Community infrastructure payments welcomed

Energy Networks Australia has welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement that strategic benefit payments will be made available to landowners who host significant transmission infrastructure.

Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon said the payments will compensate landowners for hosting transmission infrastructure on their property while at the same time contributing to the energy transition.

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

“The need for network investment is now critical, the cost of delaying these projects is significant. The Australian Energy Market Operator has identified that 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.

“There is no transition to net zero without transmission. This infrastructure will transport renewable energy from where it is generated to where it is needed, in homes and businesses. But the infrastructure must be put somewhere.

“Currently we have a regulatory system that can act as a handbrake to getting large-scale projects like transmission built. Enabling strategic benefit payments to landowners and communities is step towards addressing this problem.”

Mr Dillon said it was pleasing to see not only would benefit payments be available to landowners, but project builds would also be supported by the Victorian Transmission Investment Framework.

“This framework will encourage further engagement between governments, network services providers and the affected communities to implement social licence best practices and ensure all parties can find mutually beneficial ground.”