Transmission Company Victoria (TCV) would like to provide an update on the timing of landholder engagement and next steps.

Landholder engagement

This week our land team will begin conversations with landholders in a draft corridor for the VNI West transmission project.

This is an area of approximately 2kms wide that runs from the Murray River to Bulgana.

Out of respect for farmers and property owners, we want to do everything possible to contact property landholders within the draft corridor before making the details of the corridor public. This may take several weeks.

Landholders who are within the draft corridor will soon be approached by a dedicated landholder liaison to discuss VNI West.

The landholder liaison is the key contact for landholders and will help answer questions on important issues, including land access protocols, compensation, as well as easements and transmission design options to minimise the impact of the VNI West infrastructure on farm operations.

In some instances, TCV will be asking for access to properties to undertake environmental field studies such as flora and fauna surveys, but not all properties in the corridor will be required for this work.

Landholders are eligible to receive $10,000, two payments of $5,000 over two years, for entering a land access agreement for a period of two years.

This payment recognises the time commitment required to negotiate these agreements, including time that will take a farmer and their family away from their normal work and routine.

Conversations with landholders will validate data collected so far in the planning process – an important next step as we continue the work to develop a final route. This includes verifying constraints identified in the recent Environmental Constraints Summary Report and through community feedback on the interactive map.

The diagram below shows the key stages of the process underway to progressively refine the route for the new transmission.

TCV will consult closely with landholders in the draft corridor as this work continues.

Refining the route for VNI West diagram

Draft corridor

The draft corridor has been identified following feedback from landholders, community members, government agencies and stakeholders, as well as data from ongoing technical, engineering and environmental assessments.

A range of factors have been considered including ecology, sites of known Aboriginal cultural heritage, flooding, landscape, agricultural activities and proximity to residential areas and towns.

After we brought together all the data collected through studies and consultation, we decided to focus on a broader corridor than initially contemplated for the next phase of the project to provide more flexibility and better options to find the optimal route.

The draft corridor we have identified is approximately 2km wide along most of the route. We recognise that this is a variation from the plan we originally put forward to publish a 500m-1km corridor.

In coming months, TCV will refer a refined corridor to the Minister for Planning to consider whether an Environment Effects Statement will be required.

VNI West cannot proceed without planning approval from the State and Commonwealth Governments, which will require comprehensive environmental assessments over the next 12–18 months.

The route for VNI West will not be finalised before 2025 and the actual easement for the project will typically cover only 70m-100m within the 2km draft corridor.

Outcomes of engagement

Reports outlining the key findings of previous community engagement have been published on the TCV website. This includes a detailed report on the outcomes of community events and the interactive map.

Access the reports

Traditional Owner Engagement

Barapa Barapa & Wamba Wemba Traditional Owners visiting the Murray RiverTraditional Owner engagement has commenced and will continue as the project progresses. TCV recently participated in preliminary On Country Days with impacted Traditional Owners to further develop the project’s understanding of cultural heritage and values, and opportunities to minimise the project’s impact on Country. TCV will continue to work closely with these Traditional Owner groups as the project progresses to ensure they are able to provide input into the route refinement process and project development more broadly.

TCV greatly appreciates the insights provided by Traditional Owners to date and looks forward to continuing to build meaningful relationships to help maximise project outcomes for Traditional Owners and the broader community.

Image: Barapa Barapa & Wamba Wemba Traditional Owners visiting the Murray River as part of On Country Days, May 2023

Community Reference Group (CRG)

The VNI West Community Reference Group is set to have its first meeting in mid-September to discuss the VNI West project and seek local insights for consideration in future engagement planning.

TCV would like to thank all those who applied to join the CRG and is looking forward to working closely with local community representatives.

There are still a few spots open for CRG members and as such we have extended the CRG application deadline. Applications will remain open until all spots are filled.

Apply to join the CRG

Get in touch

If you have a question you would like to ask, please get in contact through the details below.

Email: enquiries@transmissionvictoria.com.au
Phone: 1800 824 221
Website: transmissionvictoria.com.au

Transmission Company Victoria (TCV) would like to provide an update on the recent community information sessions held across the VNI West transmission project area and the outcomes of this engagement.

Close to 400 farmers, landholders and community members attended the open events at Boort, Kerang, Charlton, Navarre and St Arnaud to ask questions, share their views, and share how they live and work on the land.

This latest round of events was well attended and provided a valuable opportunity to listen, learn, answer questions and provide the community with details on the next steps for the project.

We also saw significant engagement from communities in previous months through our online interactive map. The map provides the opportunity for community members to add comments noting elements for consideration in the ongoing planning process, such as sites of local and social significance and environmental and agricultural constraints.

Community events

A number of key questions and common themes were raised during our community information sessions including:

  • Route refinement
    • Questions about the route refinement process, including Traditional Owner Engagement and the work to identify constraints.
  • Policy and regulation
    • Feedback and questions about Australia’s Climate Change policy and science.
  • Consultation
    • Feedback on the event format and alternatives for future consultation.
  • Alternative options
    • Feedback about alternative options to new transmission infrastructure such as nuclear energy.
  • Landholder impacts
    • Feedback on the landholder engagement process including access to properties and compensation. There were also many questions about farming with transmission and fire risk.
  • Whole of community impacts and benefits
    • Feedback related to the community-wide impact of VNI West, such as visual amenity and bushfire risk. Concerns were also raised about the future development of renewables and transmission.
  • Lack of trust and transparency
    • Questions about the RIT-T process, the NEVA Orders and concerns in relation to transparency.

