Parliament calls for renewables to be given ‘Strategic Energy Project’ status

MEDIA RELEASE – 22 March 2016

The NSW Legislative Council today supported unanimously as formal business a motion calling on the Government designate proposed large scale renewable energy projects as ‘Strategic Energy Projects’.  This status is aimed at ensuring projects move through the planning system in an efficient way.  There are currently at least 23 large-scale renewable energy projects and billions of dollars worth of regional development and jobs stuck in the NSW planning system.

“It’s vital that we rapidly develop renewable energy for our climate and to provide job opportunities in regional NSW, so I’m pleased the Upper House has supported the Greens motion calling on the government to give renewables ‘Strategic Energy Project’ Status,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“Planning Minister Rob Stokes said in 2014 “when it comes to clean energy, [NSW] can be Australia’s answer to California.”  Granting Strategic Energy Status to renewable energy projects would be one thing the government could do towards attaining this goal.

“The Greens want to see action and a rapid transition away from coal to clean energy and this means ensuring that these projects navigate the planning process in a smooth and speedy way is vitally important.”

Text of the motion passed by the Legislative Council today is below:

Notice of Motion
  –  Renewable Energy

  1. That this house notes that:
    1. There are currently at least 23 significant large-scale renewable energy generation projects before the NSW planning system
    2. The NSW Government has entered into agreements with Santos and AGL to designate their coal seam gas projects as “Strategic Energy Projects”
    3. The Government may declare a project to be a Strategic Energy Project if it has the potential to make a substantial contribution to energy security and economic growth, across the State or in a region
    4. If a project is determined a Strategic Energy Project then the government guarantees that it will be determined in an efficient way with specific case managers assisting the project to navigate through the planning process.
  2. That this house calls on the NSW Government to designate proposed large scale renewable energy projects in NSW as Strategic Energy Projects

 

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