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VETO is a community organisation committed to preventing ENERGEX from turning the already fragile Logan River valley into a power line easement, clearing 42.5 hectares of Logan koala habitat, and destroying the amenity and property values of local residents.   

Our position on the ENERGEX proposed Loganlea to Jimboomba 110kV powerline is:-

"The FIAR [Energex Final Interim Assessment Report proposal] is in contradiction to key planning and legislative documents, carries out a damaging environmental precedent through incompatible land use and in no way represents best practice in environmental, social and cultural standards expected in Australia in the 21st Century. Where other viable options exist, a project with as many fundamental flaws in policy, application and public opinion should not be considered."
Extract from VETO Submission to Energex FIAR July 2010 (p5)   Read more...> pdf_64  (14.7 MB) verify

boring_machine

sign_dangerovhpowerlines photo-pole3

Boring machine used to create the power pole base [ref FIAR 16-4]. How can this construction be considered low impact ?

Typical 110kV single circuit
concrete power pole

Example of a concrete power pole affected by severe weather (Moranbah 2008), yes these poles can fall over !

This website is intended to provide information for local residents and anyone interested in the issues, especially those who want a better outcome for our community than what is being proposed by Energex.  We need to protect the Logan River bioregional corridor and Koala habitat for current and future generations.

Don't think you can't do anything about it - THAT IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE .....GET INVOLVED TODAY!
  
CONTACT US OR COME TO OUR MEETINGS, THERE IS ALWAYS A WARM WELCOME 
VETO Meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of each month,  7pm at the Community Hall, 66 Kenny Road, Chambers Flat
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Why are Electricity Costs increasing?

Queensland Household Electricity (Tariff 11) prices have doubled over the last 7 years, primarily driven by increasing Network (poles & wires) costs which have tripled in 7 years.

The LNP Govt. continues to blame the Renewable Energy Target (RET), Solar Bonus & Carbon Tax for cost increases, but conveniently ignores the major cost increases caused by overbuilding and duplicating Network poles and wires.

Listen to>  The Price of Power (ABC Background Briefing 27April'14).

 

The Qld Govt. IDC Review (May 2013) recommended “Stop building unnecessary infrastructure (poles & wires) and improve the efficiency of the network.

But Energex continue to build high cost power lines like the $50M+ Second Loganlea to Jimboomba 110kV power line, because they will earn a regulated (guaranteed) 9.72% return on this asset.

 

elec bill components v2

elec cost growth-v3

Privatised Retail Costs (for Origin, AGL etc) and GST have also increased, while the RET, Solar Bonus & Carbon Tax have driven Energy Generation costs down, as shown in the year by year Queensland Electricity Price increases chart (left).

Most of the electricity price increases are returned to the Qld State Government as increased dividends and receipts. These increases are a Queensland Government Tax by Stealth, misrepresented by Minister McArdle, as he tries to blame green schemes for these Government’s electricity increases.

Overall this highlights the unacceptable conflict of interest in Queensland, where Minister McArdle is responsible for electricity policy development, regulation, price-setting and approval of infrastructure expansion. When he and the State Treasurer are the sole shareholders in these Government owned electricity service providers and his Government directly benefits by increasing returns from these Government owned, monopoly essential service corporations.

Read More> Tax by Stealth

 

Energex $1 Million per Day Profit

courier mail 2march13-p6

Despite Energy Minister McArdle saying last year “it’s not acceptable for Energex to make large profits while households faced a 21% power price increase”, he let it happen and his Government received 81% of this Profit in Dividends, plus Income Tax Equivalents, a total of $449 million in 2012-13, with more expected in 2013-14.

Energex, Ergon & Powerlink are monopoly Government Agencies responsible for the delivery of electricity to Queenslanders, but they appear to have become Cash Cows for the Queensland State Government.

Payments from Energex, Ergon & Powerlink to the Qld State Govt. have more than doubled each year from $47M in 2007/08 to $970M in 2011/12 and $1.2Billion in 2012/13

Courier-Mail 2Markch2013-page6 (Click on image to enlarge)  
 

Energy Bosses Rake in Big $s

ceos pay

The CEOs of the three Queensland Government owned monopoly electricity distribution companies are paid very well from increasing electricity charges, paid by consumers.   

