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November 26, 2021

Australia passes bills to support offshore energy industry

The legislative framework will help provide affordable clean power while reducing carbon emission levels in Australia.

By Umesh Ellichipuram

The Australian Parliament has approved a set of laws to support the country’s offshore energy industry.

The three bills will create jobs and encourage investments in offshore wind farms and power transmission projects.

Having passed the final stage in the Senate, the bills will establish the regulatory framework for electricity infrastructure projects in Commonwealth waters.

Australian Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said: “The Morrison Government’s offshore electricity infrastructure package will unlock the development of a new industry that will create thousands of skilled regional jobs, strengthen our economy and support a more affordable and secure energy system.

“Importantly, this framework enables the development of these new energy projects while safeguarding the environment, securing the health and safety of workers and protecting other maritime stakeholders.”

The legislation will expedite several key projects currently in development, including the Star of the South, Sun Cable and the Marinus Link transmission line.

These projects are expected to be worth more than A$10bn ($7.1bn) and create more than 10,000 jobs collectively.

The Marinus Link transmission line will connect the Battery of the Nation project in Tasmania to the mainland.

In addition to supporting the offshore industry, the legislative framework is expected to help deliver affordable clean power while reducing Australia’s carbon emission levels.

Assistant Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Tim Wilson said: “Our Liberal approach has delivered Australia’s first comprehensive, economy-wide plan to get Australia to carbon neutrality by 2050, moving with technology and responding to changing market demands.

“The establishment of this framework will help empower communities across Australia, enabling them to take advantage of the tremendous potential offered by offshore electricity.”

Last month, Australia’s federal government announced plans to reach net-zero emissions across the country by 2050.

The target is not being defined in law, with the government instead expecting consumers and companies to make voluntary investments to help reach it.

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