VIC Landowners Who Host New Transmissions Receive Additional Payments

As the world grapples with the effects of climate change, the need for a transition to renewable energy sources has become increasingly urgent. In Australia, Victoria has set a goal of generating 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. However, this transition must be done in a way that is fair and equitable to all members of society, including landholders who may be impacted by renewable energy projects.

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Landholder payments for a fairer renewables transition

The Victorian government has announced additional payments for a typical area of transmission easement at a standard rate of $8,000 per year per kilometer of transmission hosted for 25 years. 

In addition to any existing payments made for transmission easements under the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act of 1986, the new payments will be made for transmission projects under the Integrated System Plan (ISP) and Victorian Renewable Energy Zone (REZ).

Other significant projects like the VictoriaTasmania Marinus Link project and transmission links connecting Victoria’s Renewable Energy Zones (REZs), will provide an equitable approach for projects across the Victorian-NSW border as future offshore wind projects.

“These new payments acknowledge the hugely important role landholders play in hosting critical energy infrastructure – a key part of Victoria’s renewables revolution,” said Victoria’s Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio.

“We want to get the process for planning and approving new infrastructure right, so we can make sure the renewables revolution is a shared, equitable legacy for all Victorians.”

The Australian Electricity Market Operator (AEMO) earlier this week issued a warning that, without immediate investments to replace coal plants, the grid’s stability would be in doubt for the following ten years.

Check out our page to learn about AEMO’s Australian electricity supply shortage due to renewable energy project delays and coal power plant shutdowns.

Victorian Transmission Investment Framework (VTIF)

The Labor Government has also released a consultation report for a proposed approach to planning and developing this new network infrastructure, the Victorian Transmission Investment Framework (VTIF). It is designed to give Traditional Owners, local communities and key stakeholders a real voice in developing new infrastructure so that impacts can be better managed and benefits can be realised.

The new report summarises the feedback received through a six-week process conducted with regional communities, stakeholders and industry representatives, which will be a key input into decision-making on these proposed reforms.

Key themes included broad support for VTIF’s proposals for earlier and deeper community engagement; a new strategic land use assessment to support better decisions on land use; strong interest in a new approach to benefit sharing; and meaningful partnership with Traditional owners throughout the entirety of the transmission lifecycle.

victorian transmission investment framework (vtif) Source&Image: Victoria State Government – Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Engage Victoria

“Slapped us in the face”

The Australian government’s recent announcement of an energy infrastructure payment to farmers who host renewable energy projects on their land has received widespread criticism. Many farmers in Victoria, in particular, feel that the payment needs to be more adequate and fairly compensate them for the potential impact of renewable energy projects on their livelihoods.

Some farmers have reported experiencing adverse effects from existing wind and solar farms, including reduced productivity, crop damage, and increased dust levels.

The chair of the Moorabool Central Highlands Power Alliance, Emily Muir, referred to the payments as a “sweetener” but claimed they were insufficient to compensate farmers adequately.

“It feels like the government’s just slapped us in the face,” Muir said.

“I feel like it’s the government trying to get us over the line to agree to a project that we’ve been protesting against for two-and-a-half years.”

A rally was organised in front of Parliament House in Melbourne, and protests against VNI West intensified in 2022 with the participation of hundreds of farmers who drove tractors through Ballarat.

Current and planned projects in Victoria Image: Victoria State Government – Current and planned projects in Victoria

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