A group fighting plans to develop offshore wind off the Hunter coast has challenged Energy Minister Chris Bowen to reopen community consultation for the project after a review highlighted the need for the government to improve its engagement processes for renewable energy projects.
Improved community consultation, better complaint handling and a rating system for developers are among nine recommendations of a renewable energy review put forward by the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner.
All have been accepted in principle by the federal government.
The Newcastle-Port Stephens Game Fishing Club is among a coalition of groups campaigning against the Hunter Offshore Wind Project on the back of concerns about the project's potential negative and environmental impacts.
The group also raised concerns about the lack of community consultation for the project in the Port Stephens community.
"The mess here has been caused by the government's own lack of engagement in Port Stephens and Myall Coast, not the developers. But Chris Bowen is blaming the developers as well," Newcastle-Port Stephens Game Fishing Club spokesman Troy Radford said.
"I have a message for Chris Bowen - stop blaming others and take responsibility for your own actions.
"Are you going to restart the community consultation again for the wind farm here?"
The government says 300 people attended seven community consultation sessions across the Hunter and Central Coast last year.
The government is expected to announce feasibility licences for the Hunter Offshore Wind Project in coming months.
As part of a series of ongoing discussions, Mr Bowen has also invited the Newcastle-Port Stephens Game Fishing Club to submit a series of recommendations about how to safeguard the area's environmental and economic assets during the transition to renewable energy.
But Mr Radford said it was not possible to provide such a list until the details of the proposed projects in the Hunter Offshore Wind Zone were known.
A large number of Port Stephens locals are expected to travel to Canberra to participate in Tuesday's Reckless Renewables Rally.
Eight companies or joint ventures have applied for licences to explore the feasibility of establishing wind farms in the zone. The government is expected to announce the successful applicants in the middle of the year.
The review of community consultation, led by Commissioner Andrew Dyer, aimed to determine more effective ways to engage landowners and communities directly affected by the green energy transformation.
It found some participants had "a lack of trust" in project developers, including government-owned corporations.
Other recommendations include increasing early local collaboration and revising planning and approval processes.
The review was carried out after complaints in regional Australia about poor planning and a lack of consultation with farmers.
Many participants advocated for "an approach that enabled developers to be held accountable where performance fell below the expected standard".
Mr Bowen said regions host so much renewable energy infrastructure and have to be properly engaged.
"We're in the middle of a very important revolution when it comes to our energy generation," he said.
"There are legitimate valid issues and concerns that people have that need to be worked through."
"There's also disinformation and misinformation for people who do not want to see renewable energy. We want to make sure the regions which host so much of this infrastructure are properly engaged ... not every renewable proposal is in the right place."