While our electricity costs in South East Qld soar, the Energex CEO Terry Effeney received $665,213 (in 2013-13) and 6 Senior Energex Executives received $3.03 million, an average of $503,000 pa each, to run this monopoly service, government agency!

These Senior Managers are very well paid to overbuild unnecessary power lines, like the $50M+ second Loganlea to Jimboomba 110kV power line on Queensland communities, because they expect to earn regulated (guaranteed) 9.72% per annum returns on this type of asset.  Meanwhile Queensland consumers are paying increasing electricity charges to support these high incomes, the high Energex profits and the million dollar dividends paid to the Queensland State Government.

        

Read more: Energy Bosses Rake in Big $s
 

We Can’t Get in to Restore Supply

For over 4 years Energex have chosen not to listen to our community. Energex management are so intent on imposing their proposed second Loganlea to Jimboomba high voltage powerline on our community they have ignored our concerns and advice that the Logan River floodplain is inaccessible during the wet.

This was dramatically demonstrated during the January 2013 floods, when ex-tropical cyclone Oswald came down the east coast delivering high winds and heavy rain. The Logan River rose rapidly to major flood levels, isolating homes in the floodplain. Some homes in Logan and other areas in Queensland and NSW were hit hard with extensive flooding and damage.

For Logan, there were 22,000 homes without electricity supply, with many overhead powerlines brought down by the high winds and fallen trees. However the big issue was access, with main roads including Waterford-Tamborine Road, Mt Lindesay Highway, Camp Cable Road and many local roads cut by flood waters.

Even Energex’s (pre council-amalgamation) Logan River flood hazard zone map (opposite), shows 40% of the proposed powerline route will be inundated by flood waters, with 26% actually in the path of the rapidly flowing Logan River. With Logan City Council's more recent flood modelling now showing river flow rates are 2 to 3 times greater than those estimated by the Energex 2009 WorleyParsons Report(FIAR Appendix E).

Many homes in our area were without power for 4 to 5 days and when asked, when our area could expect to have supply restored, Energex spokesperson Mike Swanston said on radio “We Can’t Get in to Restore Power”.

 

fiar fig9-1h

(click on image to enlarge)

Read more: We Can’t Get in to Restore Supply
 

Vegetation Clearing

The Oakley-Greenwood Report used by Minister McArdle to justify his decision to approve the Energex proposed second Loganlea to Jimboomba 110kV powerline includes the Energex map (below) that shows the Vegetation to be Cleared along the Logan River. 
click on maps to enlarge )

vegetation clearing ogw appendix 9-2-1 fiar-koala habitat-fig11-1
Vegetation Clearing Map (source: OGW Report Appendix 9.2.1) Koala Habitat Values Map (source: Energex FIAR figure 11.1)

This map also shows the start of the expected Vegetation (Tree) Clearing south of Logan Village, but by omission fails to show the full extent of the clearing that will occur.

Energex continue to downplay the impact of constructing their proposed dual (33kV and 110kV) overhead powerline with a 40 metre cleared easement through private residential properties along the existing F470 easement from Pioneer Drive to Camp Cable Road then through more Camp Cable Road residential properties to the Jimboomba substation.

As shown in the Koala Habitat Values map, this section of the proposed powerline is through High Value Koala Habitat. Energex claim the existing easement is 20-35 metres wide (OGW p42) but the existing F470 easement is 10 metres with much of it overgrown, providing habitat connectivity in this sensitive environment area.

Oakley-Greenwood (p53) highlights "There are differences in the legislation in Queensland to some other states that have resulted in Energex.. having a policy of not using public roads as preferred line routes." 

This area is high value koala habitat and should not be considered for a 40 metre cleared powerline easement. Instead, this powerline should be located on main roads eg Waterford-Tamborine Road and Camp Cable Road. But it appears Energex do favour powerline easements through private properties because they are exclusive and easier to impose on residents than it is to negotiate a road easement with Queensland Transport.  Obviously the legislation needs to be reviewed, but is there the will to fix this current situation ?

 

Gate Locked

locked gate final

Energex’s Loganlea to Jimboomba project has never shown our community the respect of genuine consultation.

There are still approvals to be obtained, but Energex are gearing up to inflict this high voltage powerline and 40 metre cleared easement along the Logan River and through 60% residential properties. This will be a $50M, high impact blight on our community, when there are other more cost effective and more reliable alternatives that Energex has failed to consider.

