Powerline fears aired

PROPERTY owners concerned about the impact of a new $35 million high-voltage powerline from Warwick to Stanthorpe have criticised Ergon Energy for a lack of information about the project.

More than 200 citizens turned out to a public forum on the powerline at the Warwick Town Hall on Tuesday night, fronted by Ergon executives and chaired by State MP Lawrence Springborg.

Many of the residents who spoke at the meeting voiced their frustration at what they claimed has been hit-and-miss communication on Ergon's part and the use of technical jargon in newsletters dropped in mailboxes.

But of greater concern are the potentially negative health effects of living in close proximity to the planned 110KV line, which will duplicate the existing supply to Stanthorpe out of the Warwick East Substation.

The line will follow the existing route except for a new 8km stretch through rural residential land out to the west of Warwick in the Washpool Rd area.

The Ergon representatives on Tuesday night were unable to give a categorical assurance that electro-magnetic fields (EMFs) generated by high-voltage powerlines are not harmful, but were adamant that radiation from the new line would not exceed national standards.

Loss of property values was also a heated issue, with local real estate agent Max Holder, of Landmark Harcourts, telling the Ergon executives "Blind Freddy" could see that values along the Washpool Rd section of the route would go down if the powerline went ahead.

Washpool Rd resident Graeme Benz said, overall, he found the meeting "positive".

"We just want to make our views known and to have our questions answered," Mr Benz said.

"There are people who will be affected by this who have not been recognised or consulted and that's a concern.

"We look forward to working further with Ergon to make sure they listen to our concerns."

 

Power play

  • Ergon says the new line will improve power supply to Stanthorpe, after 16 outages in the past five years.
  • The new line will also enable maintenance to be carried out with disrupting supply.
  • Concrete pylons along the powerline line will be up to 25m high.

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