Powerlink addresses concerns

THE submission period for Powerlink Queensland’s Galilee Basin Transmission Lines and Substation Site draft environmental impact statement has closed.

Impacted landholders had from March until April 11 this year to lodge submissions on the proposed 275,000 volt double circuit transmission line within a 100 metre wide dual-width easement between the existing Lilyvale Substation, 60km east of Emerald, and a proposed substation 200km west of Lilyvale.

Concerns addressed in the draft EIS included weed control, ecological consideration and the preservation of areas classified as high conservation significance, and it outlined measures to avoid heavy impact on native vegetation.

“Control of weeds during construction will also be crucial, in particular parthenium, as it is a common pasture weed on many of the properties in the Study Alignment,” the report stated.

“Excluding the potential for weed dispersion and establishment, the majority of impacts on land use will be minor, temporary and reversible, and relate primarily to issues of timing of landholder activities…”

The proposed study alignment area covers three sections of varying land form and geology, classified in the report as the Capella, Drummond and Belyando sections.

The Zig Zag Range, the Drummond Range and the Belyando River areas will be impacted by the transmission line development.

The draft EIS stated an extensive community consultation process identified a number of concerns including unauthorised access, farm equipment movement restrictions, impacts on property fences, soil compaction particularly in cultivated areas, as well as the impact of electronic magnetic frequencies on both human and livestock health.

The project was formed to service the proposed Kevin’s Corner and Alpha mines located about 50 to 80km north of Alpha, worth an estimated $15 billion over 30 years.

More than 5000 employment opportunities will arise from the projects during construction, and 3600 during operations. The region lacks a sufficient energy supply, and as a result of mining projects, a second line may be required.

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