1 March 2019

We’re planning to move one set of transmission towers at Watsonia to the other side of Greensborough Road.

Moving the towers from the train station car park to the power line easement will:

  • make space to build North East Link and an upgraded Greensborough Road
  • make space to upgrade parking at Watsonia Station
  • keep the power lines in their original alignment, reducing construction time and disruptions.

Once in place, the new transmission towers would be about 80m away from their original location.

The relocation of the transmission towers has been informed by comprehensive technical studies and consultation with AusNet Services, the owner and operator of the Victorian electricity transmission network.

Your questions answered

Can the power lines be moved underground?

We investigated whether it’s possible to move the power lines underground but found homes would be required.

To bury the power lines, two large transition towers that move the power lines from above ground to below ground would need to be built and surrounded by safety compounds. Each compound would be about 90-95m wide. The existing power line easement is only 50-55m wide.

As well as requiring homes along the power line easement, the compounds would permanently take up open space and may have a greater visual impact than keeping the lines above ground.

Moving lines underground would require homes, public space and may have greater visual impacts than keeping the lines above ground, like they are now.

Could you just remove this set of towers?

This set of towers is needed to keep the tension in the power lines tight and at a safe height. Removing the towers would not comply with current regulations and introduce significant safety risks to the public.

When will the towers be moved and how long will it take?

Work to move the towers is expected to start in early 2020 after we are expected to receive planning approvals for the North East Link Program. Moving the towers should take around 6 months. To minimise disruption, work would be done in short, intensive bursts of around a few days at a time and local residents would be advised before works start.

Will homes or businesses nearby lose power while the towers are being moved?

We expect to be able to move the transmission towers without businesses or homes losing power. Work to move the towers would be staged in a way that isolates only the lines being worked on. This would keep other power lines live so power can stay on in the local area and across the broader network.

Will the new location affect people using the easement below?

The proposed project design for this area includes upgrades to paths along the power line easement to make walking and riding around Watsonia safer and easier. Some of the existing paths along the easement would be moved so they better connect to:

a new green bridge at Elder Street for trips to the station and shops

a new path next to Greensborough Road all the way between River Gum Walk at Lower Plenty Road and the M80 Ring Road Trail.

If you have any questions about plans to move the transmission towers, or the North East Link Program please visit our Community Information Hub at 17 Watsonia Road or call us on 1800 105 105.