Victoria’s new payment plan for transmission landholders

Transmission towers against sunset (ausnet community fund)
Image: Shutterstock

The Victorian Government will introduce a new landholder payment plan for communities hosting crucial electricity transmission infrastructure, recognising their important role in the renewables revolution.

Acknowledging the important role landholders play in hosting critical transmission infrastructure, the government announced additional payments for a typical area of new transmission easement at a standard rate of $8,000 per year per kilometre of transmission hosted for 25 years.

First payments under the new arrangements will go to landholders who host transmission easements along the selected VNI West and Western Renewables Link transmission corridors.

Related article: VNI West transmission project to be fast tracked

This, the government says, will ensure an equitable approach for projects across the Victorian-NSW border, as well as other major projects including the Victoria-Tasmania Marinus Link project and transmission links connecting Victoria’s Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) and future offshore wind projects.

The Labor Government has also released a consultation report for a proposed approach to planning and developing this new network infrastructure, the Victorian Transmission Investment Framework (VTIF).

It is designed to give Traditional Owners, local communities and key stakeholders a real voice in the development of new infrastructure so that impacts can be better managed and benefits can be realised.

The new report summarises feedback received through a six-week process conducted with regional communities, stakeholders and industry representatives, which will be a key input into decision-making on these proposed reforms.

Key themes included broad support for VTIF’s proposals for earlier and deeper community engagement; a new strategic land use assessment to support better decisions on land use; strong interest in a new approach to benefit sharing; and meaningful partnership with Traditional owners throughout the entirety of the transmission lifecycle.

Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio says, “These new payments acknowledge the hugely important role landholders play in hosting critical energy infrastructure—a key part of Victoria’s renewables revolution.”

”We want to get the process for planning and approving new infrastructure right, so we can make sure the renewables revolution is a shared, equitable legacy for all Victorians.”

Related article: NSW farmers get payrise for hosting new transmission lines

Not everyone is in favour, however, with Bulgana farmer Larry Mclean telling ABC Ballarat the planning process had been “shambolic” and the new payments would not amount to much for him because the powerlines only extended across a small portion of his property.

“They put a wind farm here and a wind farm here and then they think about where they’re going to join them up to,” he told ABC.

“It doesn’t seem to be very well planned. The companies are all owned by different people and there seems to be not much consultation with anybody that’s involved in the area.”

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