Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union

 

VICTORIAN OFFSHORE WIND ZONE MISSES VITAL OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE LOCAL MANUFACTURING JOBS

6 March 2024 –

The Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU) has expressed disappointment that the new offshore wind zone proposed for the Southern Ocean off the coast of Victoria may miss a vital opportunity to create local manufacturing jobs.

While welcoming the progression of a new renewable energy project that will generate up to 2.8 GW of offshore wind energy, AMWU National Secretary Steve Murphy said that stronger local content provisions must be implemented if Australian manufacturers, workers and communities are to see the full economic benefit from the project.

“The AMWU welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement that it will create a new offshore wind zone in the Southern Ocean off the coast of Victoria.

“Expanding our nation’s use of renewable energy will provide cheaper power to households and businesses, and is critical in ensuring Australia meets its 2050 carbon emissions targets.

“However, this Southern Ocean offshore wind project's promised economic and employment benefits will not be fully realised without stronger provisions on including local content.

“Right now, there are AMWU members who live and work in Portland manufacturing wind towers and with proper support from the government, these Australian workers can produce the wind towers and other materials necessary to fuel Australia’s transition to renewable energy.

“But without strong provisions to ensure that Australian-produced steel or Australian manufactured goods are included in the projects built in the Southern Ocean offshore wind zone, local workers and the regional communities who rely on them miss out on jobs and economic investment.

“This is opportunity for the Federal Government to live up to its commitment to make things here.

“Our workers rightly expect the announcement of new renewable energy projects to deliver good local jobs and a thriving local industry.

“But none of these jobs or investment will be delivered to manufacturing workers without provisions to ensure Australian-produced local content is included in the projects that proceed in the Southern Ocean offshore wind zone.

“In a global race for the jobs of the future, the reality is that Australia is standing still, and without a credible Federal Government industry policy, more and more inferior wind towers will be dumped on Australian projects from overseas.

“An essential element of winning community support for offshore wind projects is the promise of high quality, secure jobs and benefits to local economies.

“This announcement leaves workers feeling deserted by a government that sprukes a future made in Australia, but announces project that will be imported from China.

“We call on the Federal Government to reconsider including local content provisions to deliver jobs and economic benefits to our local communities.”

Media contact: Darren Rodrigo 0414 783 405

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