The Victorian Government is putting early engagement with landholders and local communities, respectful partnerships with Traditional Owners and fairer sharing of benefits at the core of planning to secure the state’s energy future.

The Victorian Transmission Investment Framework (VTIF) is a new approach that will give communities a real voice in the process and attract the investment Victoria needs to transition to renewable energy.

Through the National Electricity (Victoria) Amendment (VicGrid) Bill 2024, the National Electricity (Victoria) Act 2005 (NEVA) has been amended to empower the Victorian Government body VicGrid to lead this work.

VicGrid will now deliver the first Victorian Transmission Plan, which will set the long-term strategic vision for the development of the state’s Renewable Energy Zones.

A new approach

This is a major change to the way energy infrastructure is planned in Victoria and will see land use, the environment, community views and cultural heritage taken into account from the beginning of the process to minimise impacts and enable renewable energy development.

Through VTIF, the Victorian Government is adopting a place-based approach to community engagement and benefits that will ensure farmers, communities and Traditional Owners that host new transmission lines benefit from the energy transition.

The Bill sees the introduction of new payments that recognise the crucial role that landholders who host energy infrastructure are playing in the energy transition. The payment for a typical area of new transmission easement will be $200,000 per km of transmission hosted, paid in annual instalments over 25 years indexed to inflation.

These payments are in addition to current compensation arrangements that aim to ensure landholders are fairly paid for the impact of infrastructure on their land.

Next steps

The next stages of VTIF will feature further community benefit arrangements that ensure the regions hosting energy infrastructure also see meaningful and lasting benefits from the energy transition.

The responsibility for Victoria’s declared transmission network, including planning for transmission infrastructure in Victoria, will be transferred to VicGrid from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and further legislation will be introduced to enable an orderly transfer of responsibilities.

The current Bill establishes interim measures to enable VicGrid to support the delivery of high-priority transmission projects being overseen by AEMO, such as the VNI West project, and transmission connections for offshore wind.

The Bill also enables recovery of the costs of this crucial work from consumers through transmission use of system charges, which will be offset by the benefits of strategic planning of the energy infrastructure required to deliver affordable renewable energy to homes and businesses.

Page last updated: 12/03/24