Community advocates have found Wagga landowners were left angry and distressed by the consultation process for a $2.1 billion power line project.
NSW electricity grid operator TransGrid is planning to build the HumeLink 500-kilovolt line between Wagga and the Snowy Hydro 2.0 project using towers up to 65 metres high.
In January, TransGrid hired former NSW Commissioner for Fair Trading Rod Stowe as an independent consumer advocate to improve Humelink's community consultation.
Mr Stowe and deputy Barbara El-Gamal have now released a report into the process, which found it did "not meet best practice standards" from a landowner perspective.
"The engagement process was not transparent; all the appropriate people had not been included in the process; landowners were not always treated with respect," the report stated.
Book Book cattle, sheep and grain farmer Melody McMeekin, whose property is in HumeLink's path, said her complaints had been vindicated but she was also concerned about the potential impact on her business, home and health.
"We understand that this is important infrastructure that needs to go through. We're even willing to put up with [the towers] if we have to, but we just want them where they will do the least damage and have the least impact on our lives," she said.
Wagga MP Joe McGirr, who has previously criticised TransGrid in Parliament, said the advocates' report was "scathing".
Dr McGirr said landowners outside Wagga had "become deeply frustrated with the level of community consultation".
"It has been like pulling teeth. Many of the landowners I have spoken to have spent hours putting together information on the route proposal, only to have TransGrid largely ignore it," he said.
"They have been repeatedly treated with disrespect, fobbed off or ignored."
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Dr McGirr paid tribute to groups like the Kyeamba Valley Concerned Landowners for working extremely hard to be heard and to TrandGrid for commissioning the report.
TransGrid acting chief executive Brian Salter said the organisation would implement all 20 recommendations from the report.
"We have heard that landowners and the communities in the HumeLink corridor have not been satisfied with the engagement for the project and we take their concerns seriously," he said.
"The report provides the path forward for a genuine reset of our processes and we will continue to listen and work respectfully, effectively and transparently with communities."
Mrs McMeekin said TransGrid's response was a positive sign but landowners wondered how it was going to reset its community consultation in the time left on HumeLink.
"They have to basically start again but they are due to announce the 200-metre corridor for the towers at the end of the year, so that only gives them five months," she said.
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