O’Brien invites Energy Minister to Gippsland

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has invited the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change visit Gippsland to discuss the proposed Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) with local residents.

Speaking in Parliament earlier this month, Mr O’Brien said the uncertainty around the proposal was causing angst for local residents and landholders since it was first announced in November 2020.

“At the moment we have AusNet Services proposing a new 500-kv transmission line to the Giffard area, south of Sale, which will hook up to Hazelwood and that is causing significant concern among many locals,” Mr O’Brien said.

“While this is a private commercial proposal, it is driven in part by government policy.

“Unfortunately, lack of information is part of the problem. The Minister announced this new REZ for our area more than 18 months ago but has furnished no new details for the local community.

“We have exciting new offshore wind projects being announced for the region which Labor is trying to take credit for, but it has not made any effort to engage with locals who will be affected by these developments – both positively and negatively.”

Mr O’Brien said it is incumbent on the Government having announced these renewable energy zones and having supported financially three of the offshore wind farms proposed, for the Minister to actually come to Gippsland South and talk to the local community.

“We know of a proposed 500-megawatt solar farm in the Giffard area, the offshore wind including Star of the South and others.

“If all these offshore wind farms and solar farms go ahead, that will be fantastic for Gippsland South, and I think broadly speaking the community will welcome them.

“That won’t be the case for everyone, especially those in the path of overhead transmission lines.

“The Minister should be coming and talking to people about what the implications are, how we can get involved in the benefits and also how the Government is going to manage the negative impacts.”

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