Faster Approvals For More Jobs And Lower Power Prices

The Allan Labor Government is cracking on with renewable energy projects by accelerating planning approvals – providing investment certainty for Victoria’s growing renewable energy industry and ensuring projects that bring energy prices down are built faster.

Premier Jacinta Allan today announced renewable energy projects will be eligible for an accelerated planning pathway under the Development Facilitation Program (DFP) – treating these projects the same as other significant works like the Big Housing Build.

Since 2015, more than one in five applications have ended up in VCAT – stuck on a shelf not being built. Right now, there is currently around $90 billion worth of investment value in renewable projects in the pipeline. It is expected these renewable projects would create a massive 15,000 jobs for our state.

Under the change, all new renewable projects in Victoria will be treated as significant economic development, making them eligible for an accelerated pathway – removing the planning panel process and third-party appeals at VCAT. Renewable projects currently stuck in approvals will also be able to access the accelerated pathway.

It ensures objections that have been resolved or dealt with don’t get stuck in VCAT at the end of the process during the final ‘notice of decision’ stage – which in some instances has added two years to delivery.

The change means that from the time a complete application is lodged for one of these new state significant projects, decisions can be made within four months.

The voices of communities who want to raise concerns with a proposal will continue to be protected. Third party objections will still have a place in the approvals process, but this change prevents time-consuming and repeated delays that hold these projects back for years.

Through the accelerated pathway, a dedicated facilitation team will oversee all renewable energy applications. Projects will also be monitored on an ongoing basis to identify blockers earlier and resolve them faster.

Quotes attributable to Premier Jacinta Allan

“We will cut the red tape holding back projects that provide stronger, cheaper power for Victorians.”

“The current system means that important projects can be tied up for years seeking approval. It delays construction and deters investment, and instead of spinning turbines, we’re too often left spinning our wheels.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio

“Victoria’s old coal fired generators are closing and the cost of fossil fuels are rising globally – and streamlining planning approvals for the cheapest form of new build power generation is so important.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Planning Sonya Kilkenny

“Putting renewables in the planning express lane means we can get more projects up and running sooner and provide Victorian households with cheaper and cleaner energy.”

Related Topics