Wind Farm transmission lines

Mr  PURCELL  (Western Victoria) (20:02:10) — The adjournment matter I raise tonight is for the Minister for Planning. As this house knows, I am a strong supporter of the wind industry, and in south-west Victoria we have some of the most intensive wind farms in the state. However, the transmission lines that have been recently installed for the Salt Creek wind farm run from Salt Creek down through Mortlake to the power generation terminal in Terang. These are quite large transmission lines, something in the order of 22 metres in height and over a metre in diameter.

The lines themselves are not part of the planning permit. What this actually means is that the companies run these lines. The line from Salt Creek will run along the same path as the line for the proposed Mortlake south wind farm, but they will not be using the same lines. So these are quite large and will be running down either side of the road. These are quite small roads, and they run into the power station at Terang. There are some places in western Victoria that will have four power stations. As well as that, the Salt Creek station is owned by the same company as the Dundonnell wind farm, and they will be running a separate line to the Terang station. So some roads in western Victoria could have four transmission lines running down them which will be crisscrossing on the way to Terang.

The issue is that it is too expensive to put these transmission lines into the major line that runs to Alcoa in Portland, and it is cheaper to take them to the plant at Terang. I fear that these transmission lines will be across many of those roads and there will be so many lines it will be like Jurassic Park. I therefore urge the minister to step in and assist in finding a solution that would allow these wind farms to cooperate and use the same line, because it is not capacity of the line, it is actually just the ownership of the line that is the issue.