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«7. Anthropogenic environment 7.1 Tenure and land use 7.1.1 Description of environmental values This section of the EIS provides a description of the ...»

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Abermain to Lockrose 110 kV Network Upgrade Project

Environmental Impact Statement

7. Anthropogenic environment

7.1 Tenure and land use

7.1.1 Description of environmental values

This section of the EIS provides a description of the existing land uses within, and adjoining,

the Study Alignment. The description makes reference to local government zoning, land

ownership, tenure, existing and potential future land uses, recreation and tourism

opportunities and economic resources such as good quality agricultural land and mineral resources. The nearby RAAF Base Amberley, which has prescribed airspace above and beyond the immediate airbase, is also noted in this section. Local government zoning To provide some initial context, the Study Alignment spans approximately 34.4 km and

traverses the following three local government areas:

Lockyer Valley Regional Council Somerset Regional Council Ipswich City Council.

State–wide local government reforms came into effect on 15 March 2008, resulting in the amalgamation of many local government areas. At that time the former Laidley and Gatton Shires joined to form Lockyer Valley Regional Council, and the former Esk and Kilcoy Shires joined to form Somerset Regional Council. The Ipswich City Council and Brisbane City Council boundaries did not change in so far as their effect on the Study Alignment.

Until such time as the preparation of a planning scheme for the respective regional councils is undertaken, the planning schemes for the previous local government areas remain in force and applicable to development in those areas. Administration of those planning schemes is the responsibility of the respective regional council. The planning schemes currently in effect

within the area covered by the Study Alignment are:

Laidley Shire Council Planning Scheme 2003 Former Esk Shire Planning Scheme 2008 Ipswich Planning Scheme 2006.

Local government zoning has been discussed at length in Section 4.2.1 of the EIS.

Therefore only a brief summary is provided in this section. Table 7.1 below summarises the Local government zoning as it relates to the Study Alignment.

PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF 2128311A-RPT003-C:sl Page 7-1 Abermain to Lockrose 110 kV Network Upgrade Project Environmental Impact Statement

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The majority of the Study Alignment is located on land zoned as rural. Two urban areas in Ipswich City, north of the Warrego Highway and west of the Brisbane Valley Highway, are traversed by the Study Alignment. These urban areas are zoned as large lot residential, future urban and recreation space. The zoning of land situated adjacent to the Study Alignment is consistent with the zoning of land within the Study Alignment. This information is graphically shown on Figure 4.6, in Section 4.2.1 of the EIS.

A detailed assessment of the proposed 110 kV high voltage distribution line against the relevant planning scheme codes is provided in Attachment E: Local government planning provisions. Overall the Project is consistent with the intent of the local government planning provisions. The local government requirements do not present any major obstacles to the development, particularly as the Project will be occurring within an existing easement. Where matters have been identified in that detailed assessment, they can be addressed through the detailed design stage and the implementation of the Project EMP. Land ownership and tenure

The Study Alignment traverses a total of 143 properties. The majority of properties are in freehold tenure in private ownership. One (1) property within the Study Alignment is reserve tenure however several of the freehold properties are owned or managed by local councils or the State. A complete list of properties within the Study Alignment is provided in Attachment H. Land ownership details are not included in the attachment.

Figure 7.1 below shows the tenure of land within, and adjacent to, the Study Alignment.

Land tenure adjacent to the Study Alignment is consistent with land tenure within the Study Alignment.

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The Study Alignment, and surrounding area, is dominated by rural and rural residential uses.

Large farming properties are found at the western end of the alignment in the Lockyer Valley Somerset Regions. The land there is used primarily for small crop production particularly seasonal vegetables and animal breeding such as the keeping of horses and cattle. The view illustrated in Photo 7.1 below is characteristic of the rural nature of this area.

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The Study Alignment passes through an area near the Lockyer/Somerset Region boundary which has been subdivided into smaller ‘rural living’ allotments (e.g. acreage). Land found in the Lockyer and Somerset Regions contains little development and is sparsely vegetated.

Much vegetation clearing has occurred to facilitate farming activities.

Land found in the Ipswich area which the alignment passes through, is also used for rural and rural residential purposes. Allotment sizes in these areas are generally smaller than those found in the Lockyer and Somerset Regions. There is generally more vegetation on the properties in the Ipswich area, reflecting less farming activities.

The alignment enters two urban areas in Ipswich City, north of the Warrego Highway and west of the Brisbane Valley Highway. These urban areas contain large lot residential and recreational uses. This is the only part of the alignment which encroaches into urban areas.

The view illustrated in Photo 7.2 below is typical of this area.

The Study Alignment is also traversed by an extensive road network comprising local roads and one State–controlled road. A detailed description of the existing road network is provided in Section 7.6.2 (Traffic generation and traffic and transport). The alignment also crosses the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail at Pine Mountain.

The Study Alignment does not traverse any protected resource areas, such as national parks, conservation parks, resource reserves, forest reserves, State forests or timber reserves. This is shown on Figure 7.2 below.

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The Study Alignment is largely restricted to rural and rural residential land, and does not pass close to any major townships. Recreation and tourism opportunities are largely related to rural pursuits. Activities such as four wheel driving, motor bike riding, horse–riding, bushwalking, bird watching and swimming can be expected to be undertaken within privately owned land and utilise privately owned facilities.

