The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is encouraging farmers to help inform the Victorian Government plan for transmission development across the state.
The new government agency charged with planning future transmission projects, VicGrid has released an online survey and mapping tool to help determine where future projects should be built.
VFF President Emma Germano said it is important for all farmers to have their say to help guide future planning decisions.
“We have seen how government’s failure to plan the transition to renewable energy has led to bad projects like the Western Renewables Link and VNI West.”
“The government has started to listen to farming communities by committing to undertake widescale planning of transmission infrastructure. This is a commitment the VFF has been fighting to secure since the 2018 state election.”
“We know that some types of farming can co-exist with renewable energy and transmission infrastructure, whilst others cannot.”
“The VFF does not want to see development in areas with the best soils and access to water. You can’t move the land somewhere else, and you can’t compensate farmers and the community for the loss of that land.”
“It is important to consider that wherever the government determines transmission lines need to be built, we will also see wind turbines, solar facilities and battery storage constructed in these zones. We must consider how this infrastructure impacts agricultural production too.”
“We need farmers to help identify the land and infrastructure that is of strategic importance to our economy and food security.”
“Food security must be a top priority for government when planning all infrastructure projects. The Victorian Parliament has just announced an inquiry into the state’s food supply because of concerns with urban growth. There is clearly a concern that poorly planned infrastructure is having an impact on food and fibre production.”
“The VFF is also undertaking work to highlight the most sensitive regions and we have already engaged with VicGrid in a workshop to consider the best way to identify strategic agricultural land.”
The survey and mapping tool is available on the Engage Victoria website and closes on 31 January 2024: https://engage.vic.gov.au/victransmissionplan