Public consultation: 28 June to 31 August 2023
Proposed area maximum size: 5,132km2
Potential power generation: 14.6GW
Potential jobs: 3,000 jobs during construction and 2,500 ongoing jobs
Current status: Public consultation completed. Ministerial consideration of final area
The proposed area
The Minister for Climate Change and Energy proposed an area in the Southern Ocean off Victoria and South Australia, for offshore renewable energy, including offshore wind, on 28 June 2023.
The proposed area covers 5,132km2 and extends offshore from Warrnambool, Victoria to Port MacDonnell, South Australia. The proposed area is the area specified in the Notice of Proposal.
Consultation on this proposed area closed on 31 August 2023.
Notice of proposal to declare an area - Southern Ocean Region Off Victoria and South Australia (PDF 282KB)
Notice of proposal to declare an area - Southern Ocean Region Off Victoria and South Australia (DOCX 1.4 MB)
Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Act 2021 - Proposed Area - Southern Ocean Region (shapefile) (ZIP 20 KB)
If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility for assistance.
Map of proposed area
Choosing the area
The offshore wind industry is well established internationally and is now an emerging industry in Australia. See building an offshore wind industry.
The Southern Ocean area is one of 6 priority areas identified for offshore wind development in Australian Commonwealth waters. We consider several factors to identify regions that have potential to support an offshore wind industry.
The Southern Ocean region is well suited for offshore wind due to a range of factors including:
- strong, consistent winds
- proximity to areas of high electricity demand including the Portland Aluminium Smelter
- proximity to existing connections to the grid
- ageing coal-fired power stations in the region are planning to shut down in future years.
There is also strong industry interest in developing projects in the area offshore of Victoria. The Victorian Government supports prioritising this area as a renewable energy zone for the development of an offshore wind industry.
The proposed area that went out for public consultation was determined following consultation with Australian, Victorian and South Australian government agencies.
Consultation on potential offshore wind developments will occur at multiple stages of the regulatory process and continue throughout the life of any project that may ultimately be approved for construction. The community’s first opportunity to share their views is when an area is proposed for declaration.
Communities were consulted during a 64-day public consultation process from 28 June to 31 August 2023.
Information about the consultation was shared across several platforms, including on our website and social media channels. Paid promotion was undertaken in newspapers, radio and social media.
Communities and individuals were able to make submissions via the department’s ‘Have Your Say’ web platform during the consultation period. A total of 3,285 submissions were received from community members and groups, local governments, and local businesses, including fisheries and tourism operators.
The responses received as part of the public consultation process reflect considerable time and effort on the part of the respondents. The submissions provided valuable information for the Minister when deciding to declare an area off in the Southern Ocean Region as suitable for offshore renewable energy infrastructure.
Over 700 people from the Southern Ocean region participated in 5 open house sessions from 1 August and 3 August 2023 during the consultation period. There sessions were held in Warrnambool, Port Fairy, Portland, Mount Gambier and Port MacDonnell.
Relevant local stakeholders were invited to participate in 4 online, industry specific sessions during the consultation period. These were held between 9 August and 18 August 2023 and were attended by groups including:
- commercial fishing
- local business
- environmental groups
- general public.
The sessions covered the interaction of offshore renewable energy projects with specific local industries. Attendees were able to ask questions and provide informed feedback to the consultation process.
The Minister will consider public submissions to help inform his decision whether the proposed area is suitable for offshore wind development.
A summary of submissions will be posted on the Southern Ocean Have your say webpage once the Minister makes a final decision on the area.
The declaration of an offshore area is the first stage of the regulatory process. If the area is declared by the Minster for Climate Change and Energy, developers will then be invited to apply for feasibility licences. Read more about applying for feasibility licences.