The CRG was established to 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.

The CRG will assist the project team by:

  • Providing local perspectives
  • Providing feedback and input as the project progresses
  • Raising questions and concerns on behalf of the community
  • Identifying opportunities for community benefits sharing

Further details, including information about CRG members, can be found in the Community section.

VNI West is a major infrastructure project representing a significant investment in north-west Victoria. It will deliver a range of benefits for all Victorians including lower electricity prices and improved energy security.

The project will deliver flow-on local benefits such as employment and demand for local and regional business services and goods.

New business development such as renewable generation investment attracted to the area will also provide local economic benefits.

The Victorian Government is also establishing the Victorian Transmission Investment Framework, which is a new framework for how major electricity transmission infrastructure and Renewable Energy Zones are planned and developed.

As part of a package of reform measures to be introduced in 2024, a REZ Development Fund will be established for communities hosting renewable energy infrastructure in Renewable Energy Zones. The purpose of the fund is to coordinate financial contributions by project proponents towards regional infrastructure and programs according to local needs and priorities.

See the VTIF Consultation website and VTIF Fact Sheet for Communities.

There will be local job opportunities created during the construction phase of VNI West. If the project is approved, TCV will ensure that the construction company appointed is required to create local employment opportunities in line with State regulations. There is not a detailed plan for construction yet, but this will be developed as the project progresses.

As part of the community consultation process for VNI West, the team are consulting with Traditional Owner groups impacted by the project to improve understanding of local sites, sensitivities and other elements of importance which should be considered.

The engagement will also consider how VNI West may be able to provide positive outcomes and opportunities for Traditional Owner groups.

As the project progresses, Cultural Heritage Management Plans will be prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 to investigate the potential impacts to Aboriginal cultural heritage and identify how heritage can be best protected.

This will be done together with Traditional Owner Groups, Registered Aboriginal Parties and First Peoples - State Relations.

Consultation with Traditional Owners will be ongoing throughout the life of the project.

Feedback from community and other stakeholders has been an essential part of project development, helping TCV to better understand community concerns, and to identify constraints and opportunities for locating the transmission infrastructure.

In the early stages, over 500 formal submissions were received during the PACR consultation process, providing important feedback and insights into community priorities and issues as the options for the project were assessed. This feedback including a discussion of key changes made to the PACR in response to submissions received is summarised in the PACR Volume 2 report.

As we worked through the process of developing a draft corridor, Community members, Traditional Owner groups, landholders and stakeholders provided numerous valuable insights including environmental, social and economic factors for consideration.

Through a program of community consultation, TCV learned vital details about farms and farming, fragile ecosystems, endangered animals, special places and unique landmarks. People were encouraged to add constraints and opportunities to an online interactive map, adding comments at specific geographic locations. TCV’s interactive map was visited more than 4,000 times and received more than 2,300 comments.

Some examples of community inputs include:

  • avoidance of industries that are vital to local economies, for example, key tourism hot spots such as parks and reserves
  • concerns around the visual impact of the project on the landscape
  • features including local vantage points, lookouts, hiking trails and recreational areas
  • habitat and sightings for numerous endangered species.

The Report into the Draft Corridor contains further detail on how feedback from the community has been considered in the route refinement process.

In the next stage of the project, feedback received through direct engagement with landholders, Traditional Owners and communities in the ~2 km draft corridor, will continue to be essential as we seek to build our understanding of how the land is used today to verify location constraints, and identify the best location for the transmission line easement to minimise land-use, cultural and environmental impacts.

The TCV website is the primary go-to place to find up-to-date information. Fact Sheets and FAQs are a good source of information and can be found under Project Resources on the website, covering issues such as:

We advertise regularly in local papers including a monthly column focusing on an issue of interest. Community information sessions occur on a regular basis across the region and provide an opportunity to meet the project team in person and ask questions. Details of planned events will be available on the TCV website and promoted through local papers.

If you have any questions for the project team, please email enquiries@transmissionvictoria.com.au or call TCV on 1800 824 221.

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