STRENGTH IN NUMBERS: There was a large turnout of residents on Wednesday night as potentially affected residents questioned Ergon Energy.
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS: There was a large turnout of residents on Wednesday night as potentially affected residents questioned Ergon Energy. Michael Cormack

‘Route five’ residents air ire over powerline

ERGON Energy has admitted the process into deciding on a route for its new Warwick to Stanthorpe powerline has not been well managed.

Speaking at a meeting with about 70 potentially affected residents at the Massie Hall on Wednesday night, Ergon Energy general manager for community and stakeholder engagement Justin Fitzgerald said the process could have been better.

"We have tried to engage with the community but we understand it has not been effective," Mr Fitzgerald said.

"The process has not been well managed. We accept that.

"However, we don't want to go forward without input from other areas too."

The meeting was called by potentially affected residents along the proposed route five powerline.

It allowed the residents to question Ergon's process, saying they have not had a fair say - something Ergon denies.

When meeting chairman Con Hughes - an independent stakeholder whose property is not within the area of the proposed route - asked people to raise their hands if they knew about the proposed route before May, 2013, just two people on line route five raised their hands.

Potentially affected resident Julia Coyte asked the three Ergon Energy representatives, project manager Rodney Lobwein and regional asset manager - south, Dave Shephard - along with Mr Fitzgerald, if they would address the residents' concerns.

"On the information from tonight, we would be dumb not to," Mr Fitzgerald said.

"Will we take feedback into the process? Absolutely.

"There is feedback here which will need to be considered."

Mr Fitzgerald said it was important to understand whether the criteria for scoring of the lines was correct, with various factors being weighted differently.

"Yes you can have questions about the process," Mr Fitzgerald said.

"What you have got to come down to is whether the criteria weighting and objectives are right.

"I agree the process has got some way to go.

"The criteria reflects what I would expect the community to place an emphasis on."

However, Ms Coyte said it did not answer the concerns of residents about the process.

"We're not so much interested in the technical issues, our concerns are with the fundamental issues," Ms Coyte said.

"These issues were brought to you in the interim report, yet you continue to ignore them.

"I know it can be hard to contact people but why do we always get our bills, yet almost no one got a letter about the powerlines.

"Why did you not use the billing list?"



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