The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is warning against announcing substantial renewable energy targets without any plan for new transmission infrastructure across the State.
VFF President Emma Germano said Premier Daniel Andrews’ target of 95 per cent renewable energy sources by 2035 would lead to disastrous consequences for farming communities and food security, unless there is a plan for protecting strategic agricultural land from rushed developments.
“Rather than planning for the next 13 years of electricity generation, we need to be planning for the next 100 years of energy and food security for our community. Politicians are making announcements without any care for the consequences of having to shift our energy production from the Latrobe Valley to Western Victoria.”
“There’s a real need to create a Victoria-wide strategic plan for renewable energy and transmission developments that looks at the next century of the State’s energy needs.”
“We can move to renewables, but that shift must be gradual and well planned with agriculture in mind. Going too fast will mean the costs will be borne by farmers and regional communities, rather than being fairly distributed across the whole community.”
“Ensuring commercial consent of farmers is secured for all renewable energy and
transmission developments is key and reforming the regulatory processes must be considered.”
Ms Germano said Victorian farmers are leading the way in the response to climate change and that Government must continue to support the agriculture industry and not get in the way of maintaining progress.
“Over the last 40 years, Victorian farmers have led the way in protecting our environment whilst also driving down emissions intensity in our operations.”
“When you put power poles in all our paddocks, that effects our ability to use new technology like GPS or drones, which actually help us lower our emissions.”
“Farmers are ready and willing to play our part in the climate challenge, but we need a measured approach that balances our energy transition while protecting farmland,” Ms Germano said.