O’Brien seeks answers on VicGrid role

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is seeking clarification on the responsibilities of a new state government authority, VicGrid, given local impacts of proposed new electricity transmission projects in Gippsland.

VicGrid was established in July 2021 following the 2020 announcement that six Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) were to be established across Victoria.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr O’Brien called on the Minister for Energy, Lily D’Ambrosio to define how VicGrid will be involved in the rollout of additional transmission and other electricity infrastructure across the state – particularly in respect of the REZs.

“In Gippsland South, we currently have AusNet proposing a new 500-kilovolt overhead powerline to connect up with the proposed offshore wind farms and other renewable energy being developed,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This is a private, commercial development that will require the support of landholders to proceed. Clearly we would all prefer to see such transmission lines go underground.

“It is very unclear to me and the Gippsland South community what role VicGrid will play in this.

“I am seeking advice on whether VicGrid will actually be able to assist any of those residents who are directly affected by the proposals for overhead transmission lines across their properties and what role, ultimately, VicGrid and the government will play if those residents refuse permission.

“It is also unclear what role the Victorian Government will play in the proposed Marinus Link project connecting Tasmania to Victoria via South Gippsland.”

Mr O’Brien said it was important for local residents to have clarity on VicGrid and whether it has a role in providing information and support, or whether it will simply facilitate new development.

The Minister has 30 days to respond to Mr O’Brien’s question.

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