A Newcastle Liberal councillor has been accused of having "backflipped" on offshore wind after supporting a submission in favour of it before attending a "reckless renewables rally" in Canberra.
Councillor Callum Pull voted in favour of a lord mayoral in minute in February 2023 for City of Newcastle to provide a "detailed, supportive" submission to the federal government in favour of the Hunter offshore wind zone.
However he posted to social media on February 4 saying he did not support the proposal following a pro-offshore wind rally in Newcastle.
"Greens and union hacks running their usual protest are nothing compared to the thousands of ordinary citizens who want to protect our coastline," he wrote.
Cr Pull also travelled to Canberra on February 6 to attend the "reckless renewables rally" alongside Barnaby Joyce.
Newcastle deputy lord mayor Declan Clausen panned Cr Pull's actions.
"Callum Pull previously voted for renewables and offshore wind, but has now backflipped so he can buddy up with climate skeptics like Barnaby Joyce and Peter Dutton," Cr Clausen said.
"Novocastrians have seen the benefit of renewable energy.
"Council uses 100 per cent renewables in its operations, and it has slashed electricity bills for ratepayers, saving the city hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
"A quarter of all Newcastle households have solar on their own roofs and see this benefit on their own power bills.
"Our city can continue to be the powerhouse of NSW, and Novocastrians support renewable energy."
City of Newcastle's submission said the council was providing "conditional" support for offshore wind.
"Whilst the offshore renewable energy industry offers many potential benefits for Newcastle and the Hunter, the correct legislative and regulatory frameworks must be in place to consider potential impacts, such as visual amenity impacts and the impacts on our marine environment," the submission said.
Cr Pull said he was always in favour of looking into offshore wind, but had long-held concerns.
"I have made very clear in all my statements on this topic in council that I supported investigating the proposal, but always expressed concerns about the proposal's environmental impacts, impact on existing aviation, shipping and fishing industries, and impact on communities," he said.
"It has since become clear that this project amounts to environmental vandalism of our coastline and a protected marine park.
"This is nothing but desperate political mud slinging from a councillor under-siege from his own party.
"Cr Clausen's description of those opposing this proposal as 'climate skeptics' shows the contempt he holds for Novocastrians with reasonable concerns about the proposal.
"Power prices have skyrocketed since Labor was elected, and for Cr Clausen to claim anything otherwise is nothing short of delusional."
Cr Pull said stood "with the thousands of working people across Newcastle and the Hunter who want to protect our coastline".
"Labor councillors, state and federal members across the board have shut their ears to the serious concerns raised by the community," he said.
"The fact that locals felt they had no choice but to go all the way to Canberra in an attempt to be heard is a sad indictment upon the Hunter's Labor representatives."
The federal government's community consultation about the Hunter offshore wind zone found 66 per cent of submissions were opposed to the proposal, with 19 per cent of those having specific or other concerns, while 31 per cent were supportive of the proposal, with 7 per cent of these having specific or other concerns.
However the declared zone has been reduced since the proposal was launched in February last year.