Greens MLC John Kaye in Lismore last week.
Greens MLC John Kaye in Lismore last week.

Powerlines spark interest

Greens MLC John Kaye (pictured) said the North Coast is at risk of becoming an “energy backwater” if the TransGrid powerline from Bonshaw (near Tenterfield) to Lismore is allowed to go ahead.

He was in Lismore last Thursday for a strategy meeting with locals about the best to ways to raise awareness of the issues.

“We don’t think this issue will be won or lost in Tenterfield, it will be won or lost in Lismore so that’s why I’m here,” Dr Kaye said.

He challenged the new Premier Kristina Keneally to intervene and stop the TransGrid project.

“She said she wants to win back trust, well the North Coast community doesn’t want this. It will increase the carbon footprint, it will push up electricity prices and undermine job creation in the renewable energy sector on the North Coast,” Dr Kaye said. “TransGrid plans to spend $227 million to make the Far North Coast even more dependent on coal-fired power... TransGrid’s planning dismissed any role for gas, renewable energy or demand management as a solution to the region’s future energy needs. The electricity transmission authority is stuck in a network build mindset.”

TransGrid, who are responsible for the state’s electricity transmission network, say the line upgrade is needed to ensure a reliable electricity supply to meet demand increases beyond 2012.

But Dr Kaye believes there are other solutions that haven’t been considered.

“Every new house that is built should be energy efficient. You can cut down on the load at peak times by using load management and ‘cycling’ systems that will cut out your air conditioner for five minutes during peak times and you wouldn’t even notice. We have the know-how to do this and it would be much cheaper and have a much lower carbon footprint,” he said.


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