Transgrid carries out community consultation at the Jerilderie Fun Fair 1
VNI West

Community consultation leads to route change for VNI West

26 March 2024

Transgrid has modified the preferred route for the nation-critical VNI West project in direct response to feedback from the local community and landowners during recent consultation.

A Preferred Route Report has been released today outlining the significant change to move the proposed transmission line further away from Moulamein, extending the buffer for the township to nearly six kilometres.

Project Director Colin Mayer said: “Transgrid is committed to working with the local community and landowners to minimise impacts and ensure the successful planning and delivery of this critical transmission infrastructure to enable Australia’s clean energy future.  

“Transgrid released a Draft Route Report in January outlining four options and staged a series of community meetings, information sessions and pop-up stalls during February and March to obtain feedback from the local community. In addition to verbal feedback, we received 48 written submissions.

“The proximity of the preferred route to the Moulamein township was consistently raised as a concern by members of the community as well as potential impacts on agriculture and biodiversity.

“We have listened and acted in direct response to this feedback, making a significant change to the preferred route around Moulamein to reduce impacts on the local community, landowners, agriculture and the environment.”

The change to the preferred route:

  • Moves the preferred route further north of the Moulamein township, extending the buffer to nearly 6km and improving visual amenity
  • Reduces potential impacts on irrigated agricultural farming operations
  • Improves environmental outcomes particularly for Billabong and Moores creeks, &
  • Decreases the number of affected landowners from 12 to five in this section of the alignment.

The Preferred Route Report also:

  • Modifies a section of the transmission line to the west of the Cobb Highway at Wanganella, shortening its length and moving it further away from residential properties to the south of Wanganella-Moulamein Road
  • Widens the preferred route by up to three kilometres at the eastern end near Dinawan to allow flexibility to find a pathway for the transmission line through future renewable energy developments, &
  • Maintains a ‘bubble’ up to 10 kilometres wide at the southern end near the Murray River at Cobramunga to allow discussions to continue with Transmission Company Victoria to determine a specific crossing point.

“We will continue to work with community members, landowners and key stakeholders as we refine the preferred route and further minimise agricultural, environmental, economic and social impacts,” Mr Mayer said.

Detailed studies to assess environmental and social impacts will be undertaken as part of the formal environmental assessment and approvals process.

VNI West is being jointly developed with Transmission Company Victoria and will connect major projects EnergyConnect in NSW at the Dinawan substation and Western Renewables Link in Victoria at the Bulgana substation.

It is essential to bring clean, cheap and reliable energy to consumers by unlocking electricity from existing and future renewable energy zones in NSW and Victoria as coal-fired power stations close.  

The project will also increase capacity for energy sharing, improving reliability and security of electricity supply for both states.

The Preferred Route Report can be accessed here:


VNI West final preferred route

VNI West final preferred route

Transgrid media contact:

Mark Nolan 0429 047 136