On July 12, the Australian Government formally declared an area in the Pacific Ocean off the Hunter as the second area suitable for developing offshore wind energy projects. You can find the announcement by the Minister for Climate Change and Energy, the Hon Chris Bowen MP, at https://minister.dcceew.gov.au/bowen/media-releases/joint-media-release-unlocking-new-regional-job-opportunities-offshore-wind-zone-declared-hunter-coast
A consultation report summarising what was heard during the consultation process is available on our website; https://consult.dcceew.gov.au/oei-hunter. Those submissions which opted to be made public have also been published. An interactive map of the declared area can be viewed at https://amsis-geoscience-au.hub.arcgis.com/pages/renewables.
Feasibility licence applications for offshore wind projects in the Hunter area will be accepted from 8 August 2023 to 14 November 2023. The Offshore Infrastructure Registrar will lead an assessment of all applications against criteria set out in the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Regulations 2022, and make recommendations to the Minister who will make the final decision on granting licences. Guidance material for licence applications is available on the Registrar’s website at http://offshoreregistrar.gov.au/.
Consultation commenced for a region in the Southern Ocean offshore of South Australia and Victoria on 28 June, and will close on 31 August. Further details on the proposed Southern Ocean area are available at https://consult.dcceew.gov.au/oei-southern-ocean.
Other regions that will be considered for future offshore wind development are, in no particular order, the Pacific Ocean region off the Illawarra in NSW, the Bass Strait region off Northern Tasmania, and the Indian Ocean region off Perth/Bunbury in WA.
More information and public consultation on these regions will be announced in due course.
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The Offshore Renewables Team
Offshore Renewable Energy | Adaption and New Industries Division
Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Wateroffshorerenewables@dcceew.gov.au