Electricity company TransGrid is proposing to construct and operate an
above-ground transmission line from Buronga, NSW to Monash, SA, and on to
Robertstown, SA. The line will comprise 35m high towers at 500 m intervals. 40
sq meters will be cleared beneath each tower and access roads developed to
service each of them.
It is proposed that the line will go through Calperum station, part of the
Bookmark Biosphere and will be constructed through portions of intact mallee and
immediately adjacent to the Ramsar listed wteland within the station.
Last year, before an Environmental Impact Statement on the proposal was
initiated, I raised this issue with Birding-Aus members which resulted in
a significant amount of correspondence reaching Transgrid.
Transgrid has now released its draft Environmental Impact Statement for
public comment. These comments must reach Planning SA by close of business on
Friday 16 August 2002. This EIS, the respoonses to it and Environment
Australia's assessment of both will inform the Federal Environ,ment Minister's
decision to withhold environmental approval for the Transgrid project, or to
grant approval with or without conditions.
The impacts of the proposal will be, among others:
1) Many bird species using the RAMSAR-listed wetlands move between them and
Australia's interior. The Transgrid EIS acknowledges the potential for increased
mortatility of waterbird species. Bird strike on towers and lines is a well-know
source of bird mortality globally. In 2002, Lake Merreti, immediately adjacent
the proposed route, was home to over 24,000 birds, including Freckled Duck and
Australian Bittern (the latter travel by night and have a higher chance of
2) Other threatened or vulnerable bird species, besides resident and
migratory waterfowl, use the floodplain, terrace country and mallee along the
proposed route for the line. All of these areas are undergoing intensive
recovery efforts through voluntary local community projects aided
by Federal and State Government grants as well as other grants from many
other sources. The intrusion of the proposed interconnector is likely to damage
these efforts and the abilitiy of these project to achieve their aims.
Registering your views is important as they will become part of the Federal
Minister's assessment of the proposal. What can you do?
1) Please write to the Honourable David Kemp, MP, Minster for the
Environment, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600, to ask him either to reject
Transgrid's proposal on conservation and ecological sustainability grounds; or
if he determines to approve the project, ensure that it is subject to conditions
that it be undergrounded where it travels through environmentally sensitive
2) Respond to the EIS: this can be accesssed via the following
Send your comments on TransGrid's draft EIS, clearly identified as a
"public submission on the 275 kV SA-NSW Interconnector (SNI) proposal, to:
The Minister for Urban Development and Planning
Attention: Manager, Environmental Impact Assessment Branch
Planning SA 5th Floor 136 North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000.
Closing date for comments is Friday 16 August 2002.
Over the next few days I will prepare a standard response which I will make
available to birding-aus members who let me know that they want it.
There are a number of good alternatives for this proposal which I will
touch on in the standard response.
Your help will be appreciated.
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