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Western Victoria is one step closer to becoming the state's renewable energy powerhouse with the announcement of the proposed route for the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project.
This proposed transmission line is needed to urgently reduce congestion on the existing transmission network and unlocks 900MW of capacity.
By increasing the supply of renewable electricity, the project will help to put downward pressure on electricity costs, achieve better reliability outcomes for Victorian consumers and make a significant contribution to cutting Australia's carbon emissions to help achieve national targets.
The selection of the proposed route follows extensive community engagement and investigations which enabled AusNet Services to narrow down the area of interest to multiple corridors in February 2021, and then to a single corridor, considered to be the least constrained corridor, in June 2021.
Information for landholders
AusNet Services will attempt to contact every landholder directly affected by the proposed route and will organise one-on-one meetings.
Every landholder has a dedicated Land Liaison Officer who will work with them to understand their land use, the proposed route, and easement requirements.
AusNet Services has recently released a Landholder Guide to provide landholders with information about financial compensation which will be determined in consultation with each affected property owner and independent assessors.
The Environment Effects Statement
Work is also continuing to prepare the Environment Effects Statement (EES) for the project, which includes technical investigations into a range of factors including visual impacts, farming practices, areas of cultural significance and land use.
AusNet Services is engaging with the community, landholders and interested parties through the project website, regular email updates, webinars and community engagement sessions.
These engagement activities are designed to provide opportunities for members of the community and landholders to have a say in the development of the project and to contribute to the EES.
As part of our ongoing community and stakeholder consultation, AusNet Services is holding community engagement sessions to share EES study findings and assessments, which are of interest to the community and to get feedback.
These sessions are an important opportunity to provide feedback so it can be considered in the impact assessment and the EES.
Community input is central to the EES process and important information provided by landholders and the community will inform the development and design of the project.
Ongoing community engagement
Consulting with landholders and the community is an ongoing priority.
AusNet Services will hold webinars about the proposed route on 30 November and 2 December. It will also host community information sessions on 6, 7, 10, 11 and 12 December.
More information about these sessions can be found at www.westvictnp.com.au
Topics at these sessions will include the proposed route, undergrounding and compensation - and technical experts will be on hand to respond to queries.