Claude Hillsley wants powerlines to run underground.
Claude Hillsley wants powerlines to run underground.

$15m electricity upgrade planned

CLAUDE Hillsley doesn’t want to stand in the way of Coffs Harbour’s growing demand for power, he just doesn’t want a 66,000 volt power line at his back fence.

The 79-year-old retiree has aired his concerns over Country Energy’s planned $15 million Coffs Harbour electricity network upgrade.

The project will provide Coffs Harbour with reliable energy supplies and maintain power capacity for future population growth.

Part of the upgrade will see the 66,000 volt power line built connecting the power substations at Thompsons Road and Bray Street.

The issue for Mr Hillsley is that the power line will go up just over the back fence of his Fleming Crescent home, passing along a causeway to Reid Drive.

“These lines will be no more than 10 metres from my home giving rise to serious concern about health problems in the future,” Mr Hillsley said.

“I have read extensively about electromagnetic fields and I am not impressed with research, which says that there is no conclusive proof of a health hazard.

“Surely with modern boring equipment a direct underground route would halve the distance,” he said.

Running from the Thompson’s Road power substation the power line will pass through Reid Drive, stretch across the Coffs Harbour Golf Course to Hogbin Drive, onto to Barrie Street, Brodie Drive, Watsonia Avenue and through Orlando Street to the Bray Street sub-station.

A Country Energy spokesperson said the proposal had been open to community consultation for two weeks now, and the electricity company welcomes feedback from the public.

An environmental assessment is taking place to ensure this project will be designed to minimise any potential impact on the environment.

Country Energy has indicated it will also provide the public with information addressing concerns that high voltage powerlines cause adverse health risks on property owners.

Any members of the public who would like feedback on this proposal are urged to contact Phil Guest, Transmission Line Project Manager, on 0417023318 or Marcus Brockhouse, Transmission Line Route Consultation Coordinator on 0428272963.



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