A detailed report on the outcomes of engagement from events will be published in coming weeks on our website.

Engagement with community

Interactive map

So far, the interactive map has received 1844 comments from 152 participants.

Comments have identified numerous key constraints, which have assisted with route refinement. Examples include:

  • Areas prone to flooding
  • Habitats for endangered species
  • Areas of remnant vegetation
  • Existing and planned infrastructure
  • Sites of Aboriginal significance
  • Important agricultural considerations and areas of irrigation

Constraints identified by community members through the interactive map are carefully monitored and analysed by TCV to ensure these insights feed into the route refinement process.

Key constraints identified by community members have provided valuable local insights to support the work to determine the most suitable location for transmission infrastructure.

The interactive map will remain open until 5pm Wednesday 2 August. After this date comments provided by community members will remain available for public view.

Access the map

Landholder engagement update

TCV will soon be in a position to start contacting the landholders who may be directly impacted by the transmission lines. This is an important milestone and will allow us to have conversations with landholders to understand and directly address their issues and questions.

A dedicated Landholder Liaison will be appointed as the primary contact for each landholder in the corridor.

If a property is determined to be in the preferred corridor for VNI West, TCV will attempt to make contact with the landholder before the transmission corridor is announced publicly. Initial contact will be by phone, followed by email and a mailed letter. Indicative timings are below.

  • TCV has determined a preferred corridor for VNI West north of Kerang and in nearby surrounding areas. Work continues in the central and southern section to identify the best location for a preferred corridor.
  • TCV will begin landholder engagement in the north, around Kerang and nearby surrounding areas from early August. Engagement with landholders in the central and southern areas is planned to start from late August once a corridor has been identified.
  • TCV will release the entire preferred corridor from Kerang to Bulgana publicly in early September once all efforts have been made to contact impacted landholders, including a letter to farmers and property owners in the corridor.

The Landholder Liaison will work with landowners to discuss land access, compensation and benefits and to understand how TCV can reduce the impact to farming operations and the environment.

More information for land owners

Have your say

TCV recognises the important role the community plays in the planning and delivery of transmission projects, and we are committed to working with the community to help us shape the best possible outcome.

In the coming months, TCV will continue engaging with the community through in person and online events. Details of the events will be publicised once confirmed.

Expressions of Interest for the Community Reference Group (CRG) remain open. It is expected this group will commence engagement in the coming months. The CRG will provide a forum for community members to collaborate with the VNI West project team through the planning and approvals process for this essential infrastructure project and identify opportunities for community benefits sharing.

TCV would like to shape the format and scope of the CRG with its members and as such the Terms of Reference will be workshopped in the first meeting.

For more information and to apply, please visit the TCV website.

In addition to broader community engagement, TCV continues to engage regularly with key local stakeholder such as councils. Traditional Owner engagement is also ongoing and forms an integral component of our engagement program.

How feedback will be considered and next steps

Feedback generated from the events, via the interactive map and through stakeholder workshops will be used to help inform the route refinement process and shape future engagement planning.

TCV will publish a Route Refinement Report in September, which will announce the preferred corridor selected for VNI West. This will be advised through a project update, featured on the TCV website, in newspapers and on social media.

Key considerations and a description of how feedback has influenced the process will be included in the report.

Get in touch

If you have a question you would like to ask, please get in contact through the details below.

Email: enquiries@transmissionvictoria.com.au
Phone: 1800 824 221
Website: transmissionvictoria.com.au


With the release of the area of interest for VNI West in May, Transmission Company Victoria (TCV) is focused on building connections with the communities that could have this essential infrastructure on their properties and farms.

TCV is committed to ensuring that the rural towns and communities that may support VNI West are recognised and share in the benefits of the project.

Our community engagement program is already well underway, including more than 370 comments added to the interactive map on our new TCV website.

This information is being collated along with insights from our meetings with councils, local workshops, as well as the comprehensive environmental, cultural, engineering, agricultural and land planning analysis to guide the process to narrow the broad area of interest for the project to a 500 m – 1km corridor and then an indicative route by Spring.

In July we are hosting a series of public information sessions to answer questions and gather important local intelligence. For more details of these events or to register to attend click here.

Community Reference Group

TCV is setting up a Community Reference Group (CRG) as a forum for community members to work with the VNI West project team and share what is important to the different towns and regions that may have this infrastructure located on their lands.

TCV is committed to ensuring that local perspectives and the priorities of rural communities are reflected in the community benefit program for VNI West.

If you're living in one of the LGAs in the area of interest for VNI West - Buloke, Gannawarra, Loddon, Northern Grampians and Pyrenees - and are an active member of the community with a willingness to engage constructively, please apply to join the CRG.

