Consumer advocate to assist TransGrid community engagement

Energy network, transgrid
TransGrid
Rod Stowe

One of Australia’s leading consumer advocates Rod Stowe will help TransGrid implement the best possible landowner and community engagement practices on its major transmission projects.

As the former NSW Commissioner for Fair Trading, Mr Stowe is highly regarded by the community and has extensive experience protecting consumers, says CEO Paul Italiano.

“I’m pleased Rod Stowe will work with TransGrid to ensure our engagement practices and processes meet the highest standards,” he said.

“The transition to new energy sources and the community’s increased demand for electricity means we need to build major new transmission lines to transport energy across many areas of regional NSW. We want every landowner and community we deal with to be treated fairly and with respect.”

Related article:1st Energy admits it likely misled Tasmanian consumers

Mr Stowe said he would work to balance the interests of landowners and communities with TransGrid’s critical role to deliver an energy system for the future.

“TransGrid has clearly recognised they can do a lot better with landowner and community engagement and I can see this change towards best practice has begun,” said Mr Stowe.

“I’ve had extensive experience in community engagement and stakeholder consultation and I bring that expertise and knowledge with me to this role,” he said.

“I’ll be advising on best practice, specifically with regard to landowners, to ensure processes are transparent and their voices are heard.”

Mr Stowe will not play a role in dispute resolution. If a landowner is dissatisfied with their engagement with TransGrid, they will be directed to the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON).

Related article:Liddell Power Station incident leaves worker seriously injured

In the new year, project teams will be consulting with communities across NSW a number of ways, including:

  • COVID-safe face-to-face meetings
  • Online interactive maps, and
  • Community information sessions

About Rod Stowe

Rod Stowe served as NSW Fair Trading Commissioner for six years and has more than 40 years’ experience in the public sector. He is the current Chair of the Consumer Advocacy Trust Board and a member of the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) Board. He also led the New South Wales Government’s consumer protection strategy for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Rod was a recipient of the Public Service Medal for services to consumer protection in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours List and was named the CHOICE Consumer Champion Award in 2017.