OPINION: Bowen’s mind made up on offshore wind farms

DEAR News Of The Area,

THE impact of the Federal Government’s declared zone for an 1800 sq km offshore wind farm off the coast of Port Stephens will destroy a community that thrives on tourism.

The wind farms will have a devastating effect on small businesses that rely heavily on tourism and game fishing, as well creating a potential decrease in property values.

Port Stephens will no longer be a destination for tourism, for both local and international tourists, when they won’t be able to enjoy its natural beauty or participate in activities of whale watching, fishing, or climbing Mount Tomaree to enjoy unspoiled, panoramic views of the scenic coastline.

Although this may be a Labor safe seat, it doesn’t grant a social licence for the Federal Government to come here with a wrecking ball and destroy the environment right before our eyes.

It must be remembered that this Government has not lived up to their election promise of a reduction on energy bills of $275, blaming their incompetence on poor modelling.

This must raise the question: Are we meant to trust them and their ‘models’ when it comes to offshore wind energy?

I have spoken to many concerned people in the community who say their major concern is a lack of consultation.

This couldn’t be more true.

By Chris Bowen’s admissions only 40,000 households in Port Stephens, Newcastle, Central Coast and Great Lakes Were informed via the way of mail outs which amounts to only five percent of the area’s total population.

What a farce!

No wonder many in the community were unaware or unable to attend consultations.

Those fortunate enough to be informed about, let alone attend, the consultations were vastly disappointed, myself included.

Key questions could not be answered.

The community was, and still is, outraged.

Imagine having a project at 1800 sq km dropped in the middle of the East Coast’s thriving game fishing grounds and whale migration corridor, littering the coast line with potential rust buckets.

Our demands are simple:

• More consultation and community engagement is required and,

• If the residents of Port Stephens choose not to have this project, we ask that it be halted immediately.

Chris Bowen thinks this is not an “opinion poll” and will not back the residents of Port Stephens.

Well, let me put it this way, Mr Bowen and Labor better start packing up their offices, because it’s time to get going.

Mr Bowen we won’t forget or forgive you and your party for your poor decisions based on lack of community engagement.

One Nation.

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