Policy Priorities

QREC’s policy priorities are developed and decided by our members after listening to all of our stakeholders. We energetically pursue this industry-led policy agenda through our Strategic Policy Committee and fit-for-purpose policy groups.

Industry support and government relations
  • Two-way state and local government engagement

  • Bipartisan parliamentary member and committee engagement

  • Development of an industry-led policy and election agenda

Coexistence and social licence
  • Identification and communication of the industry’s economic and social contribution

  • A landholder support framework to enable meaningful engagement and understanding

  • Co-development frameworks and guidelines for the renewables and resources industries

  • Expanding opportunities for on-farm benefits for renewable development hosts

  • Policy development and input into regulatory and enabling frameworks

  • Policy analysis, input and submissions

  • Partnering with key existing regional bodies and organisations to align on policy approach and advocacy

Sustainability and First Nations inclusion
  • Development of an Assessment and Approvals Toolkit to guide project development

  • Proposed framework for leading practice assessment and approvals including federal government approvals interaction

  • First Nations inclusion and engagement

  • Industry policy positions on end-of-use and decommissioning

  • Identification and compilation of ESG risks and opportunities

Workforce and infrastructure
  • Dedicated cross-industry group to facilitate a collaborative approach to safety and health improvement

  • Partnering with training and regional development bodies to develop local skills and supply chain capabilities 

  • Study tours and education events 

  • Working with industry on fitforpurpose procurement processes 

  • Helping industry to deliver on the Regional Energy Transformation Partnerships Framework 

  • Working with Queensland Transport and Logistics Council on infrastructure transport projects 

QREC works with industry, communities and all levels of government in delivering a thriving new energy sector for Queensland.

Approvals framework 

Approval pathways for renewable energy projects are complex and lengthy, with differing processes for various project types, and overlap and duplication between state and federal processes.

The renewable energy industry needs robust but streamlined approval processes and pathways. QREC works on behalf of members to address elements of approval processes that may inhibit new projects, cause unreasonable delays or result in uncertainty for industry and communities.

We advocate for reasonable and responsible regulatory outcomes that assess projects on their merits and balance social, cultural, economic and environmental values.

State and Commonwealth pathways

Proponents for renewable energy projects in Queensland need to consider approval requirements under State and Commonwealth legislation. Queensland and Commonwealth environmental and planning approval pathways are complex, may overlap and may involve a range of other legislative requirements.

The following flowcharts illustrate the standard development assessment pathway and EPBC Act assessment and approval process for many renewable energy projects in Queensland.

The flowcharts were prepared in January 2024. The Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water is preparing changes to the EPBC Act that will affect many of the stages identified in these flowcharts. The flowcharts include on a number of secondary requirements, such as biosecurity and water security, which are not dealt with in detail and require project-specific consideration.

Project-specific legal advice to identify the optimal legislative pathway for your project is recommended at the outset.

Environmental offsets considerations for renewable energy projects

Proponents of renewable energy projects may be required to offset environmental impacts.

Proponents should consider State and Commonwealth offset requirements early in the planning stage of a project.

The specific requirements of the offset, including whether it is on site, off site, or a financial contribution, will be determined through the approvals process.

Queensland Environmental Offsets Policy

The Queensland Environmental Offsets Policy operates on a principle of “no net loss”. The policy provides a single, streamlined framework for determining the significance of an impact, conditioning of an offset requirement, and offset delivery options in Queensland.

Renewable energy project proponents in South-East Queensland should be aware of specific requirements for the offsetting of koala habitat.

Commonwealth EPBC Act Offsets Policy

The EPBC Act environmental offsets policy provides key principles for suitable offsets:

1. Conservation outcome: The offset should improve or maintain the viability of the protected matter.

2. Direct offsets: The offset should be built around direct offsets but may include other compensatory measures.*

3. Proportional protection: The offset should be in proportion to the level of statutory protection that applies to the protected matter.

4. Size and scale: The offset should be of a size and scale proportionate to the residual impacts on the protected matter.

5. Risk management: The offset should effectively account for and manage the risks of the offset not succeeding.

6. Additionality: The offset should be additional to what is already required, determined by law or planning regulations, or agreed to under other schemes or programs.

7. Efficiency and effectiveness: The offset should be efficient, effective, timely, transparent, scientifically robust and reasonable.

8. Transparent governance: The offset should have transparent governance arrangements, including being able to be readily measured, monitored, audited and enforced.

*The EPBC Act environmental offsets policy currently limits financial offsets to 10 per cent of the total offsets package. The Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water is preparing changes to the EPBC Act, and may change limits on compensatory offsets.

Public submissions 

Communities want a co-ordinated approach to managing local impacts; the industry wants policy certainty and timely approvals; and everyone wants investment in Queensland and a successful renewables transition. 

QREC advocates strongly and fairly for the policy priorities developed and decided by our members in consultation with communities, agricultural groups, all levels of government and other relevant stakeholders. 

We make our case through a wide range of interactions with stakeholders, including development of thought leadership submissions, contributions to government reviews, submissions to parliamentary committees and other public inquiries.