UK offshore wind farm
IBTimes UK

In light of worries over the proposed offshore wind farm by Labor off the southern coast of New South Wales and possible negative effects on local businesses and wildlife, the Opposition has promised to scrap the project if elected.

This news comes after Energy Minister Chris Bowen introduced the 1,022 square-kilometer project. Although environmental organizations have supported the idea, certain community groups have already expressed opposition, Sky News reported

A Coalition administration would block the project, according to Nationals leader David Littleproud. He emphasized that "for the people of the Illawarra, this next election is their only opportunity to stop this project." He went on to say, "If Stephen Jones is re-elected and Anthony Albanese is re-elected then this will be constructed – it will buy them another three years."

The Nationals haven't had a federal candidate in the area since Katrina Hodgkinson competed in the south coast seat of Gilmore in 2019. They supported Rose Tattoo frontman Gary "Angry" Anderson in Whitlam in 2013, more than ten years ago. A projected boundary reconfiguration that would shift conservative communities from Liberal-held Hume into Whitlam might alter this. "The National Party has made very clear after the redistribution that we've opened up all nominations in seats," said Littleproud. "Whether we run will depend on the candidate we get; we want to get a local champion in Whitlam."

"We should have a slow transition from some of our coal-fired power stations to nuclear power plants that are zero emissions and firm that up with gas and carbon capture storage, which is zero emissions as well," ABC reported Littleproud, as saying.

"We can achieve this but we have to be honest and we have to make sure that we don't cause pain to Australian households in their energy bills, which is what has happened at the moment."

Three gigawatts of electricity, sufficient to power 1.8 million households, will be produced by the project. Despite being in a smaller and more distant offshore wind zone, the 300 turbines it contains will provide 1,700 employees in construction, 9,000 in the steel industry, and 800 permanent jobs in Illawarra.

Peter Dutton, the leader of the opposition, blasted the management of the wind farm, pointing to protests from tourist, fishing, and environmental organizations as well as little community involvement. According to a recent survey, Dutton is the more favored leader than Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, which puts the government's wind farm expansion under pressure.

"There are all sorts of concerns from environmental groups, from tourist groups, from fishing groups... they are opposed to it and fiercely opposed to it," he told Sky News.

"There was no proper community consultation which really made the local residents angry in the first instance and I think Chris Bowen, again, has botched this."

Although they provide clean electricity, offshore wind farms have an ecological cost. Although their construction may disturb marine life, the structures themselves could produce new fish habitats. Ongoing research seeks to strike a balance between our energy requirements and safeguarding the health of the ocean, even if some long-term implications remain unknown.