The CRG will meet every two months from July 2023 and meetings may take place in person or online. A maximum of 20 people will be appointed to the CRG.

Submit expression of interest

Community Events

Between 3 July and 15 July, the VNI West project team will host a range of community events, providing local communities an opportunity to learn more about the project and ask questions.

The events are being held in Boort, Kerang, Charlton, Navarre and St Arnaud. Please visit the TCV website for more details and to register your interest.

Register to attend

Interactive Map

The interactive map provides an opportunity for communities to identify what’s important to them, including existing land use, environmental considerations, cultural sites and more. Details will be used alongside a broad range of planning, engineering, ecological, cultural heritage and visual amenity studies to chart the course for VNI West.

The map will be on available on our website until 22 July and we encourage all community members to make their mark.

Alternatively, there will be opportunities to add details to the map at any of the events in July.

Our team is available to answer any questions or help add details to the map. Please get in touch through the details below.

View interactive map

Landholder Guide

This week we published our Landholder Guide, which provides important answers for landholders on issues such as land access, compensation and farming around transmission.

TCV is committed to treating all landholders with respect and decency to ensure that they are fairly compensated for having this essential transmission on their farm or property.

At a minimum, payments will include:

  • Loss in market value of the property resulting from the easement
  • Financial loss suffered as a result of the natural, direct and reasonable consequences of the acquisition of the easement
  • Payment for reasonably incurred independent professional advice (for example, legal or valuation advice)

In addition to this, farmers and property owners with the VNI Wet infrastructure on their land will benefit from the Victorian government’s announced payment of $8,000 per annum per linear kilometre for 25 years.

For further information on landholder payments please refer to the Landholder Guide. All landholders potentially impacted will be appointed a Landholder Liaison to discuss their unique property and situation.

TCV recognises that landholders are key stakeholders for VNI West and mapping out the best route for this project relies on an understanding of how landholders live and work on the land.

If you are a landholder or a community member with questions about the Landholder Guide, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Access the Landholder Guide

What's next?

Work to refine the area of interest is continuing with desktop studies utilising databases including, ecology, Aboriginal cultural heritage, surface water and flooding, visual amenity, land use, agriculture, transport, aviation and heritage studies.

These focus areas are being used to build a constraints map, which will assist in identifying areas with the potential to support transmission infrastructure.

As part of our commitment to share information early and work as transparently as possible through the route refinement, we will share initial findings from this constraints mapping work in coming weeks.

This will enable community members, including landholders, to understand how we’re narrowing the area of interest to a corridor and some of the major issues that influence this work. Following this, we will release details of the 500m to 1km corridor once efforts have been made to contact landholders in this area.

Get in touch

If you have a question you would like to ask, please get in contact through the details below.

Email: enquiries@transmissionvictoria.com.au

Phone: 1800 824 221

Website: transmissionvictoria.com.au


VNI West is a proposed new high capacity 500 kV double-circuit overhead transmission line, which will deliver vital new transmission infrastructure to:

  • Carry clean, low-cost renewable power from renewable energy zones (REZs) in New South Wales and Victoria, in particular the wind and solar-rich regions of the Murray River REZ and the Western Victorian REZ.
  • Enable at least 3.4 GW of new renewable generation in the Murray River and the Western Victorian REZs.
  • Add 1,935 MW of electricity export capacity from Vic to NSW
  • Improve security and reliability in the electricity network as coal-fired power stations retire

Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR)


AEMO Victorian Planning (AVP) and Transgrid have recently released the Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR) which identifies the preferred network option for VNI West.

The PACR is the final report in the Regulated Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) and marks the end of the work to assess the business case for VNI West.

The PACR identifies the preferred option for VNI West, charting a broad corridor that connects it to Western Renewables Link (WRL) at a new terminal station at Bulgana and crossing the Murray River north of Kerang. This continues on to connect with EnergyConnect in New South Wales at the new Dinawan substation. It is known as Option 5A.

Option 5A is a variant of the proposed preferred Option 5 from the additional Consultation Report published in February 2023.

In this next phase of the project the focus shifts to the host communities and working with these important stakeholders as well as landholders and Traditional Owners to refine the route.

View full version of the PACR

Update map


Learn more about Option 5A

Stakeholder feedback on the Additional Consultation Report has been taken into account in the PACR

Since the Project Assessment Draft Report was published in July last year, AVP and Transgrid have been consulting on the VNI West option.

They recently undertook six weeks of community and stakeholder consultation over alternate options in Victoria, including where VNI West links to the Western Renewables Link project.

Communities urged AVP to undertake this additional work and it provided an opportunity to broaden our appreciation of what matters to communities in the broad area of interest for VNI West.

In total, 533 submissions were received in response to the additional Consultation Report, 519 of which have been published on AEMO’s website (14 submitters requested confidentiality). A large number of submissions (491) were received from concerned landholder and other community members. The remainder were received from councils, community organisations, environmental groups and consumer representatives.

The detailed feedback regarding specific properties or areas will be of great assistance in this next phase, when the identified area of interest is narrowed down to a preferred corridor.

Community engagement

Find more info about Community engagement