Offshore wind farms drive new jobs and investment for Newcastle

23 Feb 2023

City of Newcastle has welcomed the prospect of unlocking billions of dollars of investment and hundreds of local jobs after the Federal Government opened consultation into establishing Australia's second offshore wind zone off the coast of Newcastle.

The announcement was made by Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen during a visit to Newcastle today.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said a renewable energy industry built on large-scale offshore wind farms would offer a sustainable new future for Newcastle, which was once home to Australia’s first large scale, land-based single wind turbine at Kooragang Island.

"City of Newcastle has a long history of supporting and implementing renewable energy projects, including becoming the first local government in NSW to move to 100 per cent renewable electricity," Cr Nelmes said.

“We are committed to transitioning towards a low carbon economy to ensure future generations can continue to enjoy our city and region, and believe that a mix of renewables, including offshore wind, is essential to achieving this target.

"Offshore wind also provides the perfect opportunity to diversify Newcastle’s economy by pivoting thousands of jobs in the local manufacturing, construction, maritime, transport and logistics industries into the renewable energy sector.

"In addition, the accessibility of the Port of Newcastle and our existing local skills base would allow offshore wind to precipitate the emergence of a new renewable energy industry in Newcastle and the Hunter.

"This can unlock billions in new investment in renewable energy infrastructure and pave the way for our city to become the renewable energy hub for the Asia-Pacific region."

Cr Nelmes said the offshore wind industry offers many potential benefits for Newcastle, but was mindful of the need for measures to be put in place to protect and deliver local jobs, and consider any potential impacts on visual amenity and our marine environment.

"With the correct legislative and regulatory framework, offshore wind along the coast of Newcastle has the potential to play a significant role in sustaining our state’s future energy needs, and provide a significant boost to the local economy,” Cr Nelmes said.

"However, its development must be done with guarantees in place that it would preference the employment of local workers and use of local materials for the benefit of our communities.”