2 February 2024
Farmers for Climate Action has welcomed the release of the Dyer Community Engagement Review regarding transmission and renewable energy developments in regional areas.
Farmers for Climate Action, representing more than 8000 farmers across Australia, particularly welcomes recommendations around:
- Establishing Ombudsman roles to receive complaints about behaviour by developers
- Improving community benefits from developments
- Selecting only those projects which have established good community relations, and are planned for appropriate sites, to go ahead.
CEO Natalie Collard said she was glad farmers’ voices had been heard as part of the review.
“The good and bad must be put on the table and dealt with, and we were glad to see legitimate
concerns were printed in this review and were not hidden,” Ms Collard said.
“It’s important farmers’ voices continue to be heard as the recommendations are implemented.
“We can’t afford a repeat of the behaviour we’ve seen from coal seam gas and coal developers in the transmission and renewable energy space. Some project proponents have failed badly and this review can be an important step towards improving practices of some operators, including government-owned operators, as the review states.
“Emissions reduction is simply too important to stuff up. We need deep emissions reductions this decade to protect our family farms. With wind energy companies now offering more than $40,000 per turbine per year and solar companies offering around $1500 per hectare per year, and farmers often able to continue to farm sheep under both, farmers stand to gain so much from the energy shift. Renewable energy helps to keep farmers farming – so many farmers successfully host renewables, from small scale producers to the NFF President.
“Some renewables companies are proposing community benefits funds of around $1M a year, with the local community itself to choose what the money is invested in. We’re also aware of wind projects proposing to pay more than 50 local farmers, including neighbouring farms. This energy shift can be done well. We just need to approve developments doing the right thing and refuse those which don’t benefit communities and farmers.
“Farmers for Climate Action looks forward to working constructively with the Government as these recommendations are implemented.”
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