NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean says he expects "genuine consultation" on a $2.1 billion HumeLink power line between Wagga and the Snowy Hydro scheme after landowners threatened to lock their gates against the project.
The Kyeamba Valley Concerned Landowners Group on Thursday announced its members would stop co-operating with efforts to build 65-metre-high towers south-west of Wagga unless their demands for better consultation and compensation were met.
The group's demands were aimed both at TransGrid, the NSW electrical grid operator that is developing HumeLink, and the state government.
"Transmission is essential infrastructure needed to keep the lights on and bring power prices down in NSW," Mr Kean said in response to the group's demands.
"I've heard first-hand the concerns of the Kyeamba Valley community, and I'd like to thank them for their constructive engagement with the NSW government.
"I expect TransGrid to engage in meaningful, genuine consultation with the local community to try to find solutions that minimise community and landholder impacts."
TransGrid has already committed to implementing 20 recommendations from an independent consumer advocate's report that found problems with its community consultation around the HumeLink project.
TransGrid also responded to the Kyeamba Valley Concerned Landowners Group on Thursday, stating that it was resetting its processes to ensure it was working respectfully, effectively and transparently with communities around HumeLink.
Book Book cattle, sheep and grain farmer Melody McMeekin, whose property is in HumeLink's potential path, said the landowners group had launched a survey.
"It's really important to get everybody's thoughts and ideas and then we know what everyone along this whole line is thinking and how they would like to see it improved," she said.
"That's important for us, for TransGrid and for the government to know."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: