CONSULTATION is underway on the proposed Bunbury offshore wind zone, 20 kilometres off the coast of Western Australia.

The Commonwealth is seeking feedback on a proposed area, which is 7674 square kilometres and at least 20 kilometres from shore at its closest point off Cape Naturaliste and Bunbury and 36 kilometres from Busselton.

The WA government said offshore wind would provide jobs for seafarers, dockworkers, engineers, electrical technicians, cable installers, boilermakers, crane operators, riggers, divers and administrators.

The proposed Bunbury zone is seen as an ideal location for offshore electricity generation because of the high-speed winds in the Indian Ocean, its proximity to large energy users, and it could enable up to 20GW of offshore wind to be developed.

Southern Ports CEO Keith Wilks was excited by the news when contacted by DCN.

“From a port perspective it’s a brand new industry for Australia,” Mr Wilks said. 

“Obviously, there’s zones declared on the east coast in Victoria and NSW, but this is the first one for WA so it’s a brand new industry that we’re looking to accommodate in our port of Bunbury.”

So how do you accommodate a brand new industry? 

“You work with them to accommodate and understand their needs and what infrastructure they need and how we can accommodate those needs so they can build the field that has the potential in that zone, the 20GW they’re talking about,” Mr Wilks said.

Submissions on the proposed area can be made from today (21 February) 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.

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.

One turn of one offshore wind turbine provides as much energy as an average rooftop solar installation generates in a whole day and they turn around 15 times a minute.

Minister for climate change and energy Chris Bowen said harnessing offshore wind would unlock new job opportunities across Western Australia, while providing much needed energy security.

“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. 

“We encourage everyone to put in a submission and attend a community consultation session.”

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