Power to the people - Oct 15

There is widespread concern to our west about the state owned electricity infrastructure provider TransGrid. TransGrid is proposing to build huge (330 kv) electricity transmission lines from Bonshaw near Tenterfield to Lismore.

People in the path of these power lines are afraid of having their land taken over and of the unacceptable health risks to people and livestock posed by electromagnetic radiation.

I'm opposed to this project for totally different reasons. TransGrid is proposing to spend $227,000,000 of our money on these transmission lines. This is to replace existing lines which to date have proved adequate.

TransGrid's justification for this massive expenditure is that the far north coast is likely to grow by 46% over the next ten years! Recent population projections are for about a 10% growth over that period.

The power TransGrid will be supplying is over 90% derived from coal.

At a time when the world is on the brink of catastrophic climate change it is downright dangerous that this authority should be spending a vast sum on this antiquated technology, which is the major contributor to climate change in Australia. There are a number of important alternatives that TransGrid should be investigating:

Encouraging the reduction in energy demand, strategies have been successfully employed to reduce water usage;

The potential of the gas fired power station at Casino to satisfy some demand;

More take up of roof top solar power and solar hot water systems, already the highest take up in Australia;

The introduction of wind turbines for electricity production, and more use of the new cogeneration plants at Broadwater and Condong sugar mills.

Rather than being docile consumers of whatever comes down the wire I believe it's time for local people to determine what type of electricity is available to them. It is also time to line up with our western cousins and say 'NO' to them being run off their land because of our supposed demand for electricity.

We need to unite to tell TransGrid that we want our money used to produce green power and not to be pawns in their nineteenth century thinking.

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