The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) is renewing a call for government commitment to local content in all wind farm and renewables projects after it’s been revealed there are major cracks in wind towers imported for Australian’s largest wind farm.
Cracks were recently found in the nacelle (top cover) of many of the over 100 wind towers imported from China for Stockyard Hill.
Inspections have been carried out on the towers this week to assess the extent of the damage. The cracks have been found in 19 of the 40 towers inspected and there are still over 100 to inspect. It’s estimated it will take up to four weeks to repair each tower.
The Federal Government sat on their hands while our largest wind farm imported towers from China instead of supporting secure local jobs. Their inaction is resulting in poor quality products getting in the way of the path to greening our economy.
Stockyard Hill is Australia’s biggest wind farm located 34 kms to the West of Ballarat with a 511 MW capacity, capable of powering approximately 425,000 homes annually. The project has been repeatedly delayed due to issues including “oscillation” and has only recently passed its first “hold point” test, with the Australian Energy Market Operator so far only approving generation levels of 30MW.
Quotes attributable to Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) national secretary Steve Murphy:
“If you repeatedly cut corners to save money, you end up with a market flooded with cheap products that are poor quality and aren’t fit for purpose.
“We’re seeing cost cutting with imported trains, buses, trams, ferries – there’s an obsession with buying things cheaply overseas. This approach is failing, they need to learn from their mistakes.
“The Federal Government has failed working people, it has proven it can’t be trusted with creating secure jobs, supporting local manufacturing, and greening our economy – we need a government that supports Aussie made.
“While other countries are joining the race to secure jobs in existing and emerging manufacturing industries in the global supply chain, Australia is trailing the pack.
“Australia has spent the least during the COVID-19 recovery on greening our economy. Manufacturing workers suffer because of the Morrison Government’s obsession with its gas mining donors meaning it will lock in high-cost, high carbon energy for decades.”