Letter to the Editor: Southern Right whale migration

DEAR News Of The Area,

I note the statement on the Facebook page of Member for Whitlam Stephen Jones that the Illawarra offshore wind farm zone will not interfere with the Southern Right whale migration.

Of course it won’t.

That’s because the Southern Right whale migration, mating and birthing area is in the Bass Strait and south of South Australia.

The proposed Illawarra offshore wind farm zone is not in that migration area but some 40,000 humpback whales and five million migratory sea and shore birds do come up and down the east coast each year.

The proposed Illawarra, Hunter and East Gippsland zones will fragment and obstruct that route and interfere seriously with the diel vertical migration, which is the basis of the food chain but which Mr Jones and Minister Bowen have probably never heard of.

If Mr Jones is so concerned about the impacts of offshore wind farms on southern right whales, he should reconsider whether or not the proposed southern Victoria, South Australian and Bass Strait offshore wind zones are suitable.

Those zones also host millions of migratory sea and shore birds, too.

It beggars my belief that Mr Jones has no idea of which species of whales go past his doorstep each year and it demonstrates to me the paucity of knowledge he and his colleagues have of the complex fragile ecosystem they appear so hell bent on destroying.

There is ample space and adequate wind onshore to place all the wind farms we need.

CSIRO and AMEO both acknowledge it can be done onshore at half the cost and in half the time it will take to establish the infrastructure offshore.

Are you aware that according to the Global Wind Atlas Australia and CSIRO there is only fifteen percent more wind capacity factor offshore than onshore adjacent to all the areas the government has proposed offshore?

Yours sincerely,
Cherylle STONE,
Soldiers Point.

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