#BetterTogether - Landholder + Community Social Licence
The #BetterTogether Landholder + Community Social Licence initiative is focused on social licence with the energy transition.
As Australia moves towards a renewable energy future, a growing number of agricultural landholders are being approached to host electricity transmission and other energy infrastructure, on their land.
Our energy businesses recognise that these transmission development projects, as well as the maintenance of existing infrastructure, can impact the agricultural operations, lives and livelihoods of agricultural landholders.
They also understand that they have a responsibility to recognise and minimise these impacts and work towards shared value outcomes for everyone.
To ensure that nobody is left behind, we are working in collaboration with the Ag Energy Taskforce and other landholder and community representatives on three key initiatives.
Better Practice Social Licence Guideline
The Better Practice Social Licence Guideline has been developed to build a shared understanding of the impacts and potential benefits associated with hosting energy transmission infrastructure for agricultural landholders; and provide practical social licence to operate (‘social licence’) guidance to mitigate negative impacts and prioritise shared value through the energy transition.
Ag + Energy Social Licence Roundtable
The Energy Charter hosts an Ag + Energy Social Licence Roundtable with leaders from the energy and agriculture sectors to discuss strategic emerging issues in the energy transition, identify what’s working and areas for continuous improvement.
The purpose of the Roundtable is to deliver better landholder and community social licence outcomes through the energy transition, under the themes – ‘Ag as Energy Generators’, ‘Ag as Energy Users’ and ‘Ag as Energy Hosts’.
The Ag + Energy Social Licence Roundtable is independently chaired by Joy Thomas (formerly National Irrigators Association and convener of the Ag Energy Taskforce).
Evaluating Transmission Undergrounding
Many regional communities and landholders have suggested undergrounding new transmission lines to avoid visual and other impacts. Where undergrounding has not been progressed, some have expressed concern that this option was not fully investigated or given adequate consideration. This initiative aims to improve the experience of landholders and communities by providing greater transparency on how the viability of underground compared to overhead transmission designs are evaluated.
Landholder Engagement Training
Face-to-face training sessions were held on Tuesday 3 October – Wednesday 4 October 2023, with the purpose of supporting those responsible for working directly with impacted landholders to help them do their job well, while keeping themselves and the landholders physically and emotionally safe.