Benefit payments for NSW landowners welcomed

Energy Networks Australia has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement that landowners who host new significant transmission infrastructure will be eligible for strategic benefit payments.

Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon said the payments would help get transmission infrastructure built on time to enable the transition to net zero energy.

“The NSW Government is taking major strides in solving the challenges of building transmission infrastructure including how networks engage with communities and landowners and implementing social license best practice. This may form a blueprint for other jurisdictions,’’ he said.

“Australia is working towards a net zero energy grid but is impeded by a lack of transmission infrastructure.

“Our existing network regulations focus on keeping payments to landowners as low as possible. The current regulatory approach is a handbrake on getting projects built and challenging and divisive for affected communities.

“Strategic benefit payments are a major step to addressing this problem.”

Mr Dillon said it was pleasing to see the NSW Government had earmarked not only projects within the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, but also those in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated System Plan.

“By including projects for the ISP, it will mean a more interconnected energy grid for the whole of Australia,” he said.

“The need for network investment is now critical, the cost of delaying these projects is significant. Networks need to install more than 10,000 kilometres of new transmission lines to ensure we can connect the renewable generation our system will need to reach net zero by 2050.”