Wind farms will fan south-west jobs boom, Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio says

Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio.
Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio.

More than 950 jobs will be created through wind farm projects in south-west Victoria as it benefits from a “global shift to renewable energy”, Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio says.

The minister said 968 direct and indirect jobs – including construction roles – would result from approved projects at Dundonnell, Ferguson, Timboon West, Hawkesdale, Mortlake South, Ryan Corner and Woolsthorpe.

The projects will result in 238 turbines being built.

“Clean energy projects create hundreds of high-value jobs for regional and rural VIctoria and and provide big boosts for other businesses across the region,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

Ms D’Ambrosio made the statements following concerns in the Hawkesdale community after changes to planned wind farm projects meant 170 turbines would reach close to 200 metres.

Three further wind farm projects in western Victoria are under consideration, including an application for a 12-turbine project at Naroghid (at 180 metres high), a 231-turbine project at Golden Plains (at 230 metres high) and a 79-turbine project at Berrybank (at 180 metres high).

In spruiking the benefits the region will see as more projects are instigated under the Victorian Renewable Energy Target, Ms D’Ambrosio also hit out at South West Coast MP Roma Britnell over her comments regarding recent power outages.

Mrs Britnell said power outages during a 42-degree day on Saturday were the result of supply shortages caused by the closure of the Hazelwood Power Plant last year.

Ms D’Ambrosio said the MP’s “ignorance is staggering” and that she had been “caught out lying”.

“The member for South West Coast has no clue and no credibility on energy,” she said.

“Due to the extreme weather there were some localised outages, however at no time on that day was there a shortage of supply as verified by the independent market operator.”

The minister said the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) had advised there was a sufficient amount of energy available within the grid, and was putting in contingency measures in place to ensure that remained the case over summer.

The Standard contacted the AEMO regarding the Warrnambool power outages, however, the organisation declined to provide comment.

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