The Australian government is determined to embark on the greatest act of environmental vandalism in the nation’s history, the building of massive offshore windfarms which will destroy whale and bird migration routes, cause massive disruption to the marine ecosystem, decimate property prices and ruin the beauty of the coastline Australians love so much.
All in the name of saving the planet, a cover for a money grab by the Very Big End of Town, the clique of Davos billionaires who were quick to exploit the cash cow presented by the climate change movement.
While for decades the chant over renewables sounded like a wonderful utopian dream, as the rubber hits the road comes the realisation that the industrialisation of large swathes of the Australian coastline is nothing but a grubby money grab, all done our compliant or complicit politicians.
Here is an Open Letter from the Coalition Against Offshore Wind Farms, based in Shellharbour and reaching out to the many protest groups which have energised local communities up and down the Australian east coast.
The group has held a number of packed out community information nights over the past few weeks and is organising a rally for later this month.
You can see more on the groups Facebook page here.
We write to you with a deep concern regarding your representation of your electorate and this government’s intentions.
The week of 18 September 2023 some community members became aware of a proposed offshore wind turbine factory to be placed off our coast from Wombara to Kiama.
It appears that only a very small number of the Shellharbour electorate received a pamphlet in their letter box inviting them to the community consultations at Shellharbour Surf Club, on 20th of September 2023. Those that did receive them only did so a day or two prior, leaving no time to make arrangements to attend.
The consultation was during business hours 10am to 12pm, therefore this denied the working and studying sector of the electorate the opportunity to attend.
With little media coverage to advise the community or explain the importance of the event , we are concerned that the majority of the community are still unaware of this proposal. They therefore are denied the opportunity to ‘have their say’. It was the government’s moral duty to inform the general public of how they intended to transform their local areas.
The following has been highlighted from the feedback and discussions from those in attendance at Shellharbour Surf Club on 20 September 2023:
● No scaled modelling or concepts could be provided. Turbines would be up to 280m in height. No visual impact studies available
● Environmental and marine studies were not available. These would be done and paid for by the successful turbine tender
● No other impact studies were available,such as, the effect on tourism, housing values , fishing ,shipping and mental health – to be done by successful tender ● No information regarding indigenous consultation and impacts on cultural heritage and values – to be done by successful tender
● Limited and vague information regarding end of life of the turbines and impacts from fire or oil spills – more information to come from successful tender
● No indication how this would benefit the community with energy costs or renewable energy for homes – more information to come from successful tender
● No Suggestion that it maybe to power hydrogen gas plant at Port Kembla and ● or steel making
● Shell cove Marina effects on investors and tourism/ hospitality unknown and unclear if there will be any studies related to this
Those in attendance were advised to make submissions ‘to have their say and raise concerns’ on the portal by 16th of October 2023.
It is an extremely short period of time to raise awareness for people to have the opportunity to have their say.
During this time we have school holidays, Labor day long weekend and the Voice to Parliament referendum vote. It will be a challenging time to make up for the lack of community awareness.
It would seem that this project is being kept quiet during a busy and distracting time to slip past the electorate and the whole Illawarra in general. With lack of submissions allowing an easy pathway for Minister Bowen to approve it. Your social media post on 14th of June 2023 highlighting your briefing with the offshore wind turbine company ‘Blue Float Energy’ would make it appear that this was a done deal prior to community consultation on the 20th of September 2023. This might explain why there has been no community awareness messages from you regarding this since .Do you represent the electorate Ms Watson or the Wind Turbine Companies and the Department of Climate Change and Energy ?
We believe the electorate of Shellharbour are not being provided with enough information about the impacts of the project to allow them to make an informed submission and that information at the community consultations was being withheld.
Majority of the electorate were not given the opportunity to attend these consultations, through lack of awareness of the project and the scale of impact. It is therefore suggested that due processes and diligence is not being met.
It has also been reported that many of your electorate have contacted yourself seeking assistance with these concerns and you have passed these on to HON Stephen Jones. We have recently been informed from another State MP that this in fact is a state matter, undersea cables will be connected on shore. The involvement by State Government is also mentioned in local council information. Given that this is the case , we seek State Government support with this matter.
It is requested that you immediately advocate for the government to suspend submissions, until such time as the Shellharbour / Illawarra community can provide an informed submission. Also for the community to be provided with ongoing consultation and the answers to the questions around impacts listed above and to be provided by neutral non bias parties, in a truthful and transparent way. For this process to occur, until such time as it can be satisfied that the majority of the electorate have had the opportunity to have their say.
To follow the Coalition Against Off Shore Wind Forum go here.