New South Wales
Application Number: SSI 8583
Note: I wish to keep my personal details private. I do not give permission for my personal details to be made publicly available.
Detailed reasons for not supporting the project:
Reasons for project
A main reason given for the project is to provide for affordable electricity. Since privatisation our electricity prices have increased – how are we to believe this is actually the case for this project? Will they in-fact increase again?
A further reason given for the project is to provide for growth. If the government had the initiative to develop regional areas and provide them with better infrastructure and opportunities, perhaps major projects such as these may not be needed in already highly developed areas. NSW is a large landmass; seems short-sighted to expect everyone to live so densely, in such a small area.
Whilst I understand the need for electricity, I do not agree with the community carrying the burden of poor-planning, lazy solutions and cost-savings that are passed to share-holders and not consumers.
The Western Sydney cable went along parkland – why does this cable not do the same? The Cooks River is surrounded by parkland and would be a similar pathway to the Western Sydney cable. I wonder if this is an issue of ‘’privatisation’’- where now money-saving overrides what is actually best for the community?
The route traverses mostly residential areas and laydown areas are public spaces (for two year or more duration – projects rarely run to schedule). This is unacceptable. The Inner-West is already heaving under dense development and public space is therefore becoming more critical for well-being. To occupy such quantities of these spaces for such a time, is not acceptable. Perhaps Sydney Ports could offer some space, or Rail? Why is the burden always to the community? I also note the cumulative impacts of West Connex and their long-term occupation of our public spaces.
The report states that Electro Magnetic Frequency (EMF) has a link to childhood leukemia. If ‘prudent avoidance’ was being employed for the project, the route would not be along residential areas (and 3m away from baby’s and children’s bedrooms). The route would be along the Cooks River (like Western Sydney) or in park-lands as per the myriad of other 330kV towers in NSW.
The possible route along our street (near Croydon Avenue) would obstruct highly utilized sporting fields (including parking in Croydon Avenue). Further, this area has recently had a considerable amount of public money spent on it for the purpose of improved traffic management (including for emergency vehicles and Council access to the park). The funding of that much awaited infrastructure would be wasted (I have yet to see any development in our area reinstate public roads or footpaths to their original condition - let alone better condition). Many houses in our street have small children (including babies), night works would be highly disruptive to our families. Most of the homes are built in the old style, with all bedrooms at the front of the house, thereby taking full-impact of noise. I note that babies and small children also sleep during the day and day-time works would also impact on these families adversely.
The route ‘options’ presented also cause unease about what is actually to occur and where. It is also not clear in the document who will be deciding on the ultimate route. This provides unacceptable uncertainty – particularly with regards to who will make the final decision and what their ultimate motivation will be i.e. communities ‘best-interest’ or time and cost savings?? The assessment does not provide for adequate checks and balances for integrity of process.
This is my primary concern regarding this project. I would like to see an explanation in the environmental assessment about why this 330kV infrastructure has traditionally not been near residential homes, but now it is??? I note the environmental assessment downplays this issue. I further note TransGrid community information material virtually disregards the issue entirely. I refer to my comment above regarding childhood leukemia and ‘prudent avoidance’.
The assessment also neglects to discuss how EMF will affect residents when a second cable is placed. Whilst it is not the scope of this assessment, as a landholder (with small children), I am concerned about future, planned-for EMF exposure that I am not being given figures regarding.
The Mitigation Measures to manage EMF are woeful. All of them state they will be employed ‘where practical’. At whose discression?? This is not discussed. As the reader I can only assume they will not be employed when budgets and timeframes make it too difficult……I am left with the impression that EMF is being completely dismissed in this assessment. Further, Mitigation Measures to take measurements of EMF are outlined for the cable post-installation, however there is no discussion regarding what will happen if the levels are above acceptable limits?? Will the cable be removed? Or will the requirement to measure, record and file the result be enough and the residents forced to live not knowing the impacts to their family’s health?? Will the results be communicated to residents? Where is this undertaking? These mitigation measures need to outline solid commitments, not the wishy-washy commitments provided in the assessment.
Also, the assessment talks about 40 years of research. I note this is not a long-time. Nor could it be considered a life-time. Hence, with regards to high voltage electricity, I do not believe this is a reliable enough yard-stick to assure residents we are safe.
Poor public consultation effort
Our community did not receive any consultation regarding route. The letter-box drop was mistaken as junk mail by many. A number of residents state they did not receive anything in the post. Something this serious should be addressed to the landowner. This was not done.
Lack of submissions do not mean support – residents are laypeople and are busy.
As a final note, the environmental assessment is large, complex and not particularly easy to read. The stakeholders to this project are mostly residents – busy, family people who likely do not have an in-depth understanding of planning issues and infrastructure. Many may also be elderly, disabled or have other issues. I note that a lack of submissions may not indicate support, but a lack of time, understanding or another obstacle.
I myself would like to have more time to peruse the assessment and write a complex submission. I only have time to skim this assessment and hence, my submission is mostly ‘in-principal’. I would ask that the Department of Planning considers whether this project really does serve the community in the format it is presented? (I am particularly concerned with the treatment of EMF). Or if this project is a band-aid to cover poor planning and the community will bear this burden? Perhaps there are a myriad of other options (such as along the Cooks River in parkland) that would be of greater long-term benefit to the community?