The Electrical Trades Union and Maritime Union of Australia welcome long overdue laws to facilitate offshore renewable energy projects.
It is a critical first step in allowing the development of offshore renewable energy, especially offshore wind, which the ETU and MUA have long been advocating for.
The unions now call on the Federal Government to immediately begin consultation on the location of Offshore Electricity Areas to give certainty to projects that will create jobs, clean energy and economic investment in regions already slated for offshore wind including:
- The Gippsland region of Victoria
- The Hunter and Illawarra regions of NSW and;
- The Rockingham/Bunbury/Geographe Bay region of West Australia.
MUA Assistant National Secretary Adrian Evans said Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor must make the consultation on the Gippsland Offshore Electricity Area his highest priority.
“Star of the South, the Gippsland and Latrobe Valley communities, and maritime and electrical workers have already waited years for the government to get this legislation in place,” Mr Evans said.
“The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is already planning for an Offshore Wind Zone in this area. The Federal Government needs to catch up and give project proponents the certainty they need.”
ETU Assistant National Secretary Michael Wright said the Minister must complete this consultation and declare a suitable Offshore Electricity Area before any offshore wind developers can apply for a Feasibility Licence.
“Building offshore wind will play a critical role in creating thousands of jobs for workers affected by the energy transition, whether they work in coal-fired power stations, coal export ports or offshore oil and gas,” Mr Wright said.
“These projects can create a strong and consistent supply of renewable energy, next to the heavy industries that need it, and also create green hydrogen in bulk for use by these industries while delivering regional diversification and opportunities for workers.”
The MUA and ETU also cautioned that there was still more work to do on the legislative framework for the industry with the need