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Submission to the Victorian Governments Inquiry into Renewable Energy

in 2021, the Victorian Parliament's Environment and Planning Committee invited submissions to their inquiry into Renewable Energy in Victoria.

Regional communities are set to benefit the most from action on climate. They will benefit most from emissions reduction, preventing increasingly unpredictable cropping seasons, minimising impact of heatwaves on livestock, and species and ecosystem extinction. Regional communities are also set to benefit economically from renewables. The creation of new industries and jobs, the provision of lease payments to farmers hosting wind turbines and solar arrays, and manufacturing opportunities are just the beginning.

To maximise benefits to regional communities, state government planning systems must inform, include and seek the expertise of impacted communities in the development of individual projects, Renewable Energy Zones and renewable energy transmission lines. 

Download the full submission here.

Summary of Recommendations

Recommendations regarding the establishment of Renewable Energy Zones


The Victorian Government leverage the VRET-2 to include projects that embody the principles of self-determination and  free, prior, and informed consent from Traditional Owners. In doing this, the Government will improve Traditional Owner benefits in REZs and encourage industry standards.


As soon as possible, the Victorian Government invest in information campaigns to the public about the need for the energy transformation, why Renewable Energy Zones have been planned and what they will mean for people who live in them.


The Victorian Government seek detailed community input into the rollout of each REZ and work with NGO and civil society groups facilitating local-led planning. 


The Victorian Government provide a framework for coordinating engagement and benefit programs across the REZ to ensure best-practice engagement, inclusion of community needs and ambitions, and to avoid confusion and engagement fatigue. 


The Victorian Government establish a framework for, and support region-wide Community Enhancement Funds.


The Victorian Government support the establishment of, and participate in Industry Roundtables for each REZ. 


The Victorian Government establish as soon as possible, local bodies in each REZ, employing local people to engage the community on upcoming stages in REZ development, coordinate project engagement programs, coordinate the establishment of a local-led regional fund, support local leadership by participating the development of local plans, listen to the expertise, needs, and ambitions of the local community, and facilitate the establishment of industry roundtables for each REZ. 

Recommendations about Renewable Energy Transmission


The Victorian Government work together with key regulatory bodies, local governments and local communities to ensure the timely roll out of the transmission infrastructure we need to replace all coal power by 2030 


The Victorian Government work with transmission companies to ensure best-practice community engagement and community benefit-sharing programs, minimising community and ecosystem impacts and maximum regional benefits


The Victorian Government bring transmission planning functions into government, following recent moves by NSW DPIE.


The Victorian Government disseminate clear and regular communication with the public so an understanding of the need for building renewable energy transmission lines, and the local benefits, are widely understood. 


The Victorian Government set targets for the number of local jobs, apprenticeships, and local content.


The Victorian Government invest in training programs to prepare our workforce for the amount of transmission projects required to meet the Step-Change scenario in the AEMO’s ISP.

Recommendations related to large-scale renewables co-investment and co-ownership models 


The Victorian Government support profits from large-scale renewables staying in local regions by setting co-investment and/or co-ownership targets and frameworks for projects within REZs.

Recommendations related to Jobs and Training


The Victorian Government invest in a comprehensive program of training courses to prepare our workforce for the energy transformation, and that this program focuses on regional training centres and regional job creation.

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