SUBMISSION TO - Southern Ocean Region Oﬀshore Renewable Energy Zone
28 August 2023
If the zone is formalised, it would be critical to undertake a marine planning exercise to help prioritise infrastructure according to areas of lower environmental sensitivity to help guide offshore wind developers to avoid significant natural values such as marine national parks, and key areas for marine life breeding or feeding. [...] At the state level, a lack of planning process for the marine environment is inconsistent with the Victorian Marine and Coastal Policy which states that the: Marine Spatial Planning Framework is to guide planning, management and decision making across marine sectors in Victoria to enable equitable and ecologically sustainable marine uses and industries, and to coordinate and integrate managing ris. [...] At the national level The South-east Regional Marine Plan prepared under the Australian Ocean Policy reflects the Australian Government’s commitment to develop ecologically sustainable marine industries and to do it with integrated planning and management. [...] The plan would outline how the impacts on biodiversity, cultural and social values will be minimised or avoided and how marine space will be organised with other ocean values and uses Benefits of marine spatial planning The benefits of pre-defined marine energy areas available for allocation for offshore energy include: • Streamlined planning can save time and money for industry and other stakehol. [...] We’d like to see both levels of government working together to plan and communicate a process that will be used to avoid and mitigate the impacts on sensitive marine areas that would initially set the tone and provides guidance to developers, while protecting biodiversity.