Vic farmers take to Melbourne with tractors to protest transmission lines

Beef Central, 16/08/2023

Victorian farmers have taken to the streets of Melbourne to protest renewable energy plans they say would result in prime farming land being ripped up. Photo: David Littleproud’s office

FARMERS have rolled into Melbourne on tractors, prime movers and utes, arguing that prime agricultural land throughout Victoria is going to be ripped up to meet renewable energy targets.

The protests were mainly about two transmission line projects known as the VNI west and the Western Renewables links, with producers calling for an immediate stop to the projects and more consultation.

“The Andrews government has failed to adequately plan for the transition to renewable energy and it’s completely unacceptable that farmers and our regional communities are set to pay the price,” Victorian Farmers’ Federation president Emma Germano said.

“Farmers and regional communities have been taken for a ride since these projects were announced and I’m not surprised that frustration is leading directly to Spring Street.

“It’s the clear view of the VFF that an immediate stop to all activities related to the planning and construction of the Western Renewables Link and VNI-West transmission projects must be made.”

The VFF has also launched a petition to the Victorian Parliament calling for the VNI West and Western Renewables Link transmission projects to be stopped.

“The government can’t continue to ignore the mounting opposition to these planned projects and they must act immediately and reassess, before they do irreversible damage to Victoria’s food bowl,” Mr Germano said.

“I’d encourage all community members to share the petition and sign it as soon as possible. It’s important that original copies of the signed petitions are sent back to the VFF head office so they can be tabled in Parliament.”

Federal leader of The Nationals David Littleproud said Labor’s race to achieve 82 per cent renewables by 2030 would have huge consequences on the agriculture sector. He said he previously asked the Prime Minister for a National Energy Summit, to put all options on the table, but the best the Albanese government could do was a small inquiry into how to consult better.

“The Nationals have also been attempting to get a Senate Inquiry into renewables and transmission lines but crossbench Senators have been blocking it,” Mr Littleproud said.

“We are not against renewables, but Labor is threatening to take away the tools our farmers need to provide Australians with fresh, healthy and affordable food.

“Farmers are becoming increasingly anxious about the situation – which is why they have come to Parliament House to plead with the State Labor Government.

“We need to look at the social licence of these projects. The Nationals wholeheartedly standby and support our farmers here today, who just want common sense to prevail.”

He said he made the 300-kilometre journey to Melbourne with his tractor to raise awareness.

“People need to realise renewables will carve up prime agricultural land,” Mr Baldwin said.

“It will decrease our efficiency to farm and feed people – resulting in higher grocery prices. There are better ways if we take a slight step back and have a look at what is happening.”

Member for Mallee Dr Anne Webster said it was time Labor Governments at all levels respected all regional Australians, particularly those on the land who feed and clothe the nation.

“Projects such as the Victoria New South Wales Interconnector West (VNI West) compromise the livelihoods of our farmers and the biosecurity and productivity of their land,” Dr Webster said.

“The flow-on effect is Australian families pay more at the checkout through higher grocery prices, while their energy bills are also inflated to pay for infrastructure costs for these transmission lines. It just multiplies the cost-of-living pressure on Australian mums and dads.

“I am proud to stand with these farmers and those who live in regional Australia and I am pleased to be here today with David Littleproud, continuing to show our commitment to them.”

Source: David Littleproud/Victorian Farmers’ Federation


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


  1. Val Dyer, 16/08/2023

    Good on them. Limiting flying, particularly with Qantas, would be a better idea than destroying Australia’s most valuable asset, land.

Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -