Transgrid’s proposed HumeLink transmission lines will pass through Amy Wyer’s property which she shares with her partner Ashley. The property near Yass is just one of hundreds which will be affected by the towers, some over 80 metres high. Transgrid operate and manage the high-voltage electricity transmission network in NSW and the ACT, connecting generators, distributors and major end users. Their network is the backbone of the National Energy Market, enabling energy trading between Australia’s three largest states along the east coast and supporting the competitive wholesale electricity market. This allows energy users to gain access to the lowest cost generation available.

The lines and the corresponding towers regarding the most recent proposed local venture has become a cause for concern for land holders such as Amy, who believe that they will cause a myriad of issues from loss of land values, inability to fight fires, biosecurity and amenity. Her family will be able to see the lines outside their kitchen window if the project is to go ahead, as planned by Transgrid.

Amy said, “These new lines are connecting wind farms out as far as Crookwell to Snow Hydro. We are not against renewable energy, it’s clean, it’s lovely but to make it work they shove this old transmission infrastructure right through the middle of prime agricultural land… that is not a part of their new renewable picture. It’s going past Yass, Dalton Jerrawa Wargeila, Black Range, along Yass River and out Burrinjuck way to the Murrumbidgee. It is going to be visible from Yass. Local residents don’t really realise that, they need to be made aware and this is our opportunity to be heard. If you have a view from areas such as Hatton’s Corner, Discovery Drive, looking back towards Bowning Hill, you may well see these lines. The inquiry is happening but  we only have until Friday midnight to make a submission. Anyone can make a submission.”

Amy said, “Overhead lines start bush-fires. On days of extreme fire danger,the risk of bush fires from electrical infrastructure rises dramatically.

“Not only do they start bushfires, they impede your ability to control them.You can’t fight bushfires under power-lines, it is an exclusion zone.”

The farm will also have to change the way it operates to safeguard it from a number of issues which Amy says will arise.

Amy said “The lines will cut through well-established hay paddocks, lambing paddocks, tree lines and effec-tively cut the property in half – straight through the middle.”

“We appreciate the opportunity to make these submissions through the inquiry. This inquiry shows that the NSW Government is listening to our requests. While it would have been good to have more time we’re doing the best we can with the time available. I fear that the short time frame will reduce the number of submissions lodged, which will understate the level of anger in the regions about these projects,” said Amy.

“On a personal note, Ashley and I have just started our family. Evie is 4 months old. Spending our time talking to Transgrid, solicitors, valuers and trying to ensure landholders stick together isn’t ideal at this time. It’s not ideal at any time. But having a little one makes you realise how precious your time really is. We won’t get this time back. We won’t be compensated for the sleepless nights worrying about this project or for the moments lost,”  said Amy.

Amy and other landholders are suggesting that the lines should be placed underground. Labor’s Penny Sharpe has at least agreed to listen, however, the nation changing project comes at a time when energy creation and renewable energy and the infrastructure needed to dispense that energy to consumers, is going through a generational change.

The New South Wales Government has announced a Parliamentary inquiry into feasibility of undergrounding transmission infrastructure. According to the NSW Government,N SW will need to replace 3 coal-fired power stations over the next decade. The most cost-effective and environmentally responsible re-placement is renewable energy. Five renewable energy zones have been established to coordinate the development of renewable generation and storage projects with transmission infrastructure that will transport electricity to where it is needed. In addition to these zones,  other critical transmission projects are being delivered to reinforce NSW’s electricity supply, such as the HumeLink project.

Minister Penny Sharpe Photo Credit Cassandra Hannagan

The government is aware of concerns being raised regarding the environmental, agricultural, community and other effects of the HumeLink project and similar concerns regarding other transmission projects.

Minister Sharpe has listened to these concerns and has requested an inquiry into the feasibility of under-grounding transmission infrastructure.The terms of reference are as follows: That the Legislative Council Standing Committee on State Development inquire into and report on the feasibility of undergrounding the transmission infrastructure for renewable energy projects, with particular reference to:

a. the costs and benefits of undergrounding

b. existing case studies and current projects regarding similar undergrounding of transmission lines in both domestic and international contexts

c. any impact on delivery timeframes of undergrounding, and

d. any environmental impacts of undergrounding.

The committee is due to report its findings by 31 August 2023.

Minister for Energy Penny Sharpe said, “The Minns Labor Government is committed to delivering the renewable energy transition that NSW de-serves, in a way which is cost-effective and environmentally responsible.”

“We are also committed to ensuring local communities are engaged at every stage of the transition.”

“This inquiry is an opportunity for everyone to have their say and to understand the issues that need to be weighed up when delivering this infrastructure.”

The Humelink Alliance are supporting those who would like to make a submission if they need assistance.

Information can be found at the below links:• Feasibility of under-grounding the transmission infrastruc-ture for renewable energy projects(•

Submissions will close on the 14th July 2023.

Humelink Alliance has been supporting undergrounding for approximately two years. Website:

“As landholders and affected community members, it is common to feel like you are fighting a David and Goliath Battle. Like you’re fighting this on your own. However, landholders should know that there are brilliant and passionate people in the community and energy industry who are working tirelessly to put forward the case for undergrounding. You can support each other and the professionals working on this case by making a submission before the 14th of July,” said Amy.