THE state government has announced that a terminal to assemble offshore wind turbines will be built at Hastings while at the same time saying there will be “a thorough environment effects statement (EES) process” before the project progresses.
In a statement issued on Sunday (10 September) the government says the terminal will be built at the Old Tyabb Reclamation Area and be equipped “for the receival, assembly and installation of offshore wind foundations, towers and turbines as a multi-user facility, with new berths, heavy duty pavements and major supporting infrastructure”.
Energy and Resources Minister Lily D’Ambrosio and Ports and Freight Minister Melissa Horne have visited the Port of Hastings “for a first look at the area where the terminal will be built”.
“The Port of Hastings has been selected as the most suitable port to assemble offshore wind infrastructure – with the benefits of large areas of zoned land it is close to existing port precincts, has deep water channels and is close to the offshore wind projects off the coast of Gippsland,” the statement containing quotes from the two ministers states.
“The terminal will undergo a thorough environment effects statement (EES) process allowing the community to make submissions before the project progresses.”
The statement says $27 million included in the 2023/24 state budget “will help create thousands of jobs, generate billions of dollars in investment and create renewable, reliable power for all Victorians from offshore wind farms”.
“This project will give industry further confidence to kick-start renewable energy projects and deliver thousands of ongoing job opportunities for Victorians in our renewable energy future,” Horne said.
“Offshore wind is a key pillar of Victoria’s renewable energy future. It will create thousands of jobs, generate billions in investment and provide more reliable power for all Victorians.” D’Ambrosio said.
The statement does not mention concerns already raised about the environmental effects dredging or onshore development might have on Western Port or further afield (“Terminal delays could hit power targets” The News 22/8/23).
Jeff Weir, executive director of the Hastings-based Dolphin Research Centre, said questions needing to be addressed included the effects of dredging (including to adjacent coastlines”); effects on wildlife (including “exotic wildlife species”); treatment for stormwater runoff; and how many ships would be using the terminal and if that would happen during the day and night.