Labor flags possible new wind power zones in Indian Ocean off WA coast
FRIDAY AUGUST 05, 2022
Offshore wind zones could be declared off the WA coast with Labor starting to take the next steps in creating a new renewable energy industry.
Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen announced a 60-day consultation process had started to declare the Gippsland coast off Victoria an offshore wind zone and to also look at making six other regions the same.
These include the Indian Ocean near Perth and Bunbury, the Pacific Ocean off the Hunter and the Illawarra in NSW, the Southern Ocean near Portland in Victoria, and the Bass Strait off Northern Tasmania.
Mr Bowen on Friday said the new facilities would help the country to reach 82 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
“This is good news for these communities. A lot of jobs will also be created. These are areas undergoing economic change as our energy system transforms,” Mr Bowen said.
“We are way behind the game — way behind the rest of the would in producing wind off our coastline.
“This is good news for the jobs, for the environment, for emissions reduction and good news for Australia. This is our next step on towards the 80 per cent renewable energy market.”
The Gippsland site proposal is expected to power 1.2 million homes in Victoria, with the industry set to create up to 8000 jobs a year once it is up-and-running.
Friday’s announcement comes a day after Labor’s climate bill enshrining an emissions reduction target of 43 per cent by 2030 passed the lower house in Federal Parliament.
The climate Bill, which also sets a net-zero emissions target by 2050, will now move to a Senate committee, before going to another vote in the upper house during the next parliamentary sitting fortnight in September.
Australia has a lot of catching up to do on 10 years of delay, denial and dysfunction.
“The passage of this bill sends a message to investors in renewable energy, transmission and storage around the world that Australia is open for business to become a renewable energy powerhouse,” Mr Bowen said.
“Australia has a lot of catching up to do on 10 years of delay, denial and dysfunction. One of the key measures in getting Australia to 82 per cent renewable energy by 2030, which is the Albanese Government’s plan, will be offshore wind.
“It is not symbolic. It is practice. There (have been) 10 years of delay and dysfunction. This parliament is taking big steps for it to end.”
Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese stressed more work needed to be done to reduce emissions in Australia, which he said would grow the economy, despite the Opposition warning it would lead to higher power bills for families.
“You have to have an economy-wide transition here. It will take effort. It’s not easy, but we can do it,” he told ABC Radio..
“And while doing it, we can create economic activity, create jobs, particularly in our regions. Unless we do this transition, then Australia will actually suffer and shrink, so we also have the possibility of cleaner, cheaper energy, creating new industries.”