Queensland to set up an Australia-first code of conduct for renewable projects

Renewables

queensland, renewables, sustainability,

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Queensland will set up a mandatory renewables code of conduct for renewable energy developers to ensure they engage with landholders and communities.

  • Queensland to set up mandatory nation-leading renewables code of conduct to ensure locals benefit first and foremost from renewable energy jobs boom
  • Code to set standard for social licence and regional community priorities
  • $20 million seed funding to establish a lasting and genuine community legacy
  • Builds on more than $9 million in support for Local Energy Partnerships Initiative

The Miles Government is ensuring Queenslanders are full partners in the state’s clean energy transition thanks to an Australian-first mandatory code of conduct, for renewable energy developers to set new standards for social licence.

Regional Queensland is the engine room of the renewable energy transformation and will attract about 95 per cent of infrastructure investment, and a vast majority of the predicted 100,000 new jobs by 2040.

The proposed code, which will be co-designed with stakeholders, will ensure renewable energy developers engage genuinely with landholders and communities when developing, building and operating new generation and storage projects.

In addition, the Miles Government will lead by injecting $20 million to ensure communities can engage in, and share the benefits of the transition.

The funding, part of the Regional Economic Futures Fund, will support outcomes to enable communities to establish legacy infrastructure, and advance critical services, with a focus on areas set to host future renewable energy zone development.

The announcement comes following feedback from key industry groups and advocacy organisations.

“We’ve listened to key advocacy groups like the Queensland Farmers Federation and the Local Government Association Queensland, and have taken on feedback from those who know their local communities best,” says Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs, Mick de Brenni.

“And, the message from the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner in the independent Community Engagement Review is clear: communities must have a genuine seat at the table,” says Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs, Mick de Brenni.

“We’ve dedicated $20 million seed funding for community legacy outcomes, and developers are encouraged to enhance the legacy outcomes from their projects,” says Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs, Mick de Brenni.

“If developers want to be approved to connect to the Queensland SuperGrid, they’ll need to show that they can work in partnership with the local community – because locals know their area best,” says Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs, Mick de Brenni.

“We already have stringent environmental assessments and approvals that must occur before any renewable energy project can get up and running. This code could help ensure social licence is at the forefront of these projects progressing,” says Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs, Mick de Brenni.

“The potential to see regional communities benefit appropriately from the significant amount of investment proposed can only be realised through the development and implementation of a transparent, effective and comprehensive process to enable community and industry engagement,” says Queensland Farmers’ Federation CEO Jo Sheppard.

“QFF welcomes the code of conduct and the Local Energy Partnerships Initiative which are both important steps in setting standards for energy developer’s social licence requirements and supporting the priorities of regional communities,” says Queensland Farmers’ Federation CEO Jo Sheppard.

The code is intended to focus on demonstrating tangible benefits for communities, including improvements to infrastructure, jobs, local economy, the environment and social fabric.

In developing the code, the Miles Government will consider the findings of the Commonwealth’s Independent Community Engagement Review. It will be co-designed collaboratively with the energy, environment, and agriculture sectors.

Local councils, Elders and community stakeholders will also prove vital in ensuring the transition reflects best practice, and meets the priorities of regional communities.

“WWF-Australia welcomes this new initiative and looks forward to participating in the process,” says WWF- Australia Senior Manager of Climate and Energy Policy Ariane Wilkinson.

“Initiatives like this are critical to support the urgent shift from fossil fuels to clean energy and reduce the catastrophic impacts, driven by climate change, that Queenslanders are suffering,” says WWF- Australia Senior Manager of Climate and Energy Policy Ariane Wilkinson.

“Renewable energy developments need to earn the trust of communities and must be good for people and nature. A mandatory code of practice is a welcome opportunity to ensure that Queensland’s transition to renewables better delivers for communities, climate and nature,” says WWF- Australia Senior Manager of Climate and Energy Policy Ariane Wilkinson.

New projects are already subject to Queensland’s strong environmental assessments and approval processes. This code could put social licence at the forefront of future projects proceeding.

“Iberdrola Australia fully supports this code of conduct for renewable energy infrastructure development. A core principle of our business strategy is fairly sharing the benefits of the energy with regional Australia and regional Australians,” says Iberdrola Australia Chairman and CEO Ross Rolfe.

“The energy transition presents extensive opportunities for regional Australians to benefit from jobs, training and localisation of supply chains. We look forward to working with government, industry, small business and community to ensure these opportunities are widely shared by regional Australians,” says Iberdrola Australia Chairman and CEO Ross Rolfe.

The commitment to developing the code responds to stakeholder feedback on the Energy Transformation Bill.

It builds on the Local Energy Partnerships Initiative, with $9.25 million invested to create the framework for government and energy providers to work collaboratively with communities.

Source: © The State of Queensland 1997–2024

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