The Andrews Labor Government is backing a new scientific study offshore from the Ninety Mile Beach in Gippsland that could help combat climate change and create the jobs of the future.

The joint state and federally funded study is being conducted by CarbonNet to advance the science of carbon capture and storage (CCS) at a commercial scale.

“This project enhances Victoria’s reputation as a leader in innovation, and shows the economic benefits of innovative and forward thinking.”

Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy Philip Dalidakis

CCS involves permanently storing carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas which would otherwise accumulate in the upper atmosphere – deep underground.

Independent scientists have assessed Gippsland’s Bass Strait waters to have some of the most suitable rock formations to store carbon dioxide.

Locals and visitors to Golden Beach may see a marine survey vessel offshore as it deploys seismic sensors, which are four kilometres long, that it will tow through the water.

“Victoria is at the cutting edge of global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The CarbonNet project holds the promise to be a catalyst for new global investment, industry and jobs in Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley, while helping us combat climate change.”

Minister for Resources Tim Pallas

The study will record reflected sound waves that pass through the rock layers below the seabed. The data will be used to validate highly detailed, three-dimensional subsea geological models.

The study is expected to run for a total of 17 days, subject to local weather conditions, and weekend beachgoers at Golden Beach will be unaffected.

The GHG Assessment Permit area map

During the week, Life Saving Victoria will be on hand to advise swimmers and boats while the vessel passes within a kilometre of the shoreline as a safety precaution.

Increasingly, governments around the world are looking to CCS to help meet global targets in greenhouse gas reductions, complementing actions to increase renewable energy supply and energy efficiency.

A long running demonstration of CCS has been underway by a Victorian-based research centre, the CO2CRC, which has stored 80,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the rock layers below the Otways since 2008.

The Gippsland study aims to do the same on a commercial scale, offshore in Bass Strait.

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