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The decision by the Federal Government to establish a Community Engagement Review to maximise engagement around electricity transmission and renewable energy developments has been welcomed by GrainGrowers as a positive step forward.

GrainGrowers Chair, Rhys Turton, said the review would advise on the best way to progress future developments.

“Planning, developing and operating energy infrastructure requires careful management and engagement, and it is critically important that we get it right. The review is about bringing together communities, landowners and First Nations people to get the best possible outcomes from future development.

Mr Turton said the GrainGrowers National Policy Group had recently considered the issue of agricultural land use and had called for meaningful engagements with landholders and communities about proposed development sites.

“Agricultural land is a valuable and finite resource, and while our energy future is critical, development must consider potential adverse effects on communities, landholders and the environment.”

“With many of the planned and proposed transmission lines going through significant grain-producing regions, it is crucial that landholders and communities can engage and have their say about any proposed developments impacting their lives and businesses.”

Mr Turton said transmission lines are emerging as one of the biggest challenges in Australia’s plan to reshape its electricity mix.

“As our energy system transitions from coal to renewable energy, new transmission lines are required, but this raises concerns among farming communities over the potential impact on agricultural activities.”

“The review will hopefully help ensure fairer outcomes for farmers and rural communities,” Mr Turton said.

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