Offshore connection for transmission lines must be considered

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is calling on the Andrews Labor Government to ensure that all reasonable options for energy transmission from Gippsland-based offshore wind farms to the electricity grid are thoroughly considered.

Mr O’Brien, who recently undertook a study tour in Europe to gain a better understanding of the offshore wind industry, said the feasibility of a seabed cable should be considered given its potential to minimise disruption to Gippsland farming land.

“If there is a feasible option to establish an offshore connection point and seabed HVDC cable through Bass Strait into Melbourne, rather than across Gippsland farmland then this must be considered,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I appreciate that such a connection is likely to come with its own obstacles, but it must at least be looked at.”

Mr O’Brien said that VicGrid, the State Government agency tasked with the role of coordinating transmission lines, has been consulting with the community in the southern Wellington Shire area over transmission lines running through to Loy Yang.

“I recently attended a community meeting in Giffard West where VicGrid representatives spoke to locals about the possibility of a transmission route that would run through local farms,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It was evident that locals are understandably very anxious about what a transmission line, either overhead or underground, might mean for their farmland with concerns for biosecurity and access to their own land hot topics on the night.

“While I acknowledge this is a difficult problem for the government and community to address, it’s important all options are considered including the potential for an offshore connection point and seabed HVDC cable.”

Mr O’Brien said he had included the recommendation for such an investigation in a report to Parliament that was recently provided directly to the Premier and the Minister for Energy.

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