Field surveys across the proposed WVTNP transmission corridor

Since we announced the single corridor for the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project (WVTNP) in late June, the project team has continued communicating and engaging with landholders as well as conducting vital field surveys for the Environment Effect Statement (EES). These studies will help determine the proposed final route for the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project.

The much-needed project, that will carry renewable solar and wind energy to the national electricity grid, is subject to an EES, the most rigorous environmental impact assessment process in Victoria. The project is also subject to Commonwealth approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

As with any major project, these field surveys include biodiversity, noise, electric and magnetic fields (EMF), Aboriginal cultural heritage, historic heritage, geology, soil contamination, surface water and groundwater, geotechnical, visual amenity and land use. We are focusing our investigations in those areas where desktop assessments, feedback from landowners and the community have identified a need for further assessment.

The findings of the surveys will inform the selection of the proposed final route and provide an important opportunity to identify, avoid or mitigate potential impacts once the environmental considerations in the corridor are understood in detail.

We have discussed land access consent and protocols with landowners to minimise interruption to their property, farming operations and livestock. Our staff and contractors follow individual landholders’ preferred biosecurity arrangements and standard procedures such as closing gates, avoiding disturbance to livestock, and driving on existing laneways and tracks.

Our staff and contractors also adhere to Victorian Occupational, Health and Safety regulations, and will continue to comply with the directions issued by the Chief Health Officer of Victoria relating to Covid-19. We have a COVIDSafe Plan in place that will be followed at all times.

Working with landholders

We thank landholders for their cooperation allowing access to their land which has yielded valuable scientific information. We remain committed to working with landholders to determine appropriate access arrangements and establish when, where and how we enter their land. Nobody knows the land like they do. When negotiating voluntary land access consent, we work closely with each landholder individually to identify how we can minimise interruption to their property, farming operations and livestock.

We are currently undertaking field studies on both public and private land. Most of the surveys will take place during daylight hours and involve environmental specialists walking over land or viewing the land from vehicles on adjacent public roadways. There are some investigations that need to take place at night such as identifying nocturnal species such as owls and bats and measuring background noise levels.

Here’s a few of the surveys that are underway or planned

Biodiversity – native vegetation quality assessments, threatened flora and fauna surveys, remote camera surveys for fauna and spotlighting for nocturnal fauna. The use of unmanned remote cameras for wildlife surveys is standard practice. The cameras will not be directed towards houses.

Noise – measurement of day time and night time noise with handheld or tripod monitoring units that may be left in a location to determine noise levels over a period.

Aboriginal cultural heritage - on foot observations and in some instances there may be some ground disturbance involving shovels, hand augers and hand sieves. Any ground disturbance will be backfilled upon completion and not left open overnight.

Historic heritage – on foot observations, photographing artefacts (building components, household materials) and recording their positions via a GPS receiver. Aerial drones may be used in some instances for short and limited periods of time. The drones are registered with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and flown by an accredited operator.

Landscape and visual amenity – visual assessment of landscape and photographs and videos taken for records and the creation of photomontages and other visualisations.

Geology and geomorphology (study of landforms) – visual assessment of landforms and photographs taken for records.

Contaminated land – shallow soil sampling from 0.5 to 1m below ground level to collect samples using a hand auger. The borehole is roughly the size of a posthole and will be backfilled upon completion and not left open overnight.

General surveying – wooden stakes in ground in locations where geotechnical samples are required.

Geotechnical investigations - these will take place in two stages.

Stage 1 (September – October 2021)
Soil samples taken via boreholes to investigate the soil composition and geologic conditions. A maximum of three vehicles (light vehicles such as cars and utes with augers and medium vehicles with augers on back) may be required at one location.

Stage 2 (early 2022)
Soil samples taken via boreholes and test pits. An excavator is required to dig a test pit.

All boreholes and test pits will be backfilled upon completion and re-seeded, or re-instated as per the landholder’s requirement. Each borehole will require a maximum of two days on site and will be approximately 20cm in diameter. Test pits will be approximately 1m x 1m.

If you are a landholder within the proposed transmission corridor, and have any questions about these surveys, please contact your dedicated Land Liaison Officer on the number you have previously been provided.

For general information about the project please contact us by calling 1300 360 795 or emailing To register for regular updates and information about the project, please visit