The alignment crosses over a disused railway line which is part of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail selection of Queensland Government funded recreational trails. The proposed high voltage distribution line will not sterilise the use of the disused railway line as the Wulkuraka line already exists at this locality and the proposed development simply replaces the existing east-west 110 kV line. Good quality agricultural land

Good quality agricultural land (GQAL) is defined as ‘land that is capable of sustained use for agriculture with a reasonable level of input and without causing degradation of land or other natural resources’ (DPI & DHLGP 1993). Conservation of GQAL in Queensland is addressed by State Planning Policy 1/92: Development and the Conservation of Agricultural Land.

Details on the relevance of this State Planning Policy to the Project are outlined in Section 4.1.3 of the EIS.

Four classes of agricultural land have been defined for Queensland. These are classes A – Crop Land, B – Limited Crop Land, C – Pasture Land and Class D – Non agricultural land (refer to Table 7.2). These agricultural land classes are based on an assessment of the suitability of the land for specified agricultural uses that involve rating the ability of the land to maintain a sustainable level of productivity using soils, topographic and climatic factors that determine sustainable productivity.

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Attachment H of ‘Planning Guidelines: The Identification of Good Quality Agricultural Land’ (DPI & DHLGP 1993) indicates that agricultural land classes A and B are considered GQAL in the areas formally known as Laidley Shire (now Lockyer Valley Region), Esk Shire (now Somerset Region) and Ipswich City.

The extent of GQAL along the Study Alignment is shown on Figure 4.1, in Section 4.1.3 of the EIS. There is conflicting GQAL mapping for the Study Alignment at the State and local government levels, based on the data sourced from DERM and the local government planning schemes. Both sets of data are shown in Figure 4.1 for comparison. Overall, Agricultural land classes A and B are found in the Lockyer Valley Region and Somerset Region. Agricultural land class C is also found in these regions however class C is not categorised as GQAL in these former Shires.

For the purposes of this assessment the DERM data set has been used, based on the rationale that the Project will not trigger assessment against the local government data sets because Project approval is being sought through the Community Infrastructure Development (CID) process. Calculations, based on the DERM data set, indicate that the Study Alignment traverses approximately 8.8 ha of GQAL (comprised of 2.1 ha of class A and 6.7 ha of class B).

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Protection of key resource areas (KRAs) in Queensland is addressed by State Planning Policy 2/07: Protection of extractive resources and guideline. Details on the relevance of this State Planning Policy to the Project are outlined in Section 4.1.3 of the EIS.

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KRAs comprise of 3 elements – a resource/processing area, a separation area and an associated transport route (which also includes a transport route separation area) where a link is needed from the resource/processing area to a major road or railway. The resource/processing area generally identifies the location of the extractive resource itself.

Although no KRAs are situated in the Study Alignment, the high voltage distribution line will cross the transport route associated with the Kholo Sands KRA (along Kholo Road in Ipswich City), between Structures 8 and 9.

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The Study Alignment does not contain any mining lease areas, both in terms of approvals or applications. Furthermore no such mining lease areas are located in the immediate vicinity of the Study Alignment.

However, the Study Alignment crosses several areas that are subject to the following

approved exploration permits:

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ENERGEX will consult with the above exploration tenure holders as part of the consultation process during the project’s detailed design, construction and operation phases.

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RAAF Base Amberley is located approximately 6 km south of the Study Alignment (measured from Structure 29). The RAAF Base Amberley has prescribed airspace above and beyond the immediate airbase which is controlled by the Department of Defence.

ENERGEX has been involved in discussions with the Department of Defence with regard to this Project and any potential impacts that the Project may have on prescribed airspace.

Correspondence dated 16 December 2010 received from the Department states that the Department has assessed the project proposal for any possible impact on the safety of aircraft operations and concludes that, using a maximum above ground height of 30m, none of the concrete poles will infringe the fixed wing obstacle limitation surfaces for RAAF Base Amberley nor affect published Instrument Flight Rules procedures. Therefore, the Department has no objection to the proposal based on the conditions stated above.

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The Project traverses through large properties in the Lockrose and Glenore Grove areas that may be considered in the future for rural–residential subdivisions.

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This section of the EIS discusses the potential site specific impacts of the Project on existing and potential future land uses and developments along the Study Alignment. The discussion expands on the matters described above.

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This section of the EIS discusses the potential site specific impacts of the Project on existing and potential future land uses and developments along the Study Alignment. The discussion expands on the matters described above.

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Land severance refers to impacts associated with disrupting an ability to fully utilise the land and associated buildings (e.g. sheds, dairies, livestock yards etc). With respect to powerline projects, land severance typically occurs where a property is traversed by an easement, and where the activities permitted on the easement are inconsistent with the land use activities being conducted on the property – essentially isolating an area of land from the remainder of the property as a result of its passage across the property. However, where activities permitted within the easement are not inconsistent with land use activities being conducted on the property, then the issue of land severance is not as tangible, and generally relates to people’s enjoyment of their property and sense of dislocation.

The effects of severance vary depending on the level of inconsistency between the existing land use activities and the activities which are permissible to be conducted within the easement.

Land severance is not a material issue in this instance because the Project is occurring within an existing, cleared easement for most of its length. Land severance may occur where new properties are traversed by the Project, however in these areas the 110 kV line will utilise the existing Powerlink easement being co-located with the proposed 500 kV transmission line thus reducing the overall impact.

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Land use and management activities which are currently being undertaken in the Study Alignment may be altered due to construction of the powerline. The following are examples

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