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Backcountry Kosciuszko National Park Credit -Destination NSW

The Snowy 2.0 electricity connection must go underground

Twenty four organisations and fifty expert engineers, scientists, environmentalists, academics and economists, are calling on Planning Minister Rob Stokes and Environment Minister Matt Kean to avoid further damage to Kosciuszko National Park by putting the electricity transmission connection for Snowy 2.0 underground.

Their Open Letter urges the Ministers “to insist on a comprehensive analysis of underground alternatives prior to the submission of the EIS, and that the proposed option must be for underground cables, not overhead lines. Overhead lines would cause environmental impacts that are totally incompatible with the national and international significance of Kosciuszko National Park”.

“Snowy 2.0 is already inflicting massive damage to Kosciuszko, and now we now find out that TransGrid, acting on behalf of Snowy Hydro, is proposing to construct two sets of transmission towers and clear an eight kilometre scar right through the heart of Kosciuszko” said Gary Dunnett EO of National Parks Association NSW.

“Let’s make no mistake, they are choosing overhead transmission just because it is cheaper than going underground, having no regard to the wholesale destruction of native vegetation and fauna, nor the blight of transmission towers, lines and cleared easements that would be visible over vast areas of alpine national park.

“TransGrid and Snowy Hydro should be looking for every possible opportunity to reduce impacts on Kosciuszko National Park. Both companies claim to be exemplary tenants- here’s their chance to prove it by going underground with their transmission project.

“Overhead transmission lines are totally incompatible with the fragile alpine habitats of the National Park. We must adopt international best practice, which is to avoid damage to sensitive environments by going underground” concluded Mr Dunnett.

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