Hunter Offshore Renewable Energy Zone


I want to assure you that I take feedback and concerns seriously regarding the Hunter Offshore Renewable Energy Zone.

I have been working closely with the Minister for Energy, the Hon. Chris Bowen to relay all community feedback and create a solution that fosters the best interests of the community of Port Stephens. The Albanese Labor Government has listened to community feedback and revised the offshore wind zone to ensure it coexists alongside whale migration, bird and sea life, and our shipping and tourism industry.

The Hunter offshore wind zone will create 3,000 jobs in construction phase and 1,500 ongoing for a region undergoing massive change. It'll also generate enough power for over 4 million homes and power local heavy industry into the future. But that's not at any cost - the government will only be licensing projects that work well with existing industry and the environment, and deliver meaningful, long lasting community benefits. Before a project can commence, proponents must seek and receive approval for feasibility licences and comply with strict environmental regulations. These processes will give the community three further opportunities to have their say on individual projects. 

The successful proponents that receive licenses will need to prepare management plans to confirm how they will work with commercial fishermen and other relevant industries and the community. These will also be out for public consultation and people will have a say. The management plans must be approved by the Government and if they’re not good enough they will not be accepted.

Offshore infrastructure will be at least 20km offshore, so the visual impact will be negligible, and will also be limited to a height of 260 metres to address aviation safety. There are already examples of offshore wind around the world co existing with shipping, marine life, tourism and, commercial and recreational fishing.

Again, Minister Bowen has assured me that he will only be licensing projects that work well with existing industry and the environment, and those that deliver meaningful, long-lasting community benefits.

In November 2023, I arranged for a delegation from the Port Stephens area to meet with Minister Bowen in Canberra, where the minister asked the group to provide a set of conditions that he may consider for use when determining feasibility licences. We have since received this feedback and it’s with the Minister for review.

The Offshore Infrastructure Registrar has received eight applications for feasibility licences in the offshore Hunter declared area.

As mentioned above during the feasibility licence stage, developers will be required to undertake further consultation on individual proposals, including detailed environmental assessments which outline potential impacts on local marine life, impacts on other marine users, and appropriate location of infrastructure.

Construction can only begin after feasibility stage is completed, and environmental and management plan approvals are gained.  For more information on how the process will work, please visit

Further links that may be of interest:

If you would like more information, feel free to contact the Department of Climate Change and Energy at

Again, I reiterate that environmental approvals including management plans must be sought before any offshore construction can commence.

I hope this information is of assistance and provides some reassurance to you. If you have any further questions in relation to the Hunter Offshore Renewable Energy Zone, please don’t hesitate to contact my office.