Myall Coast residents meet to discuss wind farm situation with Federal MP

The Myall Koala and Environment Group’s Richard Streamer informs a full hall about concerns for local sea fauna and birdlife.

MYALL Coast residents gathered at a hastily-arranged meeting to discuss proposed offshore wind farms on Thursday 26 October at Hawks Nest Community Hall.

Speakers included the Hawks Nest Tea Gardens Progress Association (HNTGPA), the Myall Koala and Environment Group (MKEG), the Save the Myall Coast group, Worimi Aboriginal Reference Group, and Federal Member for Lyne, Dr David Gillespie MP.

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MKEG’s Richard Streamer provided ecological perspective, citing potential impacts upon all local sea creatures, mapping how the proposed zone abuts two major Marine Parks.

“We support alternative energies, but see problems with this proposal, the main concerns being impacts on tourism, commercial and recreational fishing, shipping, whale and bird migrations, and the effects of seismic testing – all need more research before the developers submit on 14 November.”

HNTGPA President Bruce Murray claimed that “the 13.5GW of renewable energy available now is unreliable, making this an enormous investment and environmental cost, ultimately a revenue opportunity for large multinationals, not going to save the planet”.

Dr Gillespie reiterated his previous public outings, declaring the wind farms as “bad environmentally on this scale” and “unbelievably stupid”.

“Economically speaking, this is an irrational place to put it,” he said.

Consensus coalesced on the desire for more clarification of the wind farm’s practical and ecological possibilities, many disturbed that the subsequent feasibility studies should have been completed beforehand, by independent and Government bodies, not by the proponent developers after their 14 November submissions.

Most community members believe that the original community consultation at Hawks Nest, run by the Federal Government department back in early March, was poorly advertised and poorly attended.

HNTGPA claimed to have contacted MidCoast Council for its perspective, but have yet to receive a response.

A spokesperson for Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen commented later, “Before a project can commence, proponents must seek and receive approval for feasibility licences and comply with strict environmental regulations.

“These processes will give the community three further opportunities to have their say on individual projects.”

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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