Decision suspends power struggle: Mine and farmers at loggerheads

NEGOTIATIONS between landholders and Cadia Valley Operations (CVO) over the acquisition of land for powerlines to the mining site have been suspended.

The company anticipates it  will not require the additional power resources until 2016/17.

CVO general manager Tony McPaul said the decision to suspend negotiations for the powerline easements would relieve the uncertainty for affected farmers over the timing of construction.

“It will allow landowners to plan for the future use of their land without working around our construction schedules,” he said.

Landholder Lloyd Baker who runs a mixed farming property with sheep, cattle and cropping near Cadia, is delighted with the news.

“This would have had a huge impact on our property. We are farming people and this is our life. Having to go down the path of being compensated for the easement is something we didn’t want to do,” he said.

Mr Baker said financial compensation was not the issue for him, instead, he wanted to ensure the integrity of prime farming land.

In 2012 CVO announced it would apply for approval to construct an overhead powerline between Orange and its mining operations to provide for future power demands at the new Cadia East underground mine.

This required the creation of new easements in favour of Essential Energy and decommissioning the existing powerline, including relinquishment of the existing easements.

Mr Paul said the company would advise each of the affected landholders of the decision to suspend powerline easement negotiations.

“CVO has advised all landowners that all their reasonable legal and valuation expenses in relation to easement negotiations will be paid by CVO,” he said.

Mr McPaul encourages any affected landholders who had concerns to talk to CVO staff.

“We understand that landowners have invested a lot of time and effort into the powerline easement negotiations and I apologise for the inconvenience we have caused them without being able to finalise the agreements,” he said.

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