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Young farmer ploughs protest message against proposed power grid plan

3AW Mornings
Article image for Young farmer ploughs protest message against proposed power grid plan

Farmers in the state’s west have launched a fight against energy company AusNet over plans for a new power grid.

The energy provider wants to erect new towers and a 190km transmission line on private land to carry green energy from Stawell to Melbourne.

The project is still in planning stages, with AusNet considering several different routes.

Fifth generation potato farmer Joee Aganetti-Fraser, 17, says transmission lines on one route will destroy her family farm at Mount Prospect.

“The proposed substation location, which will be 50 acres, is directly opposite our home,” she said.

“There will just be one massive spiderweb all over our property.

“It means we won’t be able to run any machinery underneath them or use our farmland to be able to produce the crops we do produce at the moment.

“These transmission lines will reduce our ability to produce potatoes … by 40 per cent.

“We won’t be able to produce the tonnage that we need to to be able to fulfil our contracts.”

Ms Aganetti-Fraser has made a very visual protest against the plan, mowing ‘Piss off AusNet’ into a hill on the farm.

She says she’s had “hardly any response” from AusNet over the plans.

“All they’ve been able to give us is ‘We don’t know’.

“We want it just straight down the middle of the Western Highway where there’s already an existing easement.”

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