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Clean Winds of Change in Western Port

First published in Mornington Peninsula Magazine in June 2023.

The Port of Hastings is set to undergo its biggest transformation over the next decade, and our region must embrace this unique opportunity. In March, the State Government confirmed the Victorian Renewable Energy Terminal would be located at the Port of Hastings. The terminal will support wind construction delivery, process turbines, and service offshore wind developments in Bass Strait.

The Committee for Mornington Peninsula commends the Government for selecting the Port of Hastings for this game-changing investment.  Our region is uniquely positioned to become the centre of Australia's transmission to a clean energy future. The port is a deep-water port just an hour from Melbourne and is home to a large workforce in the southeast. We’re also suitably positioned close to the Government's offshore wind developments in Bass Strait.

Western Port has been home to industry for decades, and communities, business and government have fought many battles over what is and isn’t welcome in the bay. Just recently, our community successfully fought against the gas import terminal at Crib Point, and subsequently the plans were rightfully rejected by the Government. But suitable industry can and should exist in Western Port because our region has a significant role to play in Australia’s clean energy future.

According to the Government, the offshore wind industry will produce 6000 jobs, and our region will now reap some of those direct economic benefits. It is exactly this sort of Government investment that the Committee for Mornington Peninsula has been calling for, and we welcome it.

The project will now undergo a thorough environmental effects statement before the next steps to be announced later this year. I encourage all residents to make a submission through that process. The winds of change are heading towards Hastings and we should embrace it.

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Josh Sinclair is CEO of the Committee for Mornington Peninsula