Australian Government Rejects Plan for Offshore Wind Terminal

Monday, January 8, 2024

The Australian Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water has designated preliminary plans for a Victorian Renewable Energy Terminal as “clearly unacceptable.”

The plans were submitted by the Port of Hastings Corporation in October 2023.

Minister Tanya Plibersek cited irreversible damage to the habitat of waterbirds, migratory birds, marine invertebrates and fish that would occur as a result of dredging up to 92 hectares of wetland and reclaiming 29 hectares of seabed.

The Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) welcomed the decision, saying it highlighted the need for the state government to better protect Western Port Bay from the effects of risky developments.

“This project risked an internationally protected wetland and bird sanctuary critical for 65% of Victoria’s threatened bird species,” VNPA’s nature campaigner Shannon Hurley said.

“The federal minister had no option other than blocking the proposal because of the threat of enormous environmental damage. While a fast transition from polluting to clean energy sources is necessary to avoid the extreme impacts of climate disruption, it cannot come at the cost of the marine environment. An environmentally responsible offshore renewables sector requires a plan for how marine habitats and Western Port Bay’s precious wetlands will be protected.”

The Port of Hastings Corporation has issued a statement saying it has received the decision from the government that the project would have unacceptable impacts. “We are currently assessing the decision and considering our options.”

The Port of Hastings was identified as the most suitable location for the establishment of the Victorian Renewable Energy Terminal to facilitate offshore wind assembly. The terminal is a key requirement to help achieve the Victorian government’s commitment of delivering 9GW of offshore wind energy generation capacity by 2040.

It would have been capable of supporting offshore wind delivery of up to 1GW per year, placing Hastings at the centre of Australia’s offshore wind construction and deployment.

Categories: Ports Industry News Offshore Wind Environment

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