On Tuesday 5th March I met with representatives from SP AusNet to discuss and convey the concerns of local residents regarding the Brunswick Terminal Station (BTS).
I conveyed the wishes of residents to hold a Town Hall style meeting with SP AusNet officials, and other relevant stakeholders associated with the BTS project. SP AusNet officials stated they have undertaken community consultation over the last 2 years through the community working group, and hold an open forum at CERES in Brunswick, and would not agree to a Town Hall style meeting.
I conveyed the concerns of residents regarding the terminology and descriptions used to describe the BTS works, sought clarification on the exact nature of the works and the associated timelines. SP AusNet officers stated the site is classified as a terminal station, which used to have a 66kv facility, followed by 22kv. SP AusNet officers said they’re installing a 66kv facility on site as part of the current works and that there’s no generation equipment.
We discussed the economic modelling of undergrounding some BTS works, including the line to Thomastown, and the affect and impact the work may have on Brunswick residents in terms of health and amenity. SP AusNet officers stated this proposal was not part of their brief, which is dictated by the regulator. Having said that, the officials were prepared to consider providing me with an estimate. They gave an example of another power station which only needed 800meters of underground cabling which cost several million dollars. The officials said it’s around 10km to Thomastown, so it could potentially be hundreds of millions of dollars.
I discussed the preliminary plan for the site, including the landscaping plan, as well as options for ongoing community feedback as the project unfolds. SP AusNet representatives contest the community’s assessment of the work and believe the new buildings will be less visually intrusive.
I conveyed the community’s suggestion that SP Ausnet consider establishing an ongoing Working Party with Residents to discuss dust and noise issues. SP Aus Net were opposed to this idea. They stated that Council Officers have access to the site and they are working with Council and discussing issues on an ongoing basis.