Renewable energy and transmission update

The VFF is continuing to advocate for regulatory change to ensure that companies who access private land for transmission have rules governing their behaviours on site and that landholders who are forced to host transmission receive fair compensation for the impact of the easement acquisition, construction and ongoing operation and maintenance has on their farm practice and productivity.

The VFF is regularly advocating the need for action with the Victorian Government via regular meetings with the Minister for Energy and the Secretary of DEECA and ongoing project level conversations with VicGrid.  This includes seeking answers and regulatory safeguards in relation to:

  • Ensuring renewable energy zones and transmission avoids productive agricultural land or farming systems where the impact on production is significant. This relates to the VicGrid’s Strategic Land Use Assessment Process.
  • Advocating for land access arrangements that give statutory protection to landholders. This relates to energy safety regulation restrictions (notification and consideration) and ensuring a comprehensive access code applies to existing and future transmission).
  • Advocating for revisions to project approval processes – such as an EES – to ensure agricultural impact assessments are done farm by farm and that landholders are given the opportunity to review this work prior to the exhibition of an EES.
  • Calling for refinements to the operation of the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act so that companies are directed to consider ongoing costs on agricultural production (akin to annual payments for wind and solar generation).
  • Seeking to ensure community benefit schemes benefit host communities through projects that upgrade distribution networks in preference to supporting rooftop solar in regional cities. (Opportunity to submit now)
  • Seeking answers to farmers questions such as regarding impacts on insurance premiums; use of GPS technology; taxation implications on compensation payments