For those residents who want a say in what happens on their property, we’ve prepared these signs.

Energex need to negotiate access and provide 7 days advance notice before each entry. They cannot turn-up and expect to enter your property, you have the right to refuse entry. To remove any doubt, we recommend you fix these signs to your gates.

Go to Contact VETO to order your signs with an email. Tell us how many you want and where. We’ll deliver the signs and even help attach them.

 

Dilbert Understands

Dilbert understands how we've been treated, but does Minister McArdle ?

dilbert-consultation

 

  

 

 

Logan Sold Down the River by Queensland LNP Government

jimboomba times 5dec12-cover rdc jimboomba times 5dec12-p3

(click on images to enlarge)

Contrary to Energex's scare mongering in the article above, 32,000 customers in Logan are NOT at risk of power outages. The truth is, customers are supplied by the existing F820 110kV powerline with back-up during an outage via the existing 33kV network. (read more in "Gold Plating" article below)  

On the afternoon of Wednesday 28 November 2012, Queensland's Energy & Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle called Pam Parker, Mayor of Logan City Council (LCC) into his office. Our Council and Community expected good news after fighting Energex's proposal for the second Loganlea to Jimboomba 110kV powerline for 4 years and reassurance's from Minister McArdle that he had an "open mind". There is widespread opposition to this powerline along the Logan River, with the proposed 40m cleared easement and 5 crossings within 6kms, the 42.5 ha of koala habitat to be cleared and the impacts to more than 70 residential properties as 60% of this powerline will be through private properties.

The anticipated good news, was short lived. Minister McArdle's office despatched a Media Release advising he had approved the powerline, before our Mayor arrived. Our four LNP MPs in Electorates directly affected by the powerline, were caught short and equally shocked, especially as they had committed to support a full and open Review of Alternatives , prior to Queensland’s March 2012 State Election.

Read more: Logan Sold Down the River by Queensland LNP Government
 

Minister McArdle’s Special Conditions – What’s So Special ?

On Wednesday 28 November 2012, Minister Mark McArdle issued a Media Release to advise his decision to designate a 40 metre easement through our community for the Energex proposed second Loganlea to Jimboomba 110kV powerline.

This Media Release claims “Special environmental conditions have been imposed”... “in recognition of environmental issues raised by Logan City Council and the community” … “to mitigate social and environmental impacts,”

The Media Release includes six dot point requirements (shown) that are so broad they are un-enforceable. These are the minimum requirements, we would expect for any powerline construction. In fact they are the sort of basic environmental conditions we would expect Energex to provide, and maybe they did?

There is nothing special about these conditions and they certainly DON’T recognise the impact of Energex clearing 42.5 ha of koala habitat with a 40 metre cleared easement and 5 Logan River crossings within 6 kms through the already fragile Logan River bio-Regional corridor.

mcardles conditions

Perhaps Minister McArdle was misled by the Energex Vegetation (Tree) Clearing map included in the Oakley-Greenwood Report that was used to justify his decision. This map inAppendices Part 2 (Appendix 9.2.1)shows the unacceptable extent of vegetation and tree clearing proposed along the Logan River, but does not show the expected clearing south of Logan Village through known high value koala habitat .

Read more: Minister McArdle’s Special Conditions – What’s So Special ?
 

Minister McArdle approves "Gold Plating" by Energex

Queensland Minister McArdle’s approval of the second Loganlea to Jimboomba 110kV powerline allows Energex to continue to “Gold Plate” their network with more “poles & wires” when other Alternatives are available.

As shown in the network diagram (right), Jimboomba and Beaudesert consumers are supplied by the existing 110kV powerline (F820) from the Loganlea Powerlink substation (SSLGL). If F820 fails, back-up is provided via the existing 33kV powerline from Browns Plains via North McLean (F479) and the existing 33kV powerline from Beenleigh via Logan Village (F470) in addition to supply for Beaudesert consumers from Generators at Bromelton.

The Oakley-Greenwood Report used to justify the second Loganlea to Jimboomba 110kV powerline forecasts (Table 14, p23) show that if the existing 110kV powerline (F820) suffers an outage, the existing 33kV network plus Bromelton generators capacity (103 MVA) is sufficient to support existing customers even during peak load conditions, till the summer of 2015/16 (peak load is the worst case, but only occurs on average 40 hours or 1.7 days per year).

