Murray River encourages locals to familiarise themselves with VNI West Project

Murray River Council

Murray River Council is encouraging the community to familiarise themselves with the latest Victoria New South Wales Interconnector West (VNI West) Conclusions Reports, as the potential location of the line comes more firmly into focus.

VNI West is a proposed new interconnector that would comprise a series of high voltage transmission lines and terminal stations to better connect the electricity grids with renewable energy sources across Victoria and Southern New South Wales.

Following a recent community engagement period, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has now revised the preferred route for the 500-kilovolt double-circuit overhead transmission line, which was initially proposed to cross the Murray Region upstream of Torrumbarry Weir.

However, the new preferred option – knowns as 5A – would now see the line cross the Murray River north of Kerang and form a route into NSW via the Murrabit and Moulamein regions.

This proposed route would connect the line from Dinawan Energy Hub in Southern NSW to the central and western areas of Victoria via a new terminal station near Kerang.

Mayor Chris Bilkey said whilst Council is highly supportive of renewable energy initiatives, the agreed route needs to offer the least amount of impact to the local area.

“There is no disputing where the high-tension lines originate from and go to. However, the question remains where the line traverses between those points and what impact that will have on our communities, particularly landholders.”

Council understands that consultation with potentially impacted landholders will intensify as the next phase of detailed planning commences, which will include further narrowing of the potential corridor.

For those landholders within the corridor, who may host the infrastructure, a VNI West landholder liaison will be assigned to better understand how the land is used today, how impacts on that land use can be minimised both during the constructions and in the long term, and to initiate discussions on appropriate compensation.

With renewable energy becoming more prevalent, Council is encouraging the community to start getting their head around the VNI West project and equip themselves with all relevant information.

“Renewable energy projects are continuing to pop up across our region, so the Interconnector is needed to start feeding this energy back into the network.”

“This means we now need to move away from the sentiment of “not in my backyard” and look to how we can make it work with the least amount of impact to the broader community.”

“We will certainly stay tapped into the conversation in partnership with our neighbouring municipalities and other regional bodies to make sure this is the case.”

Project reports are available via

/Public Release. View in full here.