Prime Minister Albanese’s “Future Made in Australia” speech this week talked about the economic opportunities for Australia in the race to design and build technology for the renewable energy revolution. Humane Society International Australia agrees and says Australia also has responsibilities to lead the race for the sake of nature. We are thinking particularly of the offshore wind turbines coming to the Southern ‘Albatross’ Hemisphere.

Through the Agreement for the Conservation of Albatross and Petrels, Australia has international obligations to protect albatross and petrels, a highly endangered group of birds that circle our hemisphere. Albatross are particular susceptible to collision risk with offshore wind turbines. Importing traditional ‘windmill’ style turbines from the Northern Hemisphere risks disaster for already imperiled albatross.

This means we have a key responsibility to be investing heavily in research and development (R&D) to design innovative wind turbines that won’t risk collisions with endangered migratory birds and to promote that bird friendly technology to other Southern Hemisphere countries planning to take up offshore wind energy.

In our submission to the Government’s FY 24/25 budget process we proposed $500m in funding for R&D into innovation and design excellence for nature friendly offshore wind turbine design. We hope Prime Minister will use this opportunity to make Australia a world leader in seabird friendly wind turbine design and look forward to Australia’s migratory seabirds benefiting from some serious Made in Australia innovation.

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