COMP NEWS – Australian Farmers are calling for more compensation in exchange for hosting transmission lines on their property.
To reach net-zero and bring down power bills, state and federal governments have promised to fast-track the delivery of high voltage transmission lines to incorporate more renewable energy into the grid.
But with thousands of kilometres and billions of dollars in investment needed, the farmers in the firing line are calling for a rethink on how the spoils of the transition are spread across the land.
The problem, claim the farmers, is that they are usually offered a flat sum in exchange for hosting transmission lines. If farmers don’t agree, by Australian law, the transmission line can be installed anyway,
Transgrid, the company responsible for the high voltage network in NSW, has now proposed building the 360-kilometre HumeLink line across her property.
Impacted landholders across the breadth of HumeLink are concerned about visual and environmental impacts, increased bushfire risk and the devaluation of their land from hosting the proposed new line.
But the comparatively lacklustre compensation is also a sticking point.
Farmers who host wind and solar farms on their property are often able to negotiate lucrative yearly payments from the companies for using their land.
But if a company like Transgrid needs to build a high voltage line across a farm, the owner will have to negotiate a one-off settlement.
If the two parties don’t agree, the company has the right to compulsorily acquire the land.
Renewable energy advocates are backing the farmers’ calls for compensation, saying that the current offerings are
Renewable energy advocates have called for better compensation for the landowners who have to host transmission lines.
Andrew Bray from the Re-Alliance said the network being planned was beneficial to all energy consumers because it would reduce emissions and bring down power prices.
He would like to see a more “active” payment method to landholders, like a yearly sum to reflect this benefit.
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