Consultation commences for Western Australia offshore wind industry development in Bunbury

Published: 20 Feb 2024



Consultation commences for Western Australia offshore wind industry development in Bunbury

20 FEBRUARY 2024

The Maritime Union of Australia applauds further progress towards renewable energy infrastructure projects around the Australian coastline, with a consultation process commencing in Western Australia for offshore wind at Bunbury, south of Perth.

The area set out for future offshore wind project development lies 20 kilometres offshore, and will complement Western Australia's already significant offshore energy and resources sector that employs many hundreds of Maritime Union members.

At the announcement alongside Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen, representatives of the MUA celebrated the next step towards the massive economic and social opportunities on offer through new renewable energy projects on the Australian coastline.

"The commencement of this consultation process kicks off a process that will deliver and sustain many thousands of long-term and rewarding jobs for Western Australian maritime workers," said the MUA's WA Branch Secretary, Will Tracey.

"The expertise and skill of MUA members has built and sustained the offshore energy sector for generations, and the new jobs on offer through offshore wind will bolster this already thriving industry of skilled seafarers, offshore workers and dockers who keep the lights on for people and businesses throughout the west," Mr Tracey said.

Offshore wind represents a huge opportunity for WA, providing well-paid jobs for skilled workers including engineers, electrical technicians, cable installers, boilermakers, crane operators, riggers, divers, seafarers, dockworkers and administrators. 

The Commonwealth is seeking feedback on a proposed area, which is 7,674 square kilometres and at least 20 km from shore at its closest point off Cape Naturaliste and Bunbury and 36km from Busselton.

"Cheaper and more reliable renewable energy will keep the manufacturing sector working, which is good for the economy and good for our own industry, so we are excited to play such an important role in building the infrastructure that will make that possible," said the MUA's Assistant National Secretary, Adrian Evans.

"The MUA encourages all members and their families to make contributions to the consultation process and support the development of offshore wind in Western Australia," Mr Evans said.

Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen MP, attended the announcement in Bunbury, and explained that the proposed offshore wind zone to the state's south west coast is an ideal location for offshore electricity generation because of the high speed winds in the Indian Ocean and its proximity to large energy users. The Federal Government estimates that the zone could eventually sustain up to 20GW of offshore wind capacity.

“Offshore wind will be a critical new clean energy industry for Western Australians as electricity demand increases, helping to provide thousands of jobs along the way,” Minister Bowen said.

“The Albanese Government is committed to genuine consultation on offshore wind – that’s why we want communities, industry and businesses to have their say on an offshore wind area off WA from the very beginning," Bowen explained.

  • Submissions on the proposed area can be made from today until 3 May 2024, with community information sessions held from 19 to 21 March 2024 for community members to ask questions and provide feedback on the zone.
  • An offshore wind project can only start construction if it is in a legally declared area, is awarded a feasibility licence and commercial licence, and receives environmental approval.
  • In addition to the consultation period on the area opening today – these processes provide multiple future opportunities for communities to have their say on any potential individual projects.
  • Any potential projects will be required to demonstrate their commitment to using Australian manufactured inputs, as well as provide information on use of Australian suppliers and benefits for the local economy like direct local jobs and training, which will be used by Government in assessing the merits of project licence applications.

For more information on the proposed Bunbury offshore wind area public consultation, visit





Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney