OPINION: Nature at its best? – A poem on offshore wind by Wendy Gamble

DEAR News Of The Area,

I KNOW it is an unorthodox form for a newspaper, but as your paper is inviting our opinions and views, the way I best convey my thoughts is in a poem.

I have lived in Port Stephens for nineteen years and I’m very concerned about how an offshore wind farm may ruin our beautiful area.

I believe it will destroy the Port’s aesthetic appeal for locals and tourists alike with these looming unsightly towers on our horizon.

Yes, we must think of a safe, sustaining energy form that does not pollute our environment, but I believe if scientists got together, we could find another way that does not affect the look of our environment.

These towers could affect our thriving tourist business.

One day I drove to Birubi Beach and noticed six tourist buses either passing me or parked at the beach, which is another issue to discuss, about the bad congestion on Birubi Beach Headland in James Patterson Street, Anna Bay.

When is this going to get fixed?

Anyway, getting back to the wind farms.

My issue, more than the tourism aspect, is how the wind farm turbines may affect the local wildlife, and the whale migration, as they may be stressed and confused with the noise and the presence of the turbines, during the construction and operation of the turbines, causing injury or even their death as a result.

I’m sure I’m not alone in my opinion.

It’s not an easy decision, but we need to give serious consideration about their installation.

Concerned local,

Nature at its best?
Our Port is a beautiful haven,
A piece of paradise,
Of golden sandy beaches,
A place we do not want to sacrifice.

I gaze upon the shimmering ocean of deep dark and aqua blue,
Merging with the sky above, in a shining azure hue,
The clouds of fluffy white peaks floating in the sky,
The soaring majestic sea eagles watching us as they go by.

But wait! What are those unsightly towers I see far out to sea?
Is that a farm of offshore wind turbines?
How can this really be?
They loom on our horizon, dwarfing everything from above.
This is not the place I remember, where I live and love.

A mother whale in her yearly migration with baby calf in tow,
How does she navigate these towers, will she really know?
Led by her senses of nature and sound along the way,
Will the noise of the turbines confuse and make her stray?
And if mother and calf collide with them, thrashing, writhing and crying in pain,
Will the efforts to increase their survival all be in vain?
Man has already destroyed the land, let’s not destroy the sea,
Let’s not sacrifice our birds and marine wildlife and create a catastrophe!

Will the offshore wind turbines add to wildlife’s demise?
Unless we wake up and see, as if from their own eyes!

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