Illawarra offshore wind zone declaration good news for climate

Friends of the Earth Australia

Today the federal government officially declared the Illawarra offshore wind zone 20 kilometres off the coast of Wollongong in NSW.

Environmental justice organisation Friends of the Earth welcomes the announcement, saying it’s good news for action on climate change and job creation.

“From Gippsland in Victoria to the Illawarra and Hunter in NSW, offshore wind represents a massive opportunity to take action on climate change while creating thousands of new jobs” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

“As we all experience the worsening impacts of climate change from severe floods, storms and fires fuelled by burning fossil fuels, offshore wind has a critical role to play in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and providing a new source of electricity” added Simons.

With ageing coal fired power stations set to close over coming years, offshore wind represents a significant new source of electricity generation alongside onshore wind and solar power.

Earlier this year in February, Friends of the Earth’s Yes2Renewables project joined locals at Wollongong Harbour for a family fun day celebrating renewable energy and climate action, bringing together people who want to see offshore wind go ahead.

It’s good to see the work of local advocates is paying off, but the work of building the industry is only just beginning.

With at least four offshore wind zones declared around the country, it’s essential that the needs of communities are front and centre of this important new industry.

The federal government can build on today’s positive announcement with a plan that delivers community benefits from offshore wind, deep engagement with First Nations, local job creation and strong environmental protections.

Friends of the Earth will be following the next steps for offshore wind closely and will continue to work with communities to get the most out of the energy transition for people and planet.

/Public Release.