A wind farm development zone off Wollongong could be as significant to the city as the steel industry, according to the South Coast Labour Council submission.
On the other side of the coin Kiama councillor Mark Croxford claimed the zone was "venturing into unknown waters".
It's an indication of the region's varying views around the zone, as the period for community input ended this week.
Labour council secretary Arthur Rorris said in his submission that the proposal was "a once in a lifetime opportunity" for the Illawarra and its workers.
"The labour council views the proposal for a wind farm development zone off our coast as potentially the most significant industrial development in our region since the establishment of the steel industry itself," Mr Rorris said.
His submission also recommended direct discounts in power bills, the establishment of a community development fund and an Australian steel mandate for the turbine foundations.
"Whilst steel mandates have not been popular with previous governments we argue that in this case it would be inconceivable that millions of tonnes of steel would not be sourced from our backyard and imported from elsewhere," he stated.
Mr Rorris said BlueScope was capable of manufacturing the steel required at its Port Kembla steelworks.
He also hit out at the "disingenuous actors" taking part in a "massive misinformation and disinformation campaign".
"Accordingly, we say that 10,000 submissions that repeat the same baseless assertions should not outweigh a smaller number of submissions that are supported with an evidence base," he said.
A key theme of Cr Croxford's submission was the concerns over the consultation process, which he said was "the prevailing view within our community".
"Our opposition stems from what we perceive as a neglect of community interests and a lack of genuine engagement in the decision-making process," Cr Croxford said.
"The concept of social licence, crucial in such developments, hinges on trust, respect, and mutual benefit. Regrettably, these elements appear to have been neglected."
Cr Croxford's submission noted "significant socio-economic and environmental consequences from this proposed development".
"While the drive for renewable energy is commendable, it shouldn't override the interests and welfare of the local community," he said.
"Balancing environmental initiatives with the distinctiveness and needs of our region is vital. It's important to highlight that Kiama Municipal Council, reflecting the community's stance, has formally resolved to oppose this development."
He felt it was hard to judge the safety and effectiveness of the project given there were no precedent to compare it.
"This isn't just a gap in data; it's a significant oversight in planning. We can't afford to be blind to the potential risks of such a pioneering project," he said.
"This situation demands rigorous research and thorough risk assessment. It's not just about being ambitious with renewable energy; it's about being responsible and foresighted. We must tread carefully, ensuring our innovative steps don't lead us into unforeseen dangers."
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