Media Releases | 21st Oct, 2022

Victorian offshore wind commitments welcome - but community consultation vital

Environment Victoria welcomes the Andrews government announcement to establish Wind Energy Victoria as a new ‘one-stop shop’ model to coordinate offshore wind developments and inject $6m to train workers in Victoria’s offshore wind sector.

“We welcome today’s offshore wind commitments from the Andrews government, while underlining the importance of proper community consultation and First Nations consent in developing Victoria’s new wind energy sector,” said Bronya Lipski, Environment Victoria’s Policy and Advocacy manager.

“Following yesterday’s groundbreaking announcement that Victoria will stop burning coal by 2035 and increase its renewable energy target to 95% by 2035 – offshore wind is a vital missing piece of Australia’s energy puzzle. We also welcome this announcement’s focus on training a new workforce for Victoria’s booming renewable energy sector.

“A booming offshore wind industry is one of the biggest levers we have to cut pollution while boosting the economy and creating good local jobs. By harnessing strong, steady ocean winds, offshore wind towers can provide cheap and reliable power for our local manufacturing industry.

“We commend the Andrews government for committing to deliver much needed certainty to the renewables sector if re-elected. Today’s announcement will give confidence both to the Victorian community and to investors in a booming offshore wind sector.

‘It will be vital that local communities are properly consulted as important stakeholders at all stages of how offshore wind developments are proposed and implemented. Government and industry must undertake free prior and informed consent processes to ensure injustices against First Nations communities are not perpetuated.

“The Westernport community has fought hard to protect their aquatic ecosystems, including developing a Strategic Framework to protect the Bay. They deserve a seat at the table to ensure offshore wind developments don’t adversely impact their pristine local environment, including undergoing rigorous environmental assessments.

“We further call on Matthew Guy and the Victorian Coalition to match the Andrews government renewable energy commitments.”

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