Reflecting local community needs, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) announced a new preferred route for the critical VNI West transmission line earlier today. RE-Alliance, an independent community-based organisation, welcomes this change as it delivers better outcomes for communities.
“The alternative route has come from listening to and better understanding community needs. This will result in better community outcomes,” said RE-Alliance Victoria and Tasmania Coordinator, Tony Goodfellow.
“It is good to see AEMO go beyond least-cost as the sole criterion and use social and environmental considerations to develop alternatives.”
“Communities should have a central say in major developments like VNI West. We welcome AEMO’s more thorough engagement plan for all stakeholders.”
“Support for the new route from regional stakeholders like the Wimmera Development Association shows AEMO’s engagement is improving.
“Engagement with the community and collaboration with Traditional Owners and consultations with local government and community take place in the next phase. We encourage the community to get involved and make their voices heard.”
“Governments have a responsibility to make sure landholders receive fair compensation for hosting this infrastructure. Last year the NSW Government introduced a policy to pay transmission line hosts $200,000 per kilometre over a 20-year period. We would like to see similar payments in Victoria.”
The Western Renewables Link and VNI West are crucial to bringing clean and reliable power generated in Western Victoria to the national energy network.
Western Victoria has some of the best wind resources in the world; the transition to renewable energy in the region can deliver long-term benefits for local communities through jobs and economic growth.
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