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EcoNetwork Port Stephens official statement on offshore wind proposal.

EcoNetwork shares many of the concerns that have been raised about the environmental and other impacts of offshore wind developments. However, we believe it is premature to engage in a campaign of outright opposition before the concerns that we raised in submissions a few months ago have been addressed by government agencies and the proponents of specific offshore wind projects.  We do not support the Game Fishing Club’s petition, currently circulating in Port Stephens, which does not present the full facts.

EcoNetwork is researching the implications of offshore wind – there is significant experience worldwide to draw on, and proponents will be required to prepare and consult publicly on detailed environmental assessments and management plans before any approvals are given. The turbines won’t be deployed (if at all) for another 7 years or so while these various environmental and other studies are carried out.

We urge our members and others not to take a final position on the pros and cons of offshore wind generation off our coast until more information is available.  We invite anyone to contact us with their concerns and not be unduly influenced by the misinformation which is being circulated. We also recommend that everyone questions the motives and underlying starting points of both proponents and opponents of current proposals.

EcoNetwork’s starting point is that we urgently need much more renewable energy generation, and that offshore wind turbines may make a significant contribution, provided environmental impacts can be managed appropriately. 

We refer to this article by our President, marine scientist Iain Watt, (also published recently in the News of the Area.)