Stop, Rethink HumeLink denounces Transgrid's reckless awarding of $2.9 billion construction contracts
Community demands Transgrid respect due process and halt its premature actions to advance the HumeLink project until Select Committee recommendations are tabled and EIS outcomes are known.
Community groups have expressed outrage at Transgrid's audacious actions and brazen disregard for due process by awarding $2.9 billion in contracts to HumeLink construction partners, amidst the ongoing NSW Select Committee Inquiry and the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process.
This move flagrantly disregards parliamentary due process, environmental concerns, wider community concerns, the failure to reapply the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) following significant project changes, and, importantly, the concerns of electricity consumers who may bear the financial burden of this project, even if it is eventually scrapped.
Spokesperson for the HumeLink Alliance, Michael Katz, said that awarding multi-billion-dollar contracts at this stage is not only imprudent but raises serious questions about the transparency and integrity of the project.
"Transgrid's actions fly in the face of genuine community concerns that balance cost, operational and environmental impacts.
"This premature action undermines the ongoing parliamentary inquiry, creating an unjust precedent that prioritises corporate interests over the democratic process,” Mr Katz said.
The rush to progress an overhead transmission line project, which is currently subject to a parliamentary process, raises red flags particularly given the delay to Snowy 2.0 – as HumeLink’s effectiveness relies on the completion of Snowy 2.0.
"We firmly believe in safer and more cost-effective alternatives and stand united against destructive overhead transmission projects. Particularly while the Select Committee is dedicated to re-examining the feasibility of underground transmission lines. Progressing this project while under parliamentary consideration shows a blatant disregard for due process."
Transgrid's claims that 54.8 per cent of the impacted landowners have agreed to its terms with the balance “expected to be achieved before the start of construction”, though Mr Katz does not agree that this will be the case.
“Awarding substantial contracts before the parliamentary inquiry concludes and the EIS outcomes are known undermines the trust of the community and is a clear indication of a lack of commitment to transparency, community engagement, and responsible project management.”
The Stop Rethink HumeLink group demands that Transgrid immediately cease all work on the HumeLink project until the recommendations of the NSW Select Committee are tabled, thoroughly considered, and the EIS outcomes are known.
“It is evident that Transgrid has jumped the gun, prioritising its own agenda over the well-being and concerns of the communities affected by the HumeLink project.
“This project, entangled in controversy and discrepancies in costing reports, should not proceed without the necessary approvals and a comprehensive understanding of its environmental and social impacts,” Mr Katz said.
Terri Murphy | 0439 140 392 | email@example.com