Thank you for the opportunity to provide a submission to the draft Electricity transmission company land access Statement of Expectations.
VFF is the peak advocacy body representing farmers and agricultural industry interests in Victoria. Farmers are unfairly disadvantaged by the failure to development an access code in the 22 years since the Electricity Industry Act 2000 was enacted.
VFF has been raising the issues and impacts relating to distribution and transmission networks in Victoria for come time. Our advocacy led to the requirement for planning permits for power lines connecting renewable energy facilities to existing transmission lines.
In February 2019 VFF adopted a Renewable Energy Policy. This policy was technology neutral and was based on the issues that related to the suitability of energy infrastructure on farmland. It included a call for a state-wide strategic plan for all aspects of renewable energy, including transmission. These aspects have been maintained in its 2021 review to incorporate energy pricing principles.
VFF is supportive of the need for a code and that preparation of a full code and a review of the appropriateness of the EES and LAC Acts to considering, mitigating and compensating for impacts on farms is critical.
It is over 40 years since the last transmission line project in Victoria. The situation has changed in many ways, including the loss of a government instrumentality planning and operating these facilities. It is now a commercial process that has external impacts that are not properly accounted for. This is a regulatory failure are public benefit is occurring at private costs.
Click the link below to download the full submission