THE Victorian Government last week outlined changes to the planning assessment process for wind farm project, which it said will ensure the state continues to be the nation's best location for renewable energy investment.
Under the changes, which have been introduced by Amendment VC125 to the Victorian Planning Provisions and all planning schemes, Planning Minister Richard Wynne will now assess applications for entire wind farms and associated infrastructure together.
While the Minister has been responsible for determining all new wind energy facility proposals since Amendment VC124 was introduced in April, proponents still had to submit applications to local governments for the infrastructure needed to connect to the electricity network.
The latest amendment changes the definition of a wind energy facility to include the use of the transmission or distribution system of power lines to connect the wind energy facility to the electricity network, thereby enabling a single integrated planning permit application process.
"We have cut red tape to boost investment in clean energy, which will create more jobs for Victorians and grow our economy," Mr Wynne said.
"The Andrews Labor Government is sending a strong message to renewable energy investors that Victoria is the place to do business."
Other recent changes introduced by the Victorian Government have included a reduction of the household veto for a proposed wind turbine development from two kilometres to one kilometre from a dwelling.