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Hunter Workers fights offshore wind farm disinformation

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A swell of misleading propaganda is forcing Hunter Workers to “set the record straight” when it comes to the proposed Hunter Offshore Wind farm.

Since Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen officially declared the zone in July, which covers 1,854km2 and extends from Port Stephens in the north to Norah Head in the south, the project’s been the subject of significant controversy.

And, even though it will be located between 20km and 35km from the coast in the Pacific Ocean, residents and politicians alike have weighed in on the pros and cons of the renewable energy source.

Hunter Workers’ information flyer on the Hunter Offshore Wind project.

Opposition leader Peter Dutton recently ventured to Port Stephens, declaring it was “fast growing into a national scandal” while meeting concerned locals.

“What Mr Bowen’s proposing to do here is to destroy the environment to save the planet,” he said.

“It just doesn’t make any sense.

“The advocates and the proponents who’ll end up making billions of dollars out of these deals, well they say, ‘oh, there are jobs created’.

“So, why destroy local positions in the tourism and fishing industries to create short-term jobs in the construction industry?”

Constant commentary on social media has also resulted in a distortion of the actual details, according to Hunter Workers.

So much so, it’s led it to publish an information flyer outlining the facts about the Hunter Offshore Wind farm in response to an alarming surge of misinformation being propagated by disingenuous people.

Hunter Workers’ information flyer on the Hunter Offshore Wind project.

The circular, accessible on the organisation’s website, aims to clarify key aspects of the development and dispel the lies and inaccuracies circulating online and in the community.

“The Liberals, Nationals and One Nation continue to campaign aggressively against the Hunter Offshore Wind project, claiming concern for the environment despite a long, ongoing record of environmental disregard,” secretary Leigh Shears said.

“However, this is an incredible opportunity for the creation of quality jobs and energy security while enormously reducing our impact on the environment.

“We are committed to ensuring workers and communities win the best possible outcomes and maximum benefits from emerging industry.

“Hunter Workers recognises the political opportunism at play here, which is why we are appalled, but not surprised, by (Peter) Dutton and Barnaby Joyce’s obvious political crusade to create confusion and division among our working-class communities.

“We will continue to work closely and productively with residents, community groups and the business sector to facilitate informed, fact-based conversation and decision making.”

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