- The Guardian
- Issue #2050
Wind Farm at Albany, Western Australia. (Photo: Nachoman-au – GNU Free Documentation License)
The Commonwealth government is holding a consultation on declaring an “Offshore Renewable Energy Area” off the coast of Newcastle, running from Port Stephens south to Norah Head on the Central Coast.
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is responding vigorously, and urging members and supporters in Newcastle, the Hunter and the Central Coast area to do likewise.
Pointing out that the area has a skilled workforce, great electricity grid connections and port infrastructure, a location close to large electricity loads, and strong and consistent winds that blow at times that solar power isn’t available, the MUA is arguing strongly for development of renewable energy to be given priority over other uses of the Hunter and Central Coast offshore area, such as for defence exercises or gas exploration.
The MUA’s explainer on the topic points out that “building offshore wind projects will help reduce carbon emissions causing climate change, which is the greatest environmental threat we face.” They also argue for any renewable energy projects in the area to provide secure, quality unions jobs, benefits for First Nations people, and to maximise local manufacturing for offshore wind.
Since maximising renewable energy in preference to “defence” spending affects everybody in the country, you don’t have to live in the Hunter area to make a submission to the Hunter Offshore Renewable Energy Area Consultation.
To find the consultation form and see the MUA’s suggestions, go to mua.org.au/news/hunter-offshore-renewable-energy-update