VIC passes underground carbon storage legislation

By: Chris Smith

Victoria has become the first Australian state to pass stand alone legislation enabling the onshore injection and permanent storage of

Victoria has become the first Australian state to pass stand alone legislation enabling the onshore injection and permanent storage of carbon dioxide and other greenhouses gases, says State Energy and Resources Minister Peter Batchelor.

Batchelor says the Brumby Government was leading the nation in the effort to explore emerging clean coal technologies in the face of climate change.

"The Brumby Government is taking action now to meet the climate change challenge and create a clean energy future for Victoria," Batchelor says.

"The new Greenhouse Gas Geological Sequestration Bill will provide the legal and regulatory certainty required to encourage investment in these and other clean energy technologies.

"It is among the world’s first stand alone CCS legislation."

Batchelor claims that only the Greens voted against the Bill last week, effectively turning their back on reducing greenhouse emissions and showing how out of touch they were with Victoria’s energy requirements.

"Facilitating the development of clean energy technologies like carbon capture and storage and renewables is a key part of our goal of reducing overall greenhouse emissions by 60 percent of levels emitted in 2000 by 2050," he says.

"Carbon capture and storage technology has the capacity to play a vital role in ensuring the continued sustainable use of our vast brown coal reserves in the Latrobe Valley.

"This new legislation sends a clear signal to investors that the Brumby Government is committed to enabling carbon capture and storage, and gives the community confidence that the right checks and balances are in place."

Carbon capture and storage involves collecting the large amounts of carbon dioxide released by power stations or other emitters and then storing these emissions securely deep underground. The legislation will enable further exploration and research to identify suitable carbon storage sites in Victoria.

"Carbon capture and storage returns carbon to the ground and stores it in the same way as nature stores gas and oil deep underground," Batchelor claims.

"We will now undertake detailed consultation with industry, local government and the broader community to ensure the smooth introduction of the new regulatory framework.

"It is early days for carbon capture and storage across Australia.

"As our understanding of Victoria's underground geological storage formations and carbon capture and storage injection and storage technologies grows, this legislation may evolve.

"Through this historic legislation, our Government will ensure that all aspects of carbon capture and storage injection and storage activities are conducted in a sustainable way and in an open, transparent and consultative way which meets community expectations."

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