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  • Rikki Lambert

Vic Farmers demand consult clock reset on new VNI West powerline route

Do farmers have a prayer, or do they need to appeal with a higher power?

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) say farmers across North Central Victoria have been given insufficient time to have their say, claiming 'in the dead of night' AEMO and the state government changed the former KerangLink project but did not change consultation timelines accordingly.

VFF President Emma Germano has written to CEO of the Australian Energy Market Operator, Daniel Westermann calling for the six-week consultation period to be extended, saying on Friday:

"It is bitterly disappointing to see the lack of respect that was shown to farmers in the Western Renewables Link project, is being replicated again with the VNI West Project.
"It is not good enough for the government to pass the buck onto AEMO. The government has a clear responsibility to ensure that farming communities are listened to and that the impacts on farm operations are well understood before a single powerline gets installed."

The Victorian Government announced in late February additional payments to landholders of new transmission easements at a standard rate of $8,000 per year, per kilometre, of transmission hosted for 25 years. First payments under the new arrangements will go to landholders who host transmission easements along the selected VNI West and Western Renewables Link transmission corridors. However, one local community group described the money as a 'slap in the face', with Moorabool Central Highlands Power Alliance chair Emily Muir also calling the payments a "sweetener" and claimed they didn't go far enough to compensate farmers.


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