Public meetings to discuss offshore wind farm for Hunter region

Hunter Jobs Alliance Coordinator Warwick Jordan, Hunter Workers representative Jack Galvin-Waight, State Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp, Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon, Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen, Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, and Glen Williams from the Maritime Union of Australia.

A PROPOSAL to build an offshore wind farm in the Hunter region has many people asking questions.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen announced last week in Newcastle plans to create an offshore wind farm zone in a 5000 square kilometre area off the coast stretching from the Central Coast to the Myall Coast.

The Federal Government said the plan will unlock renewable energy jobs, and provide energy and job security for the Hunter region.

The Hunter is an Australian manufacturing powerhouse and home to the nation’s largest smelter.

Establishment of an offshore wind industry in this region could support the decarbonisation and future of onshore manufacturing powered by cheaper, cleaner energy.

Labor says this new renewable energy industry has the potential to create 3000-8000 jobs in Australia every year.

City of Newcastle has welcomed the prospect of unlocking billions of dollars of investment and hundreds of local jobs after the Federal Government opened consultation into establishing Australia’s second offshore wind zone off the coast of Newcastle.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said a renewable energy industry built on large-scale offshore wind farms would offer a sustainable new future for Newcastle, which was once home to Australia’s first large scale, land-based single wind turbine at Kooragang Island. 

“City of Newcastle has a long history of supporting and implementing renewable energy projects, including becoming the first local government in NSW to move to 100 per cent renewable electricity,” Cr Nelmes said.

“We are committed to transitioning towards a low carbon economy to ensure future generations can continue to enjoy our city and region, and believe that a mix of renewables, including offshore wind, is essential to achieving this target.

“Offshore wind also provides the perfect opportunity to diversify Newcastle’s economy by pivoting thousands of jobs in the local manufacturing, construction, maritime, transport and logistics industries into the renewable energy sector.

“In addition, the accessibility of the Port of Newcastle and our existing local skills base would allow offshore wind to precipitate the emergence of a new renewable energy industry in Newcastle and the Hunter.

“This can unlock billions in new investment in renewable energy infrastructure and pave the way for our city to become the renewable energy hub for the Asia-Pacific region.”

Cr Nelmes said the offshore wind industry offers many potential benefits for Newcastle, but was mindful of the need for measures to be put in place to protect and deliver local jobs, and consider any potential impacts on visual amenity and our marine environment.

“With the correct legislative and regulatory framework, offshore wind along the coast of Newcastle has the potential to play a significant role in sustaining our state’s future energy needs, and provide a significant boost to the local economy,” Cr Nelmes said.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said he’s looking forward to hearing from the community about the best way offshore electricity can be harnessed in the region and is encouraging locals to engage with community discussions and online submissions.

“The world’s climate emergency is regional Australia’s jobs opportunity, and the Hunter is uniquely placed to capitalise on this,” Minister Bowen said.

“An offshore wind zone in the Hunter presents significant opportunities to create new energy sector and manufacturing jobs, drive economic growth and reduce emissions.

“I’m encouraging residents from across the Hunter to have their say on the proposed area and what they would like to see from this offshore zone.”

The consultation process is an opportunity for all community members, workers, residents, industry groups and chambers of commerce to provide feedback.

Submissions will run from February 23 to April 28.

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water will also facilitate community information sessions, which will be held throughout the region during the consultation period.

For those in the Bay wishing to find out more there is a public meeting being held at Nelson Bay Bowling Club on 9 March 2023 from 5pm – 7pm.

In Hawks Nest, the meeting will be held on Thursday 9 March at the Hawks Nest Community Centre from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

For more information on the Hunter offshore electricity area public consultation, visit


The proposed offshore wind farm zone.

Leave a Reply