Gippsland › Latest news › Bass Coast Local News

Bass Strait to become first official offshore Australian wind zone after consideration from Bass Coast community

Bass Coast Shire Council welcomes the formal announcement by federal government that eastern Bass Strait will become Australia's first official offshore wind zone, after clearly considering community feedback to adapt plans for the project.

By news@gippsland - 23rd December 2022 - Back to News

Bass Coast Shire Council Mayor, Cr Michael Whelan, said that council shared the federal and state government's commitment to renewable energy, offering its in-principle support plus gratitude for listening to the passionate voices of the Bass Coast community on the plans. Council had provided feedback to the federal government in October that the initial offshore wind farm was too close to shore and welcomed the changes announced today, including a 10 km buffer zone to reduce the visual impact, size reduction and eastern location.

Bass Coast Shire Council leading the way to form the largest ever emissions reduction project by local government in Australia, switching to 100% renewable energy

Bass Coast Shire Council is leading the way to form the largest ever emissions reduction project by local government in Australia, switching to 100% renewable energy

Targeting zero emissions

Council does warn however that rigorous impact assessments, community consultation plus strict environmental protections must still be included. "Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet and humankind. In 2019, in consultation with our community, council declared a climate emergency to then develop a Climate Change Action Plan, pursuing a community target of zero net emissions by 2030."

"We need every tool available to address the climate crisis, with renewable energy being an essential solution. Council actively supports the responsible expansion of offshore wind as an integral piece of Australia's renewable energy portfolio, vital to decarbonise our electricity."

"We fully appreciate that the Victorian coastline has significant potential for world-leading offshore wind facilities, plus the considerable benefits this brings, including jobs and infrastructure investment in the region." Cr Whelan said.

Providing consistent winds

Cr Wheland also said, "Council also acknowledges that while offshore wind provides critical benefit to our future by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, like any major infrastructure project, there can be negative impacts."

"The coastlines of Bass Coast, South Gippsland, Wellington, and East Gippsland Shires provide strong, consistent winds, proximity to electricity markets as well as connection to the existing grid and associated industry." Cr Whelan added.

Responsible and equitable planning

Today's declared area covers about 15,000 square kilometres offshore from Gippsland, from Lakes Entrance in the east to south of Wilsons Promontory in the west. The Victorian and Commonwealth governments have stated they will consider the Gippsland coast west of Wilsons Prom over the coming year, including further consultation with Traditional Owners and community feedback on environmental risks.

"We look forward to working with the state and federal governments on responsible and equitable planning of any offshore wind projects in Bass Coast. We urge for strong custodianship of marine ecosystems - with no harm to fisheries, marine mammals, endangered species like the southern right whale, and important habitats. We also insist these plans must consider our visitor dependent economy." Cr Whelan concluded.

Learn more about Bass Coast Shire Council's Climate Action Plan.

Pictures from The Cap website.


Published by:

Edit this news article

Baw Baw Bass Coast Cardinia East Gippsland Latrobe City South Gippsland Wellington
© 2001-2024 Print this page | Subscribe to Newsletter | Feedback / Inquiries | Login
Care has been taken in compiling the component parts of this website. However, does not warrant or represent that the website is free from errors or omissions, that the qualifications claimed by an advertiser are valid or that the published details of any advertiser are as stated on the website. Please review the full statement of our Terms and Conditions of Service and disclaimer.