SANITY PREVAILS IN THE SOUTH OF NEW ENGLAND RENEWABLE ENERGY ZONE

Wednesday, 17 January 2024

MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall MP has welcomed the decision by NSW EnergyCo to remove the southernmost pieces of electricity transmission infrastructure proposed by the department as part of the New England Renewable Energy Zone (REZ).

“Finally some sanity has prevailed with EnergyCo and we are getting some sensible decisions being made that reflect the reality of the local situation and community views,” Mr Marshall said.

“Everyone in Walcha has known for some time that there were no, and should be no, renewable generation projects happening south of Walcha.

“The farmers don’t want them, haven’t signed up for them and have made it clear they have no plans of ever doing that.

“So if they don’t want to host renewables then why was EnergyCo planning for an enormous electricity substation and transmission lines south of Walcha?

“It simply didn’t make sense, when there are other landholders in other areas happy to host renewables.

“Finally we are starting to see common sense prevail and evidence that EnergyCo is listening and is going to plan a renewable energy zone that actually matches on-the-ground reality.”

Mr Marshall said that while EnergyCo was yet to make the change public, he had confirmation that it had begun informing impacted landholders, as well as Walcha Council.

The change will see the south electricity hub (one of five proposed) and associated transmission line removed from the REZ.

“I’ve been pushing the Minister and EnergyCo to start making the New England REZ work for those of us carrying the impact of the renewables transition,” Mr Marshall said.

“I consider this decision a step in the right direction, but there needs to be many more, and I’m putting EnergyCo on notice that our communities will continue to advocate and demand outcomes which benefit us, not just the aspiring developers.”

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