The New England is slated to be home to billions in new energy transmission infrastructure in the coming years - but where should all the poles and wires actually go?
Local MP Adam Marshall believes the state government should use planning rules to encourage developers to build new grid connections on public land, like national parks and crown land, rather than private farms.
Mr Marshall's comments come after the public release of an appeal to state government by local councils for a list of ground rules governing the region's renewable energy zone (REZ).
"Transmission infrastructure should always be built on public land and only on private land where there is no suitable public land available," he said.
"If you look at our region, between road reserves, rail reserves, state forests, national parks, crown land, there's almost continuous land mass going north-south, east-west right throughout the REZ. And whilst it mightn't be in a complete straight line in some circumstances it, I think, would be far better for our region."
The renewable energy zone master planning process is designed to allow local communities and councils to determine where, and how renewable energy will be built.
Much of the New England is national park, and Mr Marshall said he'd be happy for new wires to go through it, just like existing poles and wires often do.
He said the argument that less-straight wires drive up power prices is "bunkum".
"You've got to remember this transmission infrastructure will be there, like the existing transmission infrastructure, for potentially the next 60 or 70 years," he said.
"So, it it doesn't have to go in a direct straight line. Because the owners of that infrastructure have the ability to spread those costs over the complete lifetime of those assets and over millions of customers."
Five councils, which together govern a region which contains some of the most intensively sought-after land in the state by green power firms, joined to lay down a list of demands last week.
Among the three "essential" demands in the "REZ statement of expectations" document is that government require payouts by green energy companies to be pooled into a "future fund" to help finance the growth of the New England region.
Mr Marshall has long been a backer of the REZ process.
The MP said he wants to see the complete REZ plan finalised, including the rules governing the zone, by the end of 2022.
"Whether we had a renewable energy zone or not, you're going to continue to see loads and loads of companies, some good, some cowboys, wanting to propose projects, some good, some just irresponsible and inappropriate," he said.
"We're certainly not in the business of encouraging the development. It's about allowing the development to occur in a responsible way that means that we get the benefits of the region, not at the cost of any existing industries, or amenities."
The $10.7 billion New England REZ is the country's largest, boasting 8 gigawatts of power.
The Australian Energy Market Operator's latest Integrated System Plan also forecasts upgrades to the region's transmission capacity worth billions of dollars, recommending several projects "commence immediately".
NSW Farmers has expressed opposition to the dramatic expansion of the local power grid on private land.
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