Standing up for farmers in North Central Victoria
A huge thank you to those who helped provide the more than 500 submissions to AEMO regarding the VNI West project.
As a next step in our advocacy, we are encouraging you to contact the Victorian Minister for Energy and your local members of parliament to voice your concerns about the proposed transmission infrastructure and the lackluster consultation process that AEMO has so far conducted.
We ask that you call or write to your local MP. If you are unsure of your electorate, you can check it by visiting the VEC website.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The VNI West project seeks to expand the transmission interconnector capacity between Victoria and NSW through infrastructure that links renewable energy facilities in both states.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has considered a total of seven credible options for the project route. Option 5, a 500 kilovolt (kV) double-circuit overhead transmission line connecting to the Western Renewables Link (WRL) at Bulgana to EnergyConnect in the NSW Riverina via a new terminal station in Northern Victoria, is AEMO’s preferred option.
Farmers have been blindsighted by the proposal, which was orginally understood to be an upgrade to an existing 220kv line from Ballarat to Kerang via Bendigo. The newly proposed project would see new infrastructure built over valuable farmland, including irrigation districts.
The VFF has expressed its anger over the consultation process in which AEMO is not providing information to the community that is required to understand the project’s impact.
On Tuesday 21 March, the VFF and Northern Grampians Shire conducted a public meeting with over 170 attendees to hear from VFF representatives and VicGrid, which is the newly established agency within government that will be responsible for the planning of future transmission projects. Representatives from AEMO were in attendance to hear the frustrations of the community. Click here for more information.
The VFF has prepared a factsheet for farmers located in the region impacted by the proposed project.
AEMO have released a consultation report which details the reasons for choosing the new corridor for the proposed project which can be downloaded via the link below. Further information is available from AEMO’s website.
The VFF has created a map of the corridor for the proposed project to provide improved information for the community.
Disclaimer: This map is based on the map published by AEMO in its consulatation report. The boundaries of the map are indicative and may not align with the precise boundaries which AEMO are working within.
The VFF knows the process for determining the transmission line route (including the eventual construction phase) will take a very long period of time with multiple consultation phases.
The VFF is working with local farming communities to develop a plan of action and to support farmers understand steps in the process. This work will be lead through the newly created VFF Energy and Transmission Taskforce.
The VFF has prepared submission to the consultation focussing on key issues such as alternative routes and technologies (undergrounding), land access arrangements and compensation. We are continuing to meet with decision makers to ensure your voice is heard.