Residents like committee member with Kawana Forest Residents Association Rod Burton are unhappy about plans for an upgraded electricity network.
Residents like committee member with Kawana Forest Residents Association Rod Burton are unhappy about plans for an upgraded electricity network. Greg Miller

Radiation worries on Coast

ENERGEX has announced plans for a major electricity network upgrade for the southern end of the Sunshine Coast.

The SunSouth Power Project proposes to construct new electricity substations at Meridan Plains East, Bells Creek North, Palmview and Birtinya, with high voltage powerlines connecting the existing Mooloolaba substation with the proposed new substations.

However residents are concerned powerlines will emit radiation.

Kawana Forest resident and member of the Kawana Forest Residents Association Rod Burton said the Meridan Plains East and Birtinya substations surrounded the estate.

“We’re not against progress but we can’t work this out, we’re going to have all these power substations all around us,” Mr Burton said.

“We’re putting up with the sand mine and we weren’t happy about that but there’s nothing we can do about it, but when it comes to powerlines, we don’t want that.”

Mr Burton said residents would like to see substations moved to other locations and the powerlines put underground, like the existing powerlines in Kawana Forest.

However, he said due to “the cost factor” of installing powerlines underground, this may be unlikely.

““This area is definitely growing, but we believe it’s going to change a reason for people to move to Kawana and make it harder for people to sell because values may decrease,” he said.

He said erecting powerlines and substations near the new hospital and local schools could also pose health risks.

In a recently released statement, Energex said the final alignment of the SunSouth project had not been determined, with Energex working closely with key stakeholders, community members and the small number of directly affected landowners to identify a preferred alignment.

Energex will host an information day on May 7 from 10am – 1pm at Chancellor Park Shopping Village to present the proposal and gather community feedback.

 

Fast facts

  • The SunSouth Power Project follows approval of the $91 million SunCoast Power Project, a major electricity upgrade from Pacific Paradise to Palmwoods.
  • SunSouth proposes four new substations at Meridan Plains East, Birtinya, Bells Creek North and Palmview.
  • It will cater to increased electricity use on the coast, where more than 63% of homes have at least one air-conditioner and thousands of homes have four or more air-conditioners.

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