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Sunday, September 20, 2020

The Castle star Stephen Curry in a bitter real estate battle over his family farm

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A star from classic Australian film The Castle is locked in bitter battle with development giants over his family farm. 

Stephen Curry, who played Dale Kerrigan in the 1997 hit movie, is fighting to save his property in western Victoria from 85-metre-tall powerlines. 

‘I think if The Castle taught us anything it is standing up for ourselves but it is a one-sided battle… that doesn’t mean it’s a battle that’s not worth waging,’ he told A Current Affair

Stephen Curry (pictured), who played Dale Kerrigan in 1997 hit movie The Castle, is fighting to save his family farm in Western Victoria from 85-metre-tall powerlines

Stephen Curry (pictured), who played Dale Kerrigan in 1997 hit movie The Castle, is fighting to save his family farm in Western Victoria from 85-metre-tall powerlines 

Curry (pictured right in The Castle) said the farm 'means everything' to him and his family

Curry (pictured right in The Castle) said the farm ‘means everything’ to him and his family 

Curry said the farm ‘means everything’ to him and has been in the family since 1962. 

‘A man’s farm is his future and I think if this project was to go ahead the way they want it, that future is in serious doubt,’ he explained.  

Energy company AusNet is planning to build almost 200 kilometres of powerlines through properties from far western Melbourne to a wind farm in Bulgana.

Although the exact route has not yet been determined, the proposed area cuts through hundreds of farming properties and local bushland.     

‘It strikes me as pretty ironic that in the name of finding renewable energy and sustainability we’re prepared to knock down entire spades of forests,’ Mr Curry said.  

Another furious farmer from Myrniong, 72km northwest of Melbourne, used his tractor to dig a rude message into a paddock in protest against the power lines.

Peter Muir said the 500-kilovolt transmission lines would ruin his property and pose a danger to the local community. 

Energy company AusNet are planning to build transmission lines from Melbourne to Bulgana that may intersect through hundreds of properties (Curry's family farm pictured)

Energy company AusNet are planning to build transmission lines from Melbourne to Bulgana that may intersect through hundreds of properties (Curry’s family farm pictured) 

The 500-kilovolt powerlines (pictured) will run dangerously close to state bushland

The 500-kilovolt powerlines (pictured) will run dangerously close to state bushland 

Mr Muir showed his contempt for the 500-kilovolt transmission lines by carving the very blunt message ‘P**s off AusNet’ into a large green field.   

Mr Muir said the high voltage powerlines could be built on properties without the consent of the owners. 

‘They can when they say it is an essential service, so they just push through regardless of whether you want them there or not,’ he told 3AW.    

Rural Victorian farmer Peter Muir used his tractor to carve a blunt message into a paddock (pictured) in protest of the 85-metre-tall powerlines being built on his property

Rural Victorian farmer Peter Muir used his tractor to carve a blunt message into a paddock (pictured) in protest of the 85-metre-tall powerlines being built on his property 

The farmer said the powerlines could potentially intersect on his 800 acre property and cause him to cease farming for 18 months. 

Mr Muir also voiced his concern over the powerlines reaching the Wombat State Forest and posing a fire hazard.   

‘It’s very hard for firefighters to get there to put it out, no Country Fire Association crew is going to put their crew underneath one of the power lines too because they’re an ignition point.     

‘It’s not just the cost to me, it’s the cost to the whole community, these ignition points will stop people from getting out of the bush or stop people getting in the bush during a fire,’ he explained.   

AusNet's proposed high voltage powerlines will potentially stretch through almost 200km worth of properties in western Victoria (pictured)

AusNet’s proposed high voltage powerlines will potentially stretch through almost 200km worth of properties in western Victoria (pictured) 

The farmer was told AusNet would turn the powerlines off in the event of a fire but was concerned they may not be shut off in time. 

Mr Muir claimed AusNet refused to consider underground powerlines because the venture was ‘too costly’.   

‘The whole idea is so ridiculous that you can’t believe anybody would think of it,’ he said. 

An AusNet spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia the company was still investigating a broad area and no exact route for the transmission lines had been decided.   

‘We absolutely understand that people in this area are concerned. We want to hear from local people about the potential impact on their land and their businesses. 

‘We’ve contacted many local landholders directly, including the Muir family, so that we can hear their point of view and we encourage all landholders to talk to us directly about their concerns. 

‘We’re right at the start of this five year project and we will be consulting with the community at every stage,’ the spokesperson said. 

Mr Muir said the powerlines (file image pictured) would ruin his property and create a fire risk

Mr Muir said the powerlines (file image pictured) would ruin his property and create a fire risk

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