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Commitment Needed for Transmission Lilne Undergrounding

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Labour Party – Press Release/Statement:

Commitment Needed for Transmission Lilne Undergrounding

Gina Anastasiadis – http://www.labour.org.nz/news/commitment-needed-for-transmission-lilne-undergrounding

Carol BeaumontPhil Goff  | 
Friday, May 24, 2013 – 13:00

Mt Roskill MP, Phil Goff and Carol Beaumont MP say that strong public support will be needed for unsightly overhead transmission lines to be undergrounded.

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“Almost everybody agrees that power pylons and lines across the city and sensitive coastal areas are ugly and would be better undergrounded.  They detract from our environment, restrict activity under the lines and reduce property values”, they say.

“All new transmission lines are now laid underground, and nobody would dream of putting them across St Heliers or Takapuna Bays.

“We want them gone but there is a significant cost to putting them underground.

“Transpower has told us that it is most expensive if only a short section of lines is undergrounded.  For example it would cost more than $80 million to underground the three sets of transmission lines across Onehunga and Hillsborough bays, a distance of one kilometre.  Undergrounding the 220kv line which runs closest to the coast of the Manukau Harbour would be most expensive.

“However the Chief Executive says that the 60 kilometres of 110kv lines across Auckland could be undergrounded for $300 million, i.e. at a much lower cost of $5 million a kilometre.  Two sets of these lines run across Mt Roskill.

 “The question is who pays.  You can’t put that cost on local communities who are already paying the price of having the pylons there to serve the rest of the country.

“Our view is that the cost should be met out of the dividend Transpower pays the Government.

“For the undergrounding to proceed, however, there would need to be strong public support for it to happen.  As local MPs, we would like feedback from our communities on how local people feel about undergrounding the lines and meeting the cost of doing so”, Phil Goff and Carol Beaumont said.

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