The ACTU and Australian unions have been engaged in Australia’s climate and energy policy development for nearly two decades. Our consistent position has been that Australia needs ambitious and coherent climate and energy policy to limit the impacts of global warming, and that we also need industry planning, support and resources to ensure that no workers or communities are left behind as we make the shift to net zero emissions.

The ACTU and Australian unions support the development of an offshore wind industry for Australia. Australia’s outstanding offshore wind resource, located close to regions with transmission assets and energy intensive industries, offers the chance to develop an industry providing large amounts of clean power and secure unionised jobs in manufacturing, construction, operations and maintenance of offshore wind farms.

The ACTU and Australian unions commissioned and released research earlier this year in cooperation with the Blue Economy CRC, CSIRO and UTS to fully understand the potential of this emerging industry. We recommend this report, Offshore Wind Energy in Australia , to the Committee.

In general, the ACTU supports the objects and architecture of the legislation, which provides a regulatory framework for offshore wind approvals, acreage and worker health and safety. It is important that this legislation is passed quickly given the delays proposed projects have experienced in the absence of a regulatory framework.

The ACTU supports and recommends to the Committee the detailed submission made by the Electrical Trades Union and the Maritime Union of Australia. We would like to draw the Committee’s attention to the following issues raised in that submission and with us by our members that need addressing before the Bills are passed into law.