100 signatures reached
To: Angus Taylor, Minister for Energy
Stop blocking offshore wind
1. We call on Energy Minister Angus Taylor to immediately allow the Star of the South offshore wind project to move forward to the exploration stage.
2. We call on the Federal Government to urgently develop a clear regulatory process for offshore renewable energy. This should be:
a. Kept separate from the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) due to vested interests from the petroleum industry.
b. Be designed to allow the speedy development of offshore renewable energy as a whole (and not just a particular windfarm).
3. Workers displaced from offshore oil and gas must be able to transition to work in offshore renewables. Workers in offshore renewables must have the same Work Health and Safety rights as other seafarers and shoreside workers, and not be subject to the poorer provisions of the NOPSEMA and the OPGGS Act.
4. All levels of government must support the development of offshore renewable energy, including the construction of port infrastructure, bringing specialized offshore wind construction vessels to Australia, improving electricity grid infrastructure, and directly commissioning and building offshore renewable projects as part of publicly-owned electricity generators.
Why is this important?
Development of Australia’s first offshore wind farm, which would power up to 1.2 million homes, has been stalled by Energy Minister Angus Taylor’s failure to sign off on an exploration license allowing a detailed assessment of the wind resource to commence.
The Department of the Environment and Energy confirmed during Senate Estimates in February that an evaluation of the project has been undertaken, a plan for a customised exploration license developed, and a briefing and recommendations provided to the Energy Minister, but that the project can progress no further without the Minister granting the exploration license.
The Star of the South project seeks to construct 250 wind turbines in Commonwealth waters off the coast of Gippsland in Victoria, generating up to 18 per cent of Victoria’s electricity needs and connecting to the electricity grid via underground cable to the Latrobe Valley. The company says that the project will create up to 12,000 manufacturing and construction jobs, and 300 ongoing jobs. It will make an important contribution to reducing carbon emissions from electricity.
Australia does not have a regulatory framework for offshore renewable energy, only offshore petroleum. The project has been in the works since 2012, and offshore wind is well established internationally. Yet in this time the government has not put forward any legislation, regulatory framework, or nominated a responsible agency to allow offshore renewable projects to proceed.
The MUA is concerned that the Morrison Government’s ideological hatred of renewable energy is stalling the development of the Star of the South project, and offshore renewables in Australia.