The Hunter game fishing community has warned the proposed Hunter Offshore Wind Project could interfere with east coast currents with potentially disastrous environmental impacts.
Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen will meet with fishers in Nelson Bay on Tuesday to discuss their concerns, which include the way the public consultation process for the project was conducted.
Shadow minister Ted O'Brien will also hold a separate town hall meeting prior to Mr Bowen's invitation only gathering.
The Port Stephens fishing and tourism sectors have been among the loudest critics of the Hunter Offshore Wind Project since its launch in February.
The project initially took in a 2810 square kilometre area extending from Port Stephens to Norah Head. However, it was ultimately reduced to an 1800 square kilometre area extending from Port Stephens to Swansea.
The project's generation output was also reduced from eight gigawatts to five gigawatts.
Government and industry are pushing to have the project operating by the end of the decade.
But the Newcastle and Port Stephens Game Fishing Club wants an independent study done into the project's environmental impacts before it proceeds.
The group's research has revealed each floating turbine has a displacement area the equivalent of a coal ship.
This displacement, when multiplied by hundreds of turbines, could impact on east coast currents.
"It has been proven in Europe that the combined impact of the turbines affects tidal flows," President Troy Radford said.
"If it (the current) hits these underwater structures, pushes out and heads back up the coast it could potentially superheat the Coral Sea and cause coral bleaching.
"Our weather pattern is dictated by sea surface temperature, which are the causes of the LaNina or El Nino effect. Potentially we could be putting ourselves into permanent drought or we could be in permanent flood.
"Or the current could push in and wash into Stockton bight and wash Stockton away.
A public protest against the Hunter Offshore Wind Project is scheduled to take place at Victoria Parade, Nelson Bay at 10.30am on Saturday October 7.
The game fishing group is also highly critical of the consultation process leading up to the declaration of the offshore wind zone.
The government received 1900 submissions, including more than 700 from the Central Coast, during two months of community consultation.
But Mr Radford said many people were unaware of the project until after the consultation period closed on April 28.
A similar criticism was previously made by a community group at Norah Head.
"Our big thing has been trying to inform people and let them know because there's still people out there who know nothing about it," Mr Radford said.
He said the group had obtained government documents that proved the Hunter community consultation process was flawed and that changes had been made to future consultation processes.
A spokeswoman for Mr Bowen said the Albanese Government was committed to genuine consultation with all communities and local groups regarding the Hunter offshore wind zone.
"Before a project can commence, proponents must seek and receive approval for feasibility licences and comply with strict environmental regulations," she said.
"These processes will give the community three further opportunities to have their say on individual projects.
"The government will only be licensing projects that work well with existing industry and the environment, and deliver meaningful, long lasting community benefits."
Paterson MP Meryl Swanson welcomed Mr Bowen's willingness to meet with concerned stakeholders.
"I'm pleased to have the Minister in Port Stephens to see our beautiful area and hear directly from our community about their concerns," she said.
IN THE NEWS:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.