The rules apply to licensed electricity transmission companies accessing, or seeking to access, private land using statutory powers under the Electricity Industry Act 2000. It applies for activities on new transmission projects, or when an existing line is upgraded, replaced or decommissioned. It does not apply to operation and maintenance activities for existing transmission assets, voluntary access agreements, land that is not private land, or where land is accessed in accordance with an existing easement.
The new obligations aim to minimise the impact of access and improve consultation with affected parties, including landowners, occupiers and other parties interested in land.
Electricity transmission companies must also provide certain information to affected parties about proposed access activities prior to accessing private land. If an affected party asks a question or provides feedback about this information, including in relation to suitable access dates, the electricity transmission company must consider the feedback in good faith and provide an answer to the affected party about the question(s) raised.
Commission chief executive officer Sarah Sheppard says that Victorian electricity transmission companies must engage with affected landowners in good faith before accessing private land.
“The new rules support Victorians in the transition to a cleaner energy future. Electricity transmission companies must engage with people who are affected by new transmission projects in a way that is transparent, clear and considerate of their needs,” said Ms Sheppard.
The commission may use its full suite of compliance and enforcement powers to enforce the code of practice. It will promote voluntary compliance through industry education, and may take enforcement action, such as issuing penalty notices where it considers that an electricity transmission company has breached its obligations.