The National Wind Farm Commissioner's role will be expanded to cover new transmission projects.
The news comes as TransGrid continues the planning process for its proposed 630km transmission line linking substations at Maragle, south-east of Tumbarumba, Wagga Wagga and Bannaby, near Taralga. It is known as HumeLink and the route is due to be published in mid-2021, with an environmental impact study to follow a year later.
The proposal has upset some landholders in the Crookwell and Taralga districts who are worried that the line will traverse their properties and spark extensive vegetation clearing.
Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor says the new role will now be known as the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner.
NSW Farmers has welcomed the move. President James Jackson said renewable and transmission energy infrastructure was growing at a rapid rate across the state.
"It is important that proponents of these developments are held accountable to their obligations throughout the planning and commissioning of these projects," he said.
"The process of development of transmission line across NSW has been poorly handled to date, with many members despairing at the poor consultation and lack of regard for the operation of farming businesses.
"There is widespread anger in many areas of the state where transmission line corridors seem to be set in stone prior to entering into consultation with those affected.
"The Commissioner will need to hit the ground running as these projects proceed with haste and without an understanding of what constitutes important and strategic agricultural land."
Mr Jackson said NSW Farmers recognised that renewable energy were an important component in our energy production framework. However he believed "robust processes and accountability" were essential to protect surrounding agricultural land and ensure productive regions were able to continue producing.
"While there are significant opportunities to partner with agriculture and regional communities, there are areas of our state where energy infrastructure can go which will not impact our most productive land. Government needs to be aware and willing to act to protect our important agricultural assets," he said.
Mr Jackson said the important relationship between renewable energy generators, and location of transmission lines must not be blind to the need to protect and enhance agricultural businesses.
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