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Community consultation

Depending on the type, size and expected impact of your proposed bioenergy project, community and stakeholder consultation may be a legal requirement. In Victoria, check with the Department of Planning and Community Development and your local government planning authority.

Community consultation during the early stages of the projects development helps ensure that the correct information about the project is provided to those who are likely to be affected by the development, allowing affected parties to have time to consider and participate in the way the project develops. Consultation can help to:

  • Improve the community and stakeholders understanding of the projects’ aims, benefits and likely impacts.
  • Incorporate community ideas and improvements as well as increase the communities support and sense of ownership for the project.
  • Address concerns at an early stage which are likely to impact on, or even prohibit the projects’ development.

Community consultation will involve engaging with groups and individuals likely to be affected by the new development such as those living near the proposed development site as well as those living along the biomass transport routes. The type and scale of the community consultation required should be:

  • Commenced early in the projects’ development.
  • Tailored to the community needs.
  • Be appropriate to the scale, type and stage of the development, and
  • Be appropriate to the likely level on impact to the community.

Stakeholder consultation is likely to include local government, state regulatory and planning authorities, and community interest and industry groups. Formal approvals are likely to be required from a number of authorities, and it is the developers’ duty to determine their approval requirements.