Rather than more costly "poles & wires", improved Network Management combined with deployment of Mobile Generators to cover supply outage gaps, was recommended by the Somerville ENCP 2011 Report in Dec 2011.

existing network

Read more: Minister McArdle approves "Gold Plating" by Energex
 

Obvious Alternative

Rather than relying solely on Loganlea substation to supply homes and businesses from Browns Plains to Beaudesert, VETO believes a local 275/110kV substation is required to support predicted growth for our Logan community.

The Energex map (below) shows that Energex expects the majority of future growth for our community to occur in the Greenbank, North Maclean and Greater Flagstone area. The “fully developed” load for Greater Flagstone of 160 MVA is equivalent to 50,000 homes, whereas the “fully developed” load for Yarrabilba of 74 MVA is equivalent to 23,000 homes. (click on map to enlarge)

exist elec_network

This Energex map (dated 25 August 2011) was provided by Mr John Wallace, the Oakley-Greenwood consultant reviewing the Yarrabilba alternative for Minister Stephen Robertson. The map may have been prepared by Energex to further undermine the Yarrabilba substation alternative proposed by Cardno for the Logan City Council. However it does highlight:-

  • The reliance on the Loganlea Powerlink 275/110kV injection point (substation) as the sole source of electricity supply for communities from Browns Plains to Beaudesert, including Jimboomba, plus the planned high growth communities of Greater Flagstone and Yarrabilba;
  • The Energex claim that Greenbank is “Unsuitable for a 275/110kV injection point”, when this 68 ha Powerlink substation site was originally justified as being “well located for efficient distribution of high-voltage electricity”;
  • The need for one or more local Powerlink 275/110kV injection points (substations) nearer to the planned high growth communities in Logan.

The major Greenbank substation is actually shown within the 'circled' highest growth area of Greater Flagstone and needs to be reconsidered as a local 275/110kV injection point.

Greenbank will also be needed to support the planned electrification of the rail line to Beaudesert as well as expected growth in the Beaudesert and Bromelton area.

Energex attempts to justify their proposed second Loganlea to Jimboomba high voltage power line, continue to highlight gaps in their planning process. A long term Strategic Plan with genuine stakeholder engagement to fully assess all options is needed to support the two high growth communities planned for Logan (Greater Flagstone and Yarrabilba) as well as our existing adjacent communities.

 

Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry

Energex are persisting with their proposal to construct a second high voltage sub-transmission line from Loganlea to Jimboomba substation following the Logan River with 5 crossings within 6kms and 28 power poles actually located within the Logan River Flood Hazard (Q100) zone. Energex have advised Minister Stephen Robertson that they can “engineer these poles to withstand flood waters and include scour protection measures”.

Energex state that this second powerline is required to improve reliability of supply for Jimboomba and Beaudesert, but how does purposely locating this powerline in the Logan River floodplain improve reliability? We are amazed Energex can forget the lessons from the 2011 floods so quickly, including their own staff being forced to evacuate the new Energex Corporate office in Newstead because of the Brisbane River floods and loss of power !

Energex believe they can “flood-proof this powerline” by mounting the high voltage power poles on 70 tonne concrete pedestals so each pole is above the 1974 (Q100) flood level. Apart from the significant impact these structures will have on the fragile Logan River environment, Energex appear to have forgotten that the Logan River has a history of devastating floods, with the 1887 flood higher than 1974 and more severe future floods predicted.

Energex also appear to have missed the point that even if one or more poles are not knocked over by floating trees and other debris carried by strong currents, it is likely that rising flood waters will require the powerline to be turned-off as a safety pre-caution for residents and emergency service workers. So how will this investment of $40+ million improve reliability of electricity supply for our community?

powerline_workers_in_boat 

  Maintenance crews needed boats to reach distribution powerlines during the January 2011 floods.  But how will they maintain the high voltage powerline in the Logan River in the midst of high flood currents ? 

How are Energex crews expected to maintain this powerline during wet weather when the flood plain is inaccessible, let alone during flood events when it will too difficult and dangerous to get anywhere near this proposed powerline. Are Energex planning to buy more boats, with bigger motors to overcome the strong flood currents?

