The 1km-wide Halys Central A Corridor option … after consultations with affected landholders, this will be narrowed to a 70m wide easement after the Final Corridor Selection Report is released in September

April 28, 2023

About 200 landholders – and 293 parcels of land – will be affected by the proposed 1km-wide Powerlink corridors for the Borumba pumped hydro project.

The draft routes for the Borumba to Halys (click for larger map) and Borumba to Woolooga (click for larger map) transmission lines were released on Thursday evening.

The southern route runs north of Jimna and Teelah through State Forests and private land before crossing properties between the South Nanango State Forest and the Tarong State Forest. It then rejoins the easement for the existing 275kV transmission line to the Halys substation.

The northern route runs south of Kilkivan, skirts the Oakview and Wrattens National Parks and crosses a number of private properties before running through the Gallangowan and Yabba State Forests.

Powerlink spokesperson Ian Lowry told these 1km wide corridor routes were still just proposals, and that submissions on the Draft Corridor Selection Report would be accepted until July 3.

“We have community information sessions planned for late May and early June,” he said.

These will be advertised soon.

Mr Lowry said landholders would be compensated if the corridors passed through their properties, and that the corporation was currently reviewing its compensation framework.

He said Powerlink was “very mindful” that expectations of landholders and the community had increased about land access and compensation.

“We are expecting that within the next month to have more information going out about an enhanced compensation framework for landholders,” he said.

However, it would not be until the Final Corridor Selection Report was released in September that Powerlink would start engaging with individual landholders in more detail about what that compensation package would look like.

Mr Lowry responded to criticism that Powerlink had unnecessarily scared a much larger number of landholders, estimated to be about 3000, by releasing all the “options” maps for public review.

He said Powerlink had tried to strike a balance.

“In projects that we’ve done in the past, our experience has been that when you release a single corridor to engage on, people will naturally ask the question ‘Well, what other options did you consider?’,” Mr Lowry said,

“In this case, there’s been a real focus on trying to be more transparent and engage earlier on those corridor options.

“I acknowledge, though, that in doing that there has been a natural level of increase in concern and anxiety across a broader number of people, hence our focus on getting that recommended corridor out.”

Mr Lowry said Powerlink had balanced feedback about maximising the use of State-owned land, ie. State Forests, National Parks and Conservation Areas, with other feedback from the community about the value of wildlife and remnant vegetation.

“Our overall assessment approach from a planning perspective is to find the least impact corridor across social, environment and economic objectives,” he said.

These economic objectives included route length and topography.

Mr Lowry said that, if approved, construction would start in 2025 but the project will first need to pass both State and Federal approval processes.

He confirmed the corridors would consist of single transmission towers, each carrying two powerlines.

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Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington said both the northern and southern transmission line corridors would have major, long-lasting impacts for residents across large parts of her electorate.

“In the north of my electorate, we have learnt that Powerlink has recommended the western corridor, which will traverse 164 private properties from Manumbar through to Kinbombi, Black Snake and behind Kilkivan,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“In the south of my electorate, the recommended route is the Central A corridor, with 129 private properties affected around the south of Nanango, Tarong and Teelah.

“It is obvious the Minister for Energy and Powerlink have not listened to the concerns of the community and our calls for the transmission lines to be built on State-owned land.

“The petitions lodged by myself and the Member for Gympie Tony Perrett through the Queensland Parliament represented the views of more than 3200 people and clearly demonstrated that the State should bear the burden of this project, rather than the families and businesses who live in the region.

“I am also once again extremely disappointed in communication from Powerlink who only offered a briefing to myself the Member for Gympie the day after the major announcement.

“Being kept in the dark has meant I have not been able to properly assist my constituents and I can only suggest this is a purely political move. It is obvious to me that both myself and my community are being treated with disrespect by the Palaszczuk Government.

“We still have a long way to go with this process and I would encourage landholders who are affected to ensure they make a submission by the deadline of July 3. I understand this can be done via phone, email or the online feedback form.”

Related articles:

The 1km-wide Woolooga West Corridor … after consultations with affected landholders, this will also be narrowed to a 70m wide easement after the Final Corridor Selection Report is released in September


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