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Western Power has submitted plans for Clean Energy Link: Northern terminal – Neerabup Terminal renewable energy transmission line for environmental approval following community consultation.

The proposed 330 kV double circuit transmission line will link between Western Power’s Northern Terminal in Malaga to Neerabup Terminal in Pinjar and is part of the Clean Energy Link transmission project. 

It will significantly enhance the carrying capacity required for renewable energy and enable the connection of new renewable energy resources from the WA’s Mid West region.

The referral to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water (DCCEEW) and the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for environmental approval under a bilateral assessment is an important step towards a cleaner energy future for all.

A key part of the referral process is public comment and input and we encourage the community to have their say as we work collectively towards achieving WA’s decarbonisation goals. 

An assessment decision on the environmental referral is expected to be delivered mid-2025 with proposed construction expected to begin shortly after. Community will be kept updated through the process.

Northern Terminal to Neerabup Terminal line route map

*The map is a simple representation - location is indicative. All new line routes are subject to further design and route selection.

Environmental Approval

Regulatory process

Federal and State government regulations require all major infrastructure projects, such as Clean Energy Link, to undergo a robust environmental impact assessment before considering approval of them. 

The Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and State Environmental Protect Act 1986 (EP Act) form the key statutory framework for environmental assessment and approval in Western Australia. 

These Acts, combined, provide robust processes for the conservation and protection of the environment, threatened animals, plants and habitats, Commonwealth Heritage places and World Heritage properties for the benefit of our community and future generations of Western Australians.

For more information on the approval process and steps visit Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW).

Approval process

On 21 February 2024 the proposed Northern Terminal to Neerabup Terminal project was referred to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) for State and Commonwealth environmental approval under a bilateral agreement assessment. 

A flora, fauna and vegetation survey of the proposed corridor was conducted in Spring 2022 as part of our preparation for this. 

What happens next?

The EPA and DCCEEW is currently validating the referral and will advise on the level of assessment required for the project soon. 

The full assessment process can take up to 18 months to complete and is subject to an independent public consultation process which may include several periods of public comment. 

We encourage the community to have their say as we collectively work towards achieving WA’s decarbonisation goals.

EPA and DCCEEW public comment period

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) Public Portal is now open for public comments (closing 31 May 2024).

The first public comment period via the Environmental Protection Authority Consultation Hub closed on 7 March 2024. The referral documents are still available for viewing here.

Aboriginal Heritage Approval

Regulatory process 

Aboriginal culture is the oldest living culture in the world, requiring recognition, protection, preservation, and management. 

The Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (the 1972 Act) is the legislation that manages Aboriginal heritage in Western Australia and the laws require different types of approval for activities that may impact or harm Aboriginal heritage, ranging from significant to minor impacts and harm. 

Cultural Heritage Assessment

Western Power is currently undertaking an assessment of the areas in this proposed project where it is likely that Aboriginal heritage will be impacted. Through an on-ground field assessment and engagement with relevant traditional knowledge holders, an Aboriginal heritage consultant will identify whether any Aboriginal sites of objects on the land may be harmed by the proposed land use and provide avoidance and mitigation advice to meet our responsibilities under the 1972 Act. 

The outcomes of the assessment will determine Western Power’s next steps and we will seek approval and obtain a Section 18 consent before progressing any work.  

Indicative timeline

Activity Timeline
Flora and fauna survey Completed late 2022
Environmental impact assessment Completed February 2024
Consultation with local governments and State Government agencies In progress from mid-2023
Cultural heritage assessment In progress from mid-2023
Engagement with landowners and community In progress from mid-2023
Refer project to State and Federal environmental regulatory bodies  Completed February 2024
Submit Aboriginal Heritage Act approval Proposed May 2024
Submit developmental approvals Proposed 2024
Finalise environment, heritage and planning approvals Proposed 2024
Procurement of materials From 2024
Construction Proposed from 2025 to 2027

*The timelines indicated are subject to change as a result of relevant surveys and assessments. Some activities may happen ahead of approvals.