NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean has pledged "genuine consultation" with the community over plans for two major new power transmission lines between Wagga, South Australia and the Snowy 2.0 scheme.
Wagga MP Joe McGirr asked Mr Kean in Parliament on Tuesday if he would "ensure appropriate, meaningful, face-to-face consultation with all those affected indirectly or directly by the infrastructure and give genuine consideration to alternative routes".
Mr Kean replied that the projects were "essential" for supplying cheaper, more reliable and cleaner electricity while supporting jobs, but they were still in the early planning stages.
"I stress at this point that no final approval has been given for the route of either of these projects," he said.
"We have one of the most robust planning systems here in NSW to look for every opportunity to maximise the positives and minimise the negatives of the route design to ensure that genuine consultation takes place with local communities."
Electricity network operator TransGrid is investigating potential routes for a 'Humelink' 500-kilovolt transmission line between Wagga, Bannaby and Maragle to connect with the expanded Snowy Hydro scheme.
TransGrid is also working with its counterpart in SA, ElectraNet, to build the $1.5 billion 'Project EnergyConnect' 330-kilovolt transmission line stretching 900 kilometres west from Wagga to Robertstown.
Mr Kean said the projects would face the "highest quality assessment and scrutiny" and that TransGrid had recorded 1800 interactions with stakeholders and 363 contacts with landowners since last year.
"The projects will also require additional approval from the Commonwealth under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999," he said.
"Under these processes there are statutory requirements for consultation, including a minimum 28-day public exhibition, and a requirement to give genuine consideration to alternative route options.
"My colleague, the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, will be responsible for overseeing the planning of these projects, and I can assure you this is a responsibility he does not take lightly."