New approach to fast-track green energy approvals

  • $22.5 million commitment to help streamline approvals for green energy proposals
  • New teams to assess critical minerals, hydrogen and renewable energy projects
  • Novel assessment processes to be developed to fast-track timeframes
  • Expert panel to support Government agencies in progressing approvals
  • Protection of Western Australia’s environment will remain paramount
  • The McGowan Government will slash approval timeframes for job-creating green energy projects, with a $22.5 million investment to overhaul the State approach to environmental approvals.

    Western Australia is on the cusp of becoming a global green energy superpower, with an unprecedented number of renewable energy and critical minerals proposals currently under environmental assessment and a significant number of new referrals in the pipeline.

    The new multi-pronged approach will help to drive investment in conventional wind, solar and wave power generators, hydrogen industries, lithium mining and critical minerals processing, and green energy product manufacturing.

    A new dedicated cross-government Green Energy Assessment Unit will be established within the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, requiring State Government agencies to work together to develop clear assessment pathways and provide high-quality, fit-for-purpose, timely support for proponents and investors.

    Work to establish the group will commence immediately, and it is expected to be operational by mid next year. 

    The State Government will work to develop and implement novel assessment processes for green energy projects, to facilitate smoother and faster project approvals.

    A Green Energy Expert Panel comprising Government and industry will be established to provide the independent Environmental Protection Authority with the information needed to progress approvals in a timely manner.

    A Green Energy Major Projects Group will also be set up to help steer individual projects through government processes.

    As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:

    “Western Australia can become a world-leader in green energy, just as we have led the country and the world in iron ore and natural gas.

    “We are already the powerhouse of the nation’s battery and critical minerals sector, and our natural advantages mean we are perfectly placed in renewable hydrogen and renewable energy.

    “A reduction in approval timeframes will ensure Western Australia remains a destination of choice for renewable industry investors.”

    As stated by Environment and Climate Action Minister Reece Whitby:

    “Green energy projects are critical in the transition to renewable energy, and this is another significant step towards achieving net zero emissions.

    “This new assessment team will ensure proposals are considered in a timely manner while continuing to ensure the protection of our environment.

    “This will help Western Australian industry be a major contributor to global efforts to decarbonise the economy without compromising our State’s unique biodiversity.”

    As stated by State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook:

    “This State has a history of solving challenges through innovative business solutions, and this is a clear example of adapting our processes to meet the needs of climate change and industry.

    “A dedicated major projects group will be established within the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation to support this new assessment team by providing a first point of contact for all major green energy proponents.”

    As stated by Hydrogen Industry Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

    “This cements the McGowan Government’s commitment to ensuring Western Australia becomes a world leader in the emerging hydrogen industry.

    “We are in a globally competitive market, and we need to move through approval processes more expeditiously and capably to retain our edge.”

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