Submission to AEMC Enhancing community engagement in transmission building draft rule determination Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
PIAC made a submission to the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) rule change on enhancing community engagement in transmission building.
The rule change was aimed at implementing recommendations coming out of last year’s Transmission Planning and Investment Review, which called for greater clarity and certainty for transmission network service providers (TNSP) on what stakeholder engagement activities could be claimed as part of preparatory activities. This, it was felt, would improve the dynamic of local community stakeholders feeling that all the major decisions in relation to a project were being made before they were consulted.
We support the requirement for TNSPs to engage with stakeholders earlier in the planning process, however, the rule change does not go far enough. It provides only high level principles for engagement and no changes to the inadequate enforcement mechanisms that accompany the ‘expectations’ of TNSPs with regards to good stakeholder engagement.
As long as TNSPs consider governments and energy regulators, who determine their revenue streams, as the exclusive stakeholders whose social licence is needed, they will continue to ‘manage’ local communities, along with consumers, rather than involve them in decisionmaking.