The Australian government has introduced legislation to enable new investment in offshore electricity generation and transmission projects.

The Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Bill 2021 will establish a framework for the construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of offshore electricity projects, said the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor.

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The legislation covers infrastructure projects for offshore electricity transmission cables and offshore renewable energy generation, including offshore wind, and will ensure co-existence with other users of the offshore area.

Australia's two offshore petroleum regulators - Nopsema and Nopta - will oversee safety and operations, and titles, respectively.

“An offshore electricity industry in Australia will further strengthen our economy, create jobs and opportunities for Australians, and enhance the delivery of affordable and reliable power,” said Taylor.

The Bill will accelerate a number of projects already under development including the Marinus Link transmission line, Star of the South wind project off the coast of Victoria, and Sun Cable solar scheme in the north.

Combined, Marinus Link, Star of the South and Sun Cable are estimated to be worth over A$10 billion and are expected to create over 10,000 direct and indirect job opportunities during construction, said Taylor.