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Graziers angry at Powerlink land grab

NORTH Queensland graziers fear a proposal to run a high-voltage transmission line through their properties will cripple their livelihoods amid claims of limited consultation.

State-owned energy corporation Powerlink is planning a new transmission line between the Genex Kidston renewables project and Mt Fox.

The 125km line is expected to cross 25 properties to enable energy from Kidston to be connected to the national grid.

A line already exists, however Genex requires a greater transmission capacity for the project to be viable.

Farmers Des Bolton and Peter Bahr claim they have not been sufficiently consulted and are concerned the high voltage will affect cattle and the land.

However, Powerlink says it has consulted with landholders and stakeholders since last year.

Mr Bahr, who has lived at Greenvale Station for about three decades, said the proposal would go straight through his 25,000ha property.

"They're treating us like idiots," he said. "They basically just said this is what's happening."

Mr Bahr said the real concern was the effect the line would have on his land.

"We might be mustering in the future but you've got all these microwaves going around," he said. "No one tells you what this will do to you. It's 175,000 volts but I don't know what the current is."

Mr Bolton, who fears 50km of the line will pass through his Gadara Station, said it would hinder drone use.

"We run that (drone) over the ground at 50m, powerlines are at that height," he said. "Then we run electric fences … but you can't have an electric fence near a big powerline because it charges up the fence.

"It would affect the land underneath it, beef cows won't produce the same young."

Powerlink chief executive Merryn York said if the project proceeded, compensation would be part of the process.

"Powerlink has engaged with all landholders as part of the development of the Corridor Selection Report released in March 2017," she said.

"Powerlink recently (opened) an office in Greenvale to allow landholders and other residents to continue to provide their views on the project.

"No decision will be made about the final route … until a comprehensive impact assessment process and associated consultation is undertaken."

Topics:  editors picks graziers infrastructure powerlink

News Corp Australia

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