Response to the Renewable Energy Zone Development Plan Directions Paper

Darley Power Fight 35-page Impact Statement

Highlighting the impact on our region

Darley Power Fight have submitted a 35-page impact statement in response to the State Government of Victoria’s Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) Development Plan Directions Paper. Highlighting the profound impact on the Darley/Coimadai/Merrimu regions.

This impact statement specifically refers to the Darley/Coimadai/Merrimu regions of the Western: V3 Project, the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project (WVTNP) North Ballarat to Bulgana.

The project has been identified in the REZ Development Plan Directions Paper as having a ‘High Risk’ of delivery for the following reasons:

  • Project within greenfield area therefore vegetation clearing required.
  • Infrastructure close to sensitive areas
  • Conflicting land use
  • Potential conflicting regarding future residential development.
  • Potential community concerns regarding increased visual impacts and environmental impacts.

AusNet Services has identified an Area of Interest (AoI) and has further narrowed potential corridors, one of these corridors runs immediately north of Darley. Our concerns relate specifically to this northern alignment proposed between the town of Darley and the Lerderderg State Park.

As residents, property owners, investors and business owners living in Moorabool we are devastated by the proposed alignment and will all be greatly impacted by the proposed corridor. We have dedicated considerable resources to identify the impacts on the proposed northern alignment on this narrow but significant corridor.

Our response to the REZ Development Plan Directions Paper included a thirty-five-page document which clearly detailed specific impacts on this region, including:

  • Bushfire Risk
  • Firefighting Risks
  • Impact on Water Bombing efforts
  • Safety Concerns
  • Significant Habitat
  • Significance Area
  • Culture and Heritage
  • Visual Amenity
  • Tourism & Recreation
  • Economic Impact
  • Social License

The document informs on the impacts of the proposed Northern Corridor alignment near Darley/Coimadai/Merrimu as well as offering viable solutions that have a lesser impact on the broader community and significance environment. We believe building and maintaining strong social license is central to the delivery of Renewable Energy Zones and the future of this project.

Community engagement is most successful when it establishes and delivers on clear expectations and gives everyone in the community the opportunity to influence decisions in each aspect of planning, development and decision making, including the development of alternatives and the identification of the preferred solution.

We urged DELWP to insist on a comprehensive review of the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project and consideration of an underground solution. Overhead infrastructure in the northern alignment demonstrates a clear lack of planning, social license and understanding of the overwhelming impact on this important area.

We are in full support of Renewable Energy Zones but not when a potential corridor passes right through the heart of residential, significance areas, wildlife habitat and public open spaces. The irreversible impact on property values, visual amenity, wildlife, environment, and local community is huge.

You Can Provide Feedback

Everyone is invited to submit a response and we encourage everyone to do this. With these submissions, its important they are all unique in some way and for this reason we haven’t made this a letter you can just sign and send. We have prepared a Word template you can download and customise to address your own concerns. Submissions close on 31 March 2020 at midnight so please get your responses in. The letter template has the email address and subject line you need to use. 

  • AusNet Services
  • AEMO
  • Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria
  • The Hon Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minster of Australia
  • The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment
  • The Hon Simon Birmingham MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
  • The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change
  • The Hon Terri Butler MP, Shadow Minister for the Environment and Water
  • Mr Josh Wilson MP, Shadow Minister for The Environment and Water
  • The Hon Don Farrell MP, Shadow Minister for Tourism
  • The Hon. Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning and Housing
  • The Hon. Daniel Andrews, Premier
  • The Hon. Mary-Anne Thomas, Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Regional Development
  • Mr Tim Smith, Shadow Minister for Planning and Heritage, Local Govt
  • Ms Bridget Vallence, Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate change
  • The Hon. Lisa Neville, Minister for Police and Emergency Services
  • The Hon. Catherine King, Local Labor MP
  • Matthew Jackson, CEO, Parks Victoria
  • State Emergency Service
  • Country Fire Authority Media

01 April 2021

Thank you for taking time to prepare a submission in response to the Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) Development Plan (RDP) Directions Paper.

The submissions, together with feedback received as part of the RDP consultation process and detailed further technical analysis and assessments will inform the Government’s final decision-making process for:

  • priority network projects it intends to immediately finance through the REZ Fund, including procurement and cost recovery models for these projects, to be released at the end of May 2021;
  • form and function of VicGrid as the entity to develop and deliver REZs in Victoria, which will be established in July 2021; and
  • the REZ Implementation Plan, which will include the finalised RDP, the establishment of VicGrid, the Government’s framework for further investment and funding of RDP projects, the ongoing work agenda of VicGrid in delivering and updating the RDP and further developing Victorian REZs in consultation with local communities, to be released in July 2021.

The Department will be systematically reviewing and taking into account feedback provided in submissions. The Victorian Government is committed to ongoing engagement with a wide range of stakeholders as part of developing REZ  and will keep you informed on the next phase of consultation.

Kind regards

Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) Delivery Division
Energy Group | Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Victorian Renewable Energy Zones (REZs)

Victorian Renewable Energy Zones (REZs)
Source: State Government of Victoria

“While this project is important to the future of Victoria’s power system, it’s critical we assess its environmental effects to avoid or minimise impacts on the community or the environment.”

Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning

“This will assess the proposed area between Bulgana and Sydenham through Victoria’s most transparent and rigorous environmental assessment framework.”

Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning

“The Victorian Government supports an efficient, modern, sustainable and affordable energy system – the EES process will tell us exactly where we stand and how we can move forward, it’s important to get this right.”

Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning
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Welcome to the home of Darley Power Fight. A group of residents in Darley, Coimadai and Merrimu, united against high voltage transmission towers passing through our backyard. We came together through the realisation the transmission line will divide a narrow corridor between Darley and the Lerderderg State Park; altering landscape character, causing widespread damage to critical habitat for threatened species, increasing fire risk to the Park and thousands of residents, destroy our visual amenity, harm local agriculture and will impact businesses and property values. It will completely desecrate, in a few years, what nature has taken millions of years to create.

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