Myall Koala and Environment Group president Richard Streamer has issued the following statement regarding the proposed Hunter Offshore wind farm, on behalf of MKEG.
[MKEG is based in the Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens area on the northern side of Port Stephens and is supportive of alternative energy projects including offshore wind farms but would like to raise some issues with the Hunter proposal.]
- There has been one public consultation session in Hawks Nest that was poorly advertised, poorly attended and the community has not been fully informed about the project. We feel this project is being rushed through to the licensing phase with little regard to public opinion and environmental issues.
- Minister Bowen says that these projects are a long way off being implemented, but we believe this early stage is critical for engaging with the community and establishing clear and transparent guidelines.
- The Port Stephens area, particularly to the north along the Myall Coast is an area with both land and marine parks including RAMSAR sites and offshore islands used by endangered species of migratory birds such as little terns and Gould’s Petrel.
- A pristine area such as this should not be used for this extensive infrastructure. Other areas that have already been seriously impacted by development, infrastructure and in other ways should be prioritised.
- The Myall Coast offshore area is used for tourism, commercial and recreational fishing, sailing events, shipping and is a highway for migrating whales. There is an urgent need for research and information on how these activities will be impacted.
- There is NO information about where and how transmission lines will come ashore, connect to the power grid and whether they would be above or below ground. We have heard that an area between Hawks Nest and the Myall Lakes National Park is being considered for this and we would strongly object on numerous environmental grounds including impacts on endangered koalas.
- Although the above issues would be considered once licences are granted and studies such as an EAS are prepared, we feel that this is too late. More work needs to be done and the issuing of licences should be delayed until more information is gathered. Clearly the consultation period needs to be reopened to better include and inform the public.
Myall Koala & Environment Group Inc.
PO Box 28
Hawks Nest, NSW 2324
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile: 0438 500 629
Sightings Hotline: 4997 0878