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Petition launched against proposed wind farm zone 

Credit:  By Monique Patterson | August 27 2023 | standard.net.au ~~

South-west residents have been urged to sign an online petition opposing a proposed offshore wind farm zone between Portland and Warrnambool have been raised.

Considered Renewables Portland launched the online petition, which already has nearly 400 signatures.

“We are writing to express our deep concern and opposition to the proposed installation and operation of offshore wind turbines off the coast off Portland, Cape Bridgewater and Discovery Bay, in South West Victoria,” the petition states. “While we understand the importance of renewable energy sources, we firmly believe that these enormous offshore wind turbines are not the appropriate solution for our region.”

A group spokesman said the waters were a unique food bowl for wide variety of species. “Offshore wind turbines will possibly have a significant adverse impact on numerous marine ecosystems and birdlife, including presently threatened species such as the Southern Right Whale and the Wandering Albatross,” the petition states.

“We are concerned that the underwater noise and electromagnetic fields generated by the turbines could disrupt the sensitive navigation systems of marine animals, including whales, rock lobsters, sharks, blue eyes, and precious krill – so vital to whales and other marine animals, especially during the Bonney Upwelling season.”

The petition also outlines concerns about its scenic vistas and tourism attractions being affected and the impact on the seafood industry. “We are particularly concerned about the disposal of decommissioned turbine blades, as to date we have not been advised of what will happen with these turbines once they are decommissioned.

“The proposal would require additional supporting infrastructure on land including large scale transmission lines and potential expansion of the Port.

“Furthermore, accidents can and do happen, causing oil leaks and even catching fire on the ocean.

“We urge you to help put a stop to the proposal for offshore wind turbines in our region, and act in the best interest of our community and the environment.”

Earlier this week, Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen told ABC Radio this week the federal government was committed to “a very genuine consultation process”.

“People have very legitimate issues, questions, concerns which we take into account in my final decision about whether and where to declare the zone,” Mr Bowen said. “So, you know, environmental concerns, fishing concerns, tourism concerns are all very legitimate. “It’s a very genuine consultation where I look at all the issues, hear all the concerns. Offshore wind is very important. It’ll be very important to the future of Portland in particular. It’s very important to our future energy needs.”

Meanwhile, the state government is asking south-west community members to provide feedback on the proposed offshore wind zone through VicGrid – the state government body coordinating the development of Victoria’s renewable energy zones. VicGrid chief executive Alistair Parker said detailed consultation was essential to ensure new renewable energy sources could connect to our grid while minimising impacts on local communities. “VicGrid will continue to partner with Traditional Owners, and seek feedback from communities, landholders and stakeholders through a survey and interactive online mapping, along with opportunities to meet with technical specialists to discuss questions and issues,” Mr Parker said. “We want to understand more about what people value in the areas of interest in Gippsland and around Portland, and encourage local communities and landholders to have their say.” The body is seeking feedback on the Offshore Wind Transmission Development and Engagement Roadmap and the Draft Options Assessment Method.

Source:  By Monique Patterson | August 27 2023 | standard.net.au

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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