Media Releases

PLUG has had media releases published in:
  • ABC Radio
  • WIN Television
  • GWN Television
  • Farm Weekly
  • Albany Advertiser
  • Weekender
  • Plantagenet News
  • Narrikup News Letter (Progress Association)
  • Kojonup News Paper

Press releases have been issued for:


Public meeting in Mt Barker

The Plantagenet Line Upgrade Group (PLUG) are landowners in the Plantagenet and Albany Shires. They are concerned about the corridor selection process for the Kojonup to Albany Transmission line in the 2011 upgrade. The group feels the decision making process has been hasty and may have been using out of date information. Eg: One route goes straight across an emergency airfield.

We realize Albany needs an improved power supply but are objecting to the corridors proposed. The proposed line will be made of 50m high steel pylons. The three selected corridors transverse much of the Wilson Inlet Catchment. In the last ten or more years millions of dollars of public funds have been invested in the land care, bush-care and wildlife corridors in the area and natural resource management plays a significant part in the redevelopment of the Great Southern.

The corridors also cross vineyards, olive groves and other intensive horticultural activities, which employ many people in the community. The perceived health concerns of Electromagnetic fields on the population from the power lines of this size are also an issue that needs resolving.

Western Power have stated that they will try and keep the transmission lines at least 500 metres from houses. It would be almost impossible to keep to these 500 metres in some of the more densely populated areas selected.

PLUG will be holding a landholders meeting at 7.30 pm sharp on Wednesday 25 th July at the Plantagenet District Hall, Mount Barker. If you are coming, and we want you to, try to let us know. Gold coin donation to cover costs. Email: plug. group@hotmail.com


Report from public meeting

Powerline Corridor Debate
PLUG Meeting
Plantagenet Hall 25.7.07

A community forum was held in the Plantagenet District Hall on 25th July at 7.30 pm. Approximately 150 people attended this forum to express their concerns and confusion regarding the proposed Western Power Transmission Line corridors between Kojonup and Albany. The line will provide additional power to meet the anticipated extra requirement for base-load power in the Albany region over the next 20 years and will be constructed by 2011. The line may also supply power to the Grange Resources mine at Wellstead. It is the mine requirement that will be the deciding factor between a 220Kilovolt steel tower line or a 132 Kv concrete pole line. The PLUG group of Narrikup residents was formed to investigate the affect of these proposed lines on landholders in the narrow strip of land between Albany Highway and the Hay/Sheepwash National Park to the west. The group believes the community consultation process by Western Power has been inadequate and is creating anxiety with residents over issues such as aesthetics, land values, destruction of land conservation works, potential subdivision processes. The end result will be to pit neighbour against neighbour as they seek individually negotiated outcomes.

The forum proposed many questions to Western Power, many are concerned over the poor and out-of-date maps used by Western Power to contact and notify landholders. A unanimous vote against the process indicated the lack of faith in Western Power and their capacity to reach a suitable location for the powerline. The PLUG group urges as many people as possible to attend the GHD/Western Power community workshops being held over the next few weeks. Ask lots of questions and propose as many different scenarios that may affect landholders and the community in general.

Send letters expressing your concerns to:
Western Power Attention Doug Aberle
GPO L921,
Perth, WA 6842
or
Lyall Murphy - 93264744
Marissa Chapman - 1300139240
and to your local political representatives. It is important we are heard.

For more information on PLUG, please contact:
Bill & Liz Hollingworth
Graham & Liz Frusher
Michelle Doherty
plug. group@hotmail.com


Second report from public meeting

PRESS RELEASE 2
27 TH July 07

PLUG COMMUNITY MEETING
25TH July 07
PLANTAGENET DISTRICT HALL

The meeting was called by PLUG which stands for Plantagenet Line Upgrade Group to discuss the process of selection of corridors which Western Power have proposed for the 2011 line upgrade from Kojonup to Albany. Bill Hollingworth chaired the meeting. This is part of his address.

We acknowledge the South Coast region will need an increased base-load power supply. It is the route selection process we feel needs reviewing and the level of landholder participation increased. There are too many landholders unaware of the impact this line will have. We also acknowledge this process is extremely complex and will not be resolved easily; it is like juggling table-tennis balls in a strong wind. However it will need to be resolved. I am involved as a landholder affected by both the Red and Blue corridors. I am also one of the select group who has not been notified (until yesterday after a telephone request to Western Power) of our properties status, even though I was involved in both the initial discussion groups in May. Along with SP Kevin Forbes and Cr Jeff Moir I was also involved in the unusual corridor selection process held in Cranbrook. Even with this involvement still no direct notification, however, Western Power have still been able to locate me to deliver the power bills.

The transmission line will affect us all in the following ways:

  1. Aesthetics
  2. Land Values
  3. Impact on existing conservation work
  4. Health
  5. Potential subdivision planning
  6. Pit neighbour against neighbour when they seek individually negotiated outcomes.

We are concerned at the poor and out-to-date information Western Power has been using in the planning process so far. It is alarming that a so-called modem service provider is unable to access maps that are easily available to other planning agencies and private enterprise. If the initial information is faulty, what else is incorrect? The issues are diverse and complex.

Bill pointed out right from the beginning that we did not have any answers, but wished to collate questions to put to Western Power at the community criteria workshops, which are being held over the next few weeks. Several people mentioned that Western Power, or rather GHD, who are running the workshops, have indicated they only want 25 people at each workshop and have attempted to turn some people away. It is our understanding that they are putting on more meetings because of the unexpected demand from affected landholders for places. There were approximately 150 people at the meeting, from Kojonup, Frankland, and Cranbrook through to Redmond. At the end, two questions were put to the meeting: "Who is dissatisfied with the Corridor Selection Process?" "in consideration of population density and conservation value, do you believe we need a more thorough Corridor Selection Process?"


Progress report

PLUG PRESS RELEASE 19-08-07

Just to keep you all informed about the PLUG progress.

Most of the criteria weightings workshops being held at various venues between Kojonup and Albany and also out towards Wellstead have now been held. These workshops were run by GHD, the consultants and Western Power personnel were also present. So many concerned people wished to attend that several extra meetings had to be scheduled. Also most of the meetings ran for much more than the allotted two hours as many questions were asked. Not many answers were available. Apparently, this is sufficient community consultation for GFM/Westem Power to select one of the three corridors already proposed. There has been, however, no public consultation on the criteria that are now being weighted.

PLUG members have sent letters to all the local politicians, local government representatives and various State Ministers and members of parliament, to inform them of our concerns.

Also members of our group are holding meetings with local members of parliament.

On Sunday 19"' August, PLUG is holding a meeting with representatives from other groups that are forming along different parts of the proposed corridors. Several members of the group fighting the route of the Mid-West Transmission Line (from Eneabba to Moonyoonooka) have asked if they may attend.


Response to Western Power's statements

PLUG MEDIA RESPONSE

The PLUG Group is happy but sceptical about WP & GHD's plans to revisit the current corridor options, but we hope this process will be more transparrant and explanitory to landowners.

Unfortunately landowners will be the unlucky stakeholder as compensation seems to be minimal for a life time impact and transmission line routes always take the least line of resistance; wbere as organisations such as environmental bodies have legislation protecting their interests. Its a shame the local, state and/or federal government haven't reviewed or instated any current legislation to protect the landowner more effectively.

Plug hope landowners will participate in the further information sessions and the new stakeholder advisory group. We have worked very hard to have the process reviewed and draw the communities attention to the possibility of this corridor being in their back yard. Ccnplacency could be your own worst enemy, with the corridors being reviewed it could just end up in your backyard.