So often during the recent floods we heard that "Water and Power don’t mix” but here we have Energex ignoring their own advice, with their planners about to create an expensive, unreliable powerline that will be an ongoing liability for their staff and our community.

To highlight the seriousness of a Government Operating Corporation purposely planning to spend $44+ million to build essential service infrastructure in a known flood hazard zone, VETO prepared a submission to the Queensland Floods Commission Inquiry. 

Download this submission, to read more,,,Flood Submission  (2.4MB).  We welcome your feedback.

 

 

 

Objections Lodged

Logan City residents issued with Notices of Intention to Resume by Energex for the controversial Loganlea to Jimboomba 110KV transmission line along the Logan River and through the Camp Cable koala corridor have drawn their collective swords, lodging a box full of objections at Energex Headquaters in Brisbane on Thursday 10Feb’11.

In a battle which has taken on David and Goliath proportions, Logan solicitor Maree Slingsby, who filed the objections today, described the decision of so many affected residents to fight the Notices as "outstanding." She personally lodged objections on behalf of 35 residents, and knows of other objections being lodged.

"Usually with these resumption matters, people are so fed up by the time it gets to this point that they just throw in the towel" she said." Here, over 50% of people who received Notices of Intention to Resume have objected, and those are just the ones I know about." Residents intend to take the fight to Energex, and expect to appear at hearings in relation to their individual objections over the next few weeks.

"It was always incomprehensible that Energex would contemplate using a volatile river like the Logan for an electricity easement" said Slingsby. "Now, with the lessons from January 2011 so clear, it is even more so. Infrastructure needs to be able to cope with extreme climate events. Intentionally sticking this powerline in the path of future floods makes absolutely no sense, when there are cheaper and better alternatives."

delivering_objections_to_energex-10feb11

Chris Nas, Dieter Lacko & Maree Slingsby receipting
35 Objections with Wayne Hickey (2nd from right) of
Energex in the new (expensive) Energex Head Office
at Reddacliff Street in Newstead Qld.

 

We Were Lucky in Logan

Despite the January 2011 moderate to major flood levels in the Logan and Albert rivers our community was spared the destructive flooding that impacted so many other parts of Queensland and other States. We were lucky that a large proportion of the heavy rainfall was further west and we were lucky that the not yet finished Wyaralong Dam (on the western, Teviot Brook part of the Logan River catchment) was able to capture 103,000 MegaLitres of water since it was plugged on 17Dec 2010. However for future high rainfall events, we do need to remember that Wyaralong is not a flood mitigation dam and a ‘full dam holds no (more) water’!

Even with our luck this time, we did see huge volumes of water flowing rapidly down the Logan and Albert rivers with the Mt Lindesay highway, Waterford-Tamborine road and many other local roads cut. We can also relate to the destructive impact that the flooding rivers had elsewhere in Queensland and this flood provides a timely reminder of just how vulnerable we all are to these regular weather events. 

The State Government expects Local Government Councils to adopt climate ready strategies when developing major infrastructure. Which includes avoiding development in areas at risk of increased flooding, storm surges and reducing habitat loss and fragmentation. These principles are needed to increase the resilience of infrastructure and reduce the vulnerability of our communities. They have certainly been dramatically reinforced by the 2011 cyclones and floods. It is also obvious that all Govt. agencies and Queensland communities need to follow these principles, even Energex !

jimboomba_times_19jan11-p1

Jimboomba Times 19Jan11 p1
(double click image to enlage)

 

Energex Valuers

Residents directly affected by the PROPOSED Loganlea to Jimboomba 110kV powerline are being contacted by Energex Valuers to have valuations on their properties and are being harassed to sign contracts for compensation.

Residents DO NOT have to sign anything at this stage. This proposed powerline corridor has not been approved by the Minister for Mines and Energy, Stephen Robertson MP. Till then the fight for a better alternative is continuing. Even if he does sign-off the Community Infrastructure Designation, residents have 3 years to seek compensation. Residents are advised to wait until the decision is made and should also seek their own independent legal and compensation valuation advice. This compensation could be greater than the Energex offer and should cover your legal and valuer costs. Energex are trying to intimidate residents and convince everyone that their flawed proposal will happen - even when it hasn't been approved.        Stand firm to protect your rights, our community and our environment !

Read more...> Energex's Attitude Immoral

Accepting compensation early is like accepting payment for a car accident before the accident actually occurs.