THE Victorian Government this month announced that planning approval has been granted for a $600 million gas-fired power station at Tarrone, in Victoria's south-west and approximately 23 kilometres north of Port Fairy.
Planning Minister Matthew Guy said Amendment C47 to the Moyne Planning Scheme will facilitate the use and development of the power station and associated works in a new Special Use Zone.
The proposal by AGL Energy is for the construction of a 920 megawatt gas-fired power station. It is proposed that the Tarrone power station will connect to the substation that has been approved as part of the nearby Macarthur wind farm currently under construction.
The project has also been designed to capitalise on the nearby 500Kv electricity transmission line and the SEAGas pipeline, which carries natural gas from near Port Campbell to South Australia.
Mr Guy said the project will provide critical infrastructure for Victoria and be a major stimulus to the region's economy.
Member for South West Coast Denis Napthine applauded the planning outcome, saying it will provide hundreds of jobs and inject millions of dollars into the economy of south-west Victoria.
"This proposed new gas-fired power station, together with the large wind energy projects currently underway across our region, represents a $2 billion investment in low emissions and renewable energy in Western Victoria," Dr Napthine said.
"This announcement puts Tarrone on the map and significantly raises the region's reputation as a vital hub for producing sustainable energy."
Last year, a Planning Panel report concluded that the project will provide infrastructure that is important to the state and will be a significant stimulus to the region's economy, outweighing adverse impacts such as local labour market capacity constraints, the removal of the site from agricultural production or disruption in the locality during construction.
The Panel said that while there will be some impact on the residents of the immediate area, the project "would result in a net benefit to the community and contributes to the achievement of sustainability objectives" and supported the planning scheme amendment, subject to modifications.