Australian Govts Urged to Fast-Track Star of the South Processes

Australian division of Friends of the Earth has welcomed the latest update on the Star of the South offshore wind project. The organisation has urged both state and federal governments to trigger relevant assessment processes as a matter of urgency.

“Building landmark renewable energy projects like Star of the South could be key to the post-Covid recovery effort, creating local jobs, bolstering domestic electricity supply while reducing greenhouse gas emissions”, said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

Australia’s first offshore wind farm would create 2,000 direct jobs, 10,000 indirect jobs during construction, and 300 ongoing positions. The 250-turbine project could also power some 1.2 million households. This would meet around 18% of Victoria’s electricity needs, Friends of the Earth states.

“With the right government support this could be the first of many jobs-rich offshore wind projects in Australia and it’s important we get it right”, Simons said.

The organisation said it had campaigned for the federal government to stop holding up offshore wind projects like Star of the South.

“The referral comes days after new ABS data revealed a record-breaking surge in renewable energy jobs last financial year. Thanks to its state renewable energy target, Victoria has led jobs growth in the renewable energy sector, posting a massive 72 percent increase in the number of wind and solar workers to a total of 6,090 over 2018-19”, the organisation states.

“With no national renewable energy policy beyond 2020, there is a risk these numbers could fall off a cliff at a time when governments are trying to keep the economy alive after the dual crises of the disastrous bushfire season and the Covid-19 outbreak”.

The organisation is a member of Friends of the Earth International, an environmental network gathering 77 national member groups.

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