Changes needed to protect local manufacturing job

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell has called for reforms to the way planning permits are issued for wind farms to protect local manufacturing jobs.

In Parliament this week, Ms Britnell called on the Minister for Planning Richard Wynn to ensure planning permits for wind farms included minimum local manufacturing content.

Ms Britnell’s call comes after 150 jobs were put at risk at Keppel Prince in Portland because a windfarm developer opted to import components for the Murra Warra wind farm near Horsham, rather than have them manufactured locally.

“These jobs are now at risk because the permit the Andrews Labor Government granted for the wind farm in 2017 has absolutely no requirement for local content, because it is being wholly funded through private equity and is receiving no Government backing through the VRET,” she said.

“Now the General Manager of Keppel Prince, Steve Garner, will watch tower components imported from Vietnam through the Port of Portland travel past the front door of his factory on their journey to Horsham.

“All renewable energy projects in this state – whether funded through the VRET or not – need to have a minimum local component manufacturing requirement to ensure that Victorians are benefiting from these projects and are being kept in work.”

Ms Britnell also called on the Andrews Government to implement the National Windfarm Commissioner’s recommendations for setbacks and landholder contracts when issuing permits for new wind farms.

“The Moyne Shire has aired these concerns recently – voting to oppose any further windfarms in the shire unless state planning authorities enforce seven recommendations made by the National Wind Farm commissioner,” she said.

“The shire and local residents are concerned about the industrial scale of these developments in the shire – If all the proposed wind farms for Moyne were built, it would be the equivalent of whole local government areas in the metro area.”

No one is denying the need for renewable energy – but people want to ensure Victorians are benefiting from these projects and they want their better planning to ensure projects are appropriately planned and local concerns taken into consideration.”

Related Posts