then the route needs to be assessed with land values and conservation criteria as the main issues.

  5. Revisit the corridor selection process. Broader selection of local representatives to participate in this process. The process will inevitably involve some disputation between neighbours. Training in negotiation and conflict resolution is essential.

  6. Investigate annuity payment by Western Power for easement rental of private Freehold land for business purposes, ie the transmission of an economic service.

  7. Recognition and compensation for land devalued by the powerlines route. The many small holdings affected are part of investments portfolios held by owners as superannuation assets.

  8. No pylon/tower powerlines to preserve our integrity. There was an ABC discussion stating:- Why are people moving to Albany/Denmark/Mount Barker? The answers - it is one of the rare unspoilt regions, it is not overcrowded or overdeveloped as is Margaret River, Busselton, Bunbury etc. Keep our Region unique and different.

Letter to Fran Logan

24 August 2007

Hon Fran Logan MLA
Minister for Energy
10th Floor, London House
216 St George's Tce
PERTH WA 6000

Dear Minister

I write with regard to the proposed Kojonup to Albany and Albany to Wellstead transmission lines.

Western Power representatives have provided me with a detailed briefing about these two proposals and I fully appreciate the need for additional power supply to Albany and Wellstead.

My purpose in writing is to represent to you the very deep concern and frustration that is being felt in the community regarding the consultation process being undertaken to determine the transmission line routes. I have taken numerous phone calls from many landowners potentially affected by these two proposals, all expressing their dismay and concern that they did not receive any advice or notification about stakeholder meetings.

I have also had numerous representations and received a number of letters from constituents and community organisations, raising many issues of concern. I have enclosed copies of their correspondence for your information.

It is evident and quite understandable that there will be a great deal of anxiety felt by those landowners who will be directly affected by the final route that is chosen, wherever that happens to be. As the local Member of Parliament I do not wish to comment, or seek to influence, the location of the final route, as I would simply be pitting one section of my electorate against another.

However, the level of frustration and anger that has been demonstrated during this consultation phase is of great concern to me and it is very important that these community concerns are heard and addressed.

Accordingly, in order that I may respond to my constituents, I would appreciate your detailed response to the issues raised by them, as set out in the enclosed correspondence and look forward to your response following your deliberations.

Yours sincerely



Terry Redman MLA
MEMBER FOR STIRLING


QUESTIONS RAISED BY MR TERRY REDMAN MLA

In respect to Transmission line planning for the Great Southern

Questions

  1. Can you confirm whether or not the Albany to Wellstead line will happen irrespective of whether the Grange supply comes north of the Stirling range or via Albany?

    There are three possible options to supply our customers In Albany and the mine site.

    Option A - Construct a double circuit 132 kV line between Kojonup and Albany and a 220 kV line between Kojonup and Wellstead

    Option B - Construct a double circuit 220 kV line between Kojonup and Albany and a double circuit 220 kV line between Albany and Wellstead.

    Option C - Construct a double circuit 220 kV fine between Kojonup and Wellstead and a double circuit 132 kV between Wellstead and Albany.

    Option A does not require the construction of the line between Albany and Wellstead. This option would take the longest time to construct as it has the longest length of lines. This option is not dependant on Grange Resource's (Grange) timeframe for proceeding with development of the mine.

    Options B or C could only proceed if Grange committed to development of the mine within a timeframe that allows the lines to be built before the Albany region runs out of electricity.



  2. 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 sorne 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.


  3. 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 local forecast does not change) then this would provide for the regions power needs for at least 50 years.


  4. 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.

    Tax is a personal matter and each person (or company) would have its own implications from the payment of compensation and, in the case of timber plantations, the early harvesting of the product. We are currently seeking more advice on the issue and will forward our findingsas they become avallable.



  5. 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 earnings?

    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 assessed accordingly.



  6. Is compensation paid as a one off or as an annual payment in recognition of loss of earnings?

    Under present legisiation compensation is a one off paymerit, and is assessed on the market value of the land, recognlsing items such as:
    • The effect of restrictions imposed by the easement on the use of land, such as the impact on farming activities;
    • The area of land rendered unproductive by structures and any access track;
    • 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

    Please see attachad Information Sheet on easement compensation.



  7. 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 Mininter 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 WP 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 tlme allocated for appeals, The assessment may find that the envimmentatl impact of traversing a national park is unacceptable and the project may not receive approval. It would not be in the State's interest 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.


Discussion with Terry 13th August

The following items were brought to the attention of Terry Redmond:

  1. Encourage Grange Resources to choose their preferred route. This variable is creating the uncertainty. The direct route north of the Stirlings is the preferred (PLUG) route for a 220Kv line.

  2. If the new line must go ahead, limit size to 132Kv pole line alongside existing wood pole line Kojonup to Albany. Due for renewal in 2015 on. The easement is already in place. This line will give a 5 year period to consider alternatives.

  3. Investigate alternative power generation potential in Great southern to supply anticipated needs from 2013 on. Eg biomass, wind, gas ; with particular reference to the inefficiencies of transporting coal derived power over the distances indicated. Especially relevant with the global climate change debate.

  4. If a new line is essential then the route needs to be assessed with land values and conservation criteria as the main issues.

  5. Revisit corridor selection process. In depth selection of local representatives to participate in process. The process will involve disputation between neighbours. Training in negotiation and conflict resolution essential.

  6. Western Power to fund an independent Social Impact Study by (eg CENRM, UWA)

  7. Investigate annuity payment by WP for easement rental of private Freehold land for business purposes, ie the transmission of an economic service.

  8. Recognition and compensation for land devalued by the powerline route. The many small holdings affected are part of investment portfolios held by owners as superannuation assets.

Another issue of regional importance:

Water supply to Mt Barker/Kendenup/Narrikup

Upgrade of main expected in 2012. Needs to be funded. Consider construction of a Treated Waste Water line alongside to utilize anticipated surplus available from Albany and Mt Barker. Creation of horticulture, farm forestry irrigated lots in corridor between town/city.