- Our Union
- Our Industries
Published: 14 Aug 2023
MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA
MUA welcomes new Offshore Renewable Energy Area in the Pacific Ocean off Illawarra, NSW
15 AUGUST 2023
Australian maritime workers will continue to benefit from the fast pace of investment and expansion of offshore renewable energy projects around our coastline. The Maritime Union of Australia welcomes the announcement today by the Federal Labor Government of public consultation for a new renewable energy zone off the coastline of New South Wales in the Illawarra, near Port Kembla. This will lead to hundreds of new maritime jobs in seafaring and portside activities during construction and operation of large scale offshore wind installations.
"These new jobs are a direct result of the growing investment in sustainable, reliable and clean renewable energy being unlocked by regulatory and legislative reforms which the MUA has campaigned for over many years," said the Union's Assistant National Secretary, Adrian Evans.
Mr Evans has been working with MUA branches around the country to promote the opportunities for workers in the seafaring, port services and waterfront sectors that will come from massive new renewable energy projects.
The 1461 square kilometre area subject to consultation off the coast of Port Kembla, which is home to one of Australia’s largest steelworks. According to Federal Government analysis, the offshore wind projects in this region will generate up to 2500 jobs during construction and 1250 jobs ongoing, many of which will be new jobs in the maritime sector.
“It is members of the MUA who built and delivered some of the world’s largest offshore oil and gas infrastructure over the last fifty years, and our members now stand ready to put their skills towards building these huge, incredible wind turbines out at sea so that we can decarbonise our economy,” Mr Evans said.
"Cheaper and more reliable renewable energy will keep manufacturing towns like Wollongong working for decades to come, which is good for the economy and good for our community, so we are excited to play such an important role in building the infrastructure that will make that possible," said MUA Southern NSW Branch Secretary, Scott Carter.
“The Illawarra has the perfect combination of port infrastructure, manufacturing industries, skilled workers and grid-network connections to make offshore wind an obvious choice for our region as we transition to clean energy,” said Mr Carter.
The announcement comes after many years of advocacy and policy leadership by the Maritime Union of Australia calling for new clean energy jobs, a just transition for workers employed in hydrocarbon industries, and for a comprehensive plan to decommission and clean up disused offshore oil and gas infrastructure from the sea floor around our coast using the skill and experience of Australian seafaring workers to get the job done.