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Discussions with farmers across the draft corridor are important to help us understand your land and your farming business, as we work to find the location for transmission that will minimise impacts to people and farming.

In some case, the land team will seek agreement to access properties for environmental and other surveys.

These agreements will set out the conditions under which field surveys can take place on a property and will stipulate any specific requirements such as how and when our field survey team can enter a property, and biosecurity controls.

In this early phase of land engagement, the field work we are proposing is predominantly ecological studies, with environmental experts carrying out non-invasive surveys as they look as they look for evidence of sensitive habitats and seek to identify and quantify species in an area.

It is worth noting that signing a land access agreement does not mean that a landholder agrees to have transmission infrastructure on their property. The access agreements are for field studies only.

If a property is eventually confirmed as the location for the final easement, a separate process of negotiation will be undertaken with the landholder for a 'Option for Easement' agreement, which will include the amount of compensation and the terms for land access for VNI West construction and ongoing operations (as outlined in the Landholder Guide).

TCV cannot access private land without the consent of the landholder. We need your consent. Our strong preference is always to work with you to reach agreement on voluntary land access arrangements.

At the time of publication of this guide, TCV is not an ‘electricity corporation’ under the Electricity Industry Act 2000 (Vic) (the EIA) and cannot access land using the powers outlined in section 93 of the EIA. TCV has applied for a transmission licence, and in the future, TCV may become an ‘electricity corporation’ for the purposes of the EIA. If that occurs, TCV may seek to rely upon section 93 of the EIA for specific access requirements.

At this time, TCV cannot access private land without the consent of the landholder. Our strong preference is always to work with you to reach agreement on voluntary land access arrangements.

There may be circumstances where we cannot reach voluntary agreement on accessing land. Where such a voluntary agreement cannot be reached, an ‘electricity corporation’ may be able to access land for specific purposes and undertake certain works and other activities on land, under section 93 of the 00 Electricity Industry Act 20 (Vic) (the EIA).

An ‘electricity corporation’ for the purposes of the EIA is a person who holds a licence granted under the EIA to generate, transmit or distribute electricity. At this time TCV is not an ‘electricity corporation’ under the EIA and cannot access land using the powers outlined in section 93.

TCV has applied for a transmission licence, and in the future, TCV may become an ‘electricity corporation’ for the purposes of the EIA. If that occurs, TCV may seek to rely upon section 93 of the EIA for specific access requirements.

If TCV became an ‘electricity corporation’ under the EIA and TCV sought to rely upon section 93 powers, TCV would have to:

  • Follow all statutory requirements including those set out in the EIA;
  • Comply with the Essential Services Commission’s Statement of Expectations and the Land Access Code of Practice (when released by the ESC);
  • Do as little damage as possible and pay compensation if required under the EIA for any damage resulting from the exercise of the section 93 powers; and
  • Where possible, provide reasonable notice to affected landowners, prior to accessing land under the section 93 powers.

TCV wishes to negotiate land access for a two-year term. This will allow us to undertake field surveys (in some cases) and better understand your land, including how to minimise any impact on the property should the transmission run across your land.

The landholder will be entitled to payment for participating in an initial two-year land access agreement (LAA). This payment is based on the area of land that survey access is granted for in the LAA.

Payments begin at $10,000 (50% paid each year over two years) for properties up to 300 acres of land being accessed. Where landholders give permission to access areas on their property of 300 acres or above then they should contact their Landholder Liaison who will confirm their total land access payments.

If a one-year extension is required for the LAA, an additional set payment of $5,000 will be paid to the landholder.

The payment is in recognition of the landowner’s time and effort spent negotiating access. It will be paid regardless of whether the property ultimately falls within the final project alignment.

Learn more about Land Access Agreements in TCV’s Landholder Guide.

TCV has a responsibility to minimise the risks of its activities introducing pests, weeds, animal/plant diseases and contaminants onto private or public land. We have developed policy in relation to staff training, planning, communications, washdown procedures and reporting to limit these risks (see our Biosecurity Fact Sheet).

Before accessing land, the TCV Landholder Liaison will work with landholders to identify all biosecurity requirements for their property, and agree on appropriate management plans. These will be detailed and documented in the Land Access Agreement.

Ecology surveys and investigations help identify animals, plant species and their habitats. This will help us better understand the local environment and identify the best location for VNI West that will have the least impact on the environment. Findings from these surveys will play an important role in the work to narrow the corridor as well as the planning and approvals process. Detailed surveys will be required and carried out by independent specialists under the EES process.

The findings of surveys will be considered in the formal planning and approvals process and inform route refinement. There are protections under law for certain fauna and flora species. TCV will share the information and findings on your property with you.

Flora surveys are typically conducted by walking through identified areas to catalogue plants. Most commonly, this involves capturing photographic evidence, however, in some cases ecologists may take small samples for further investigation.

Fauna surveys typically involve observing animal species and gathering samples where needed.

Field surveys began in early October 2023, and are ongoing in various locations across the draft corridor. Detailed surveys and assessments will be required and carried out by independent specialists under the EES process and may continue until 2025.

Information about planned survey works is updated weekly on the TCV website under Planned Field Survey Activities.

If access to private land is required, the landholder liaison will discuss an access agreement with the landholder and answer any questions about providing consent for survey work.

A Land Access Agreement will set out the conditions under which field surveys can take place on a property and will stipulate any specific requirements such as how and when our field survey team can enter a property, including biosecurity controls and access notice periods.

Your landholder liaison will discuss access agreements with you and answer any questions about planned survey works.

You have the right to request from TCV any of the following information, which TCV will provide in line with the access Code of Conduct. This includes:

  • Outcomes of our land access investigations (excluding any information which may be confidential or commercially sensitive)
  • Information on any incidents that occur while accessing land
  • Biosecurity, bushfire and health policies and procedures.