Western Renewables Link

Campaigns » Western Renewables Link

Standing up for farmers in the West

The Victorian Farmers Federation is supporting its members impacted by the proposed Western Renewables Link Project.

The proposed route for the project cuts through valuable and productive farmland producing potatoes, livestock, cereal crops and other food and fibre.

Renewable energy developments and the necessary transmission infrastructure must be sensitive to impacts on agricultural land and farming communities. The VFF has requested the Victorian Government develop a statewide transmission strategy to protect agriculture as our energy transmission network is augmented to support growing renewable energy production in regional Victoria.

Environmental Effects Statement

The WRL is going through an EES process. This involves a thorough investigation of the impact of the project on different values including agricultural, economic and the environment. The VFF participates in the EES process by encouraging the assessments (including the agricultural assessment) to appropriately consider impacts.

The VFF regularly contributes to these processes and recently supported local farmers in the EES process for the Fingerboards Sand Mine in Gippsland that the Victorian Government blocked. This demonstrates the value of engagement with the EES process and the need to ensure agricultural and other impacts are adequately conveyed and understood through the EES process.

You can follow the EES process here.

Next Steps

The VFF will continue to engage in the EES process, provide advice to our members impacted by the project and engage with other stakeholders including the Victorian Government and local councils.

The VFF continues to highlight issues of concern to our members including:

  • Impacts on farming systems due to height restrictions
  • Impacts on irrigation infrastructure and operation
  • Biosecurity risks
  • Risks of overhead assets in high wind / storm area
  • Any Impacts on emergency response 
  • Ensuring the route is undergrounded on a route that minimises the need to access private land.

The VFF will continue to advocate for fairer laws regarding access / use of farm land in accordance with our Managing Entry to Farms Policy Statement. Including:

  • Commercial consent for any land access for infrastructure or mining
  • Mandatory land access and biosecurity plans
  • Independent review of compulsory access
  • Revision of compensation calculations to ensure all costs to farm businesses year on year are considered
  • Mandatory consideration of the total impact on production, not just the route in approvals
  • Brief TRG members on agricultural issues