The Minister declared an area in the Bass Strait off Gippsland, Victoria, as suitable for offshore renewable energy on 19 December 2022.
The instrument giving effect to the declaration, the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure (Declared Area OEI-01-2022) Declaration 2022, is available on the Federal Register of Legislation.
The declared area off Gippsland covers approximately 15,000 square kilometres, and runs from offshore of Lakes Entrance in the east, to south of Wilsons Promontory in the west.
The declaration followed consultation with existing industries including fishing, offshore oil and gas, other marine users, state and local government representatives, First Nations people and local communities.
This declaration will help enable Australia’s energy transition towards renewable power and cleaner, cheaper and more secure energy. It will help Australia reach net zero by 2050.
The announcement is part of the government’s Rewiring the Nation plan. The plan is designed to ramp up renewable generation, place downward pressure on energy bills, and put Australia on track to becoming a renewable energy superpower.
Following the declaration of this area on 19 December 2022, the Minister committed to further consideration of the area west of Wilsons Promontory. On 31 August 2023, after additional consideration and consultation with the Victorian Government, the Minister concluded that there were unacceptable environmental risks to progressing with offshore wind in this region. The Minister confirmed that the region west of Wilsons Promontory would not be considered further for declaration.
This decision does not alter the current Gippsland declared area.
A shapefile representing the Declared Area is available for download. This shapefile is provided for illustrative and explanatory purposes only, and must be used with the GDA94 geocentric data set. The Declared Area is the area made up of the areas specified in Schedules 1, 2, and 3 the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure (Declared Area OEI-01-2022) Declaration 2022.
The Minister for Climate Change and Energy issued an invitation to apply for feasibility licences for the Gippsland Declared Area. Feasibility Licence applications were accepted for proposed projects within the Gippsland declared area from 23 January 2023 to 27 April 2023.