RE-Alliance recently responded to the Federal Government’s consultation on the proposed offshore wind area in the Illawarra coast region of NSW.
We support offshore wind as a key technology that will enable New South Wales and Australia to achieve affordable and reliable renewable energy supply as fossil fuel generation exits the market.
There is a need for a deeper engagement approach that more holistically supports community perspectives informing decision-makers. And, while welcome, this consultation process is not a substitute for that deeper engagement with local communities. This insufficient approach is creating an environment in which misinformation and disinformation is growing, reducing the opportunity for legitimate issues to be fairly considered and addressed.
We recommend that the Federal Government orient their consultation to recognise that local communities and local stakeholders hold deep expertise in their region that could significantly inform approaches, boundaries and access. To harness this, the Federal Government should consider investing in extensive engagement that is place-based, inclusive and people-building. This could support local Councils to lead dialogues with genuine and engaging discussions that enable informed improvements to design and decision-making.
For more, read our full submission.