One Nation push back on offshore wind zone

WHEN the Albanese Government announced their intention last week to explore the possibility of a new offshore wind zone in the Pacific Ocean off the Hunter, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen described the world’s climate emergency as “regional Australia’s jobs opportunity”.

Labor believes the proposed offshore wind area, off the coast of Newcastle and Port Stephens, will create thousands of jobs in related industries.

The Australian Government has set a target of net zero emissions by 2050 and is looking to reduce emissions by 43 percent, and by 2030 to have 82 percent of Australia’s electricity generated from renewable sources.

With the Government now seeking community feedback on the project, One Nation’s candidate for Port Stephens in the coming state election, Mark Watson, has been quick to voice his displeasure.

A media statement released by Watson on Thursday outlined the One Nation position, describing the push towards renewable energy as a ‘pointless transition, given that Australia’s emissions are not large enough to impact on global surface temperatures’.

Mr Watson instead believes the region should instead focus on preserving existing resources and manufacturing jobs.

“NSW should be a global energy superpower with flourishing coal, gas and nuclear and even renewable power, this project off the coast of Port Stephens is the wrong choice for our region,” he said.

“The conversion to a new electricity grid will cost tens of billions of dollars, now being paid for by taxpayers, households and businesses through their skyrocketing power bills.”

Mr Watson is also concerned about the visual impact of the proposed wind zone.

“The last thing we need off the coasts of Newcastle and Port Stephens are 130 of these unreliable eyesores.

“I would not want to stand at the top of Tomaree Mountain looking at these in the distance.

“So far, many I have spoken to in the community agree,” he said.

The area being considered begins at least 5.4 nautical miles (approximately ten kilometres) from shore.

Offshore wind turbines are the tallest renewable energy option being proposed in the area, with current heights of up to approximately 250m above sea level.

According to the Government’s proposal documents, the offshore wind turbines are likely to be visible from the shore.

Their visual effect will depend on their distance to the shore, and the location and number of approved projects and where they are viewed from.

The exact location of projects and number of turbines within the declared area is yet to be determined.

For more information, and for details of upcoming public meetings to discuss the proposal, visit

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