Clarity needed on offshore wind plans

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has called on the Andrews Labor Government to provide clarity on its proposed investments in offshore wind farms.

Mr O’Brien said the State Government’s plan to reintroduce the State Electricity Commission (SEC) as a major production player investing up to $1 billion in offshore wind farms is vague and unexplained.

He says the Government needs to provide some detail on how the proposed investments will impact the Gippsland South community.

“We currently have at least five offshore wind farm proposals from major players in the local and global energy supply chain and I am aware that there are other very big investors preparing to develop windfarm plans,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This does raise questions as to why tax-payer money should be put towards constructing offshore wind farms given the proposed investments already from the private sector.

“The Labor Party seems to have put forward a populist policy during the election campaign, but in the months since there has been very little extra information.”

Mr O’Brien said the offshore wind proposals could be very beneficial for Gippsland provided that there is a focus on local jobs and investment.

“I am concerned that the Government has proposed that the Port of Hastings should be the main construction port for the offshore wind industry in Gippsland.

“That would make the opportunities for Gippsland very minimal compared to other potential suppliers and limit the amount of local jobs involved in the construction and ongoing operation of the wind farms.

“We need an assurance that the new SEC, if it is to invest in offshore wind, will actually deliver a benefit to Gippsland.

“So far the government has failed to articulate how that will occur let alone address issues such as transmission lines and other aspects of the offshore wind development.”

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