The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) says a new state-wide plan for transmission infrastructure development ignores the rights of farmers and regional communities.
Following the release of the Victorian Transmission Investment Framework (VTIF), VFF President Emma Germano said the Victorian Government had failed to consider the impacts on farm businesses.
“For the last four years, the VFF has consistently called for a coordinated approach to transmission infrastructure planning. The government has heeded our call and taken some action in formulating the Victorian Transmission Investment Framework.”
“Disappointingly however, the framework continues to neglect farmer concerns. It does not speak about agricultural land use and the impact on food and fibre production.”
“It’s farmers that are slated to host the infrastructure needed for renewable transmission. How could the framework possibly ignore farmers and the food we produce?”
“There are gaping policy blackholes around fair protection for the rights of landowners and these must be addressed and incorporated into the framework.”
“We cannot plan and cost transmission projects if we do not know what the actual level of compensation to landowners will be.”
Ms Germano said farmers dealing with the threat of their businesses being ruined by existing projects would not see any benefit from the government’s plan.
“The framework will not apply to both the VNI-West and Western Renewables Link projects with the government hell-bent on sending the bulldozer over the top of farms and regional communities.”
“That’s why these projects must be stopped and taken back to the drawing board and incorporated into the government’s state-wide plan.”
“We cannot continue to ignore the negative impact that transmission lines can have on food and fibre production, and it is crucial to pause these projects and ensure they are brought under the new framework to safeguard the interests of our farming communities,” Ms Germano concluded.