Council to oppose offshore wind farms until studies completed

PORT Stephens Council has voted to oppose potential offshore wind farm developments off the Hunter coast until environmental impact statements and other scientific evidence is made available.

At last week’s Port Stephens Council meeting, Councillors Giacomo Arnott and Leah Anderson moved an urgency motion, unanimously supported by Mayor Ryan Palmer and all Councillors, relating to the declared offshore wind zone off the coast of Port Stephens.

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Council resolved at the meeting to oppose the proposal until environmental impact statements and other scientific evidence is made available to the community in a full, open and transparent manner.

Councillor Leah Anderson told News Of The Area, “I have been working for years now with Councillor Arnott to make sure the voice of our community is reflected on this Council.

“Our Council has taken action to make our position clear, and to deliver a balanced approach to the potential benefits of the proposed wind farm while also reflecting the voice of the community.”

Ms Anderson called on the community to keep dialogue respectful when expressing concerns on the issue.

“I appreciate that many people have strong views on this issue, however many people have been sharing their views with their elected representatives, in person and via social media, with aggression and threats.

“Whether you like or agree with someone who’s put themselves forward in the political arena, it is important to put your message forward with respect and to keep in mind that Councillors are local members of the community, too, and we care deeply about it.

“I attended the very first community consultation session on this proposal and have been keeping up to date on the community’s concerns and the information being provided by the Federal Government.

“I am looking forward to the environmental studies being made available so that as a community, we can see once and for all what the impact will be on our environment.

“I encourage our community to continue turning up, continue making your voice heard, but I just encourage that to be done in a respectful way.”

Councillor Arnott said it made sense for Council to “wait until we have all the information to reconsider this proposal”.

“I have been working with Cr Anderson to understand all the concerns of the community and I look forward to better understanding the potential environmental implications of this proposal,” he said.

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