The Victorian and Commonwealth Governments are being urged to back the emerging offshore wind sector in a move that could drastically reduce carbon emissions while providing quality jobs for workers who are already being impacted by the transition out of fossil fuel industries.
This report focuses on the Star of the South project, Australia’s first proposed offshore wind farm which would use 250 turbines between 10 and 25kms off the Gippsland coast to generate up to 20 per cent of Victoria’s electricity.
The report outlines the steps required to not only support the development of this emerging sector, but to ensure it delivers positive outcomes to communities reliant on fossil fuel industries.
- the Commonwealth establish an energy transition authority to work with states and regions, develop a stand-alone Offshore Renewables Act, and create an agency responsible for facilitating the development of offshore renewable energy in Commonwealth waters;
- the development of offshore and onshore renewable energy master plans that incorporate assessments of supply chains, procurement and infrastructure;
- ensuring renewable energy financing, targets, contracts, licensing and approvals require the maximising of local jobs, including planning for direct redeployment of workers from fossil fuel industries;
- the Victorian Government establish a just transition group to ensure a well-planned energy transition with the best possible social outcomes by formally consulting with relevant stakeholders including trade unions, employers and communities;
- maximising the social benefit of the Star of the South project by requiring local design, manufacturing, and construction;
- funding of appropriate training and retraining through local TAFEs, along with minimum apprentice ratios; and
- maximising the number of jobs available by ensuring good rosters and reasonable hours of work.