Southwest Victoria’s regional economy has boomed from the construction of the Macarthur and Oaklands wind farms. To date, the projects have pumped $67 million into the local economy, employed around 900 people during construction, and will provide 52 ongoing jobs.
The report’s findings are consistent with the Baillieu government’s own figures which found that, in 2009 alone, the wind energy sector pumped $1.2 billion into the Victorian economy.
Despite the apparent economic benefits wind farms deliver for regional communities, Premier Ted Baillieu’s planning reforms have shut down Victoria’s once thriving wind energy sector.
Since the introduction of the VC82 planning amendment in August 2011, 700+ megawatts of wind farm projects have been withdrawn (see ‘The Wind Farms That Baillieu Killed…‘) and not one major project been approved.
Unless Premier Baillieu has the good sense to repeal the VC82 amendment, regional Victoria is unlikely to enjoy the economic benefits of wind farms in the near future.
Sean McComish reports for The Standard:
Two wind farms in south-west Victoria have pumped $67 million into the local economy, according to developers.
A new report by strategic consultants Sinclair Knight Mertz (SKM) for developer AGL has lauded the economic benefits of both the Macarthur wind farm and the Oaklands wind farm near Glenthompson.
The economic impact statement released this week claims that both wind farms contributed to one percent of the region’s gloss regional product and will provide up to 52 ongoing jobs.
Around 900 people were previously employed during the construction stages.
The report also makes reference to the ongoing dispute between Moyne Shire and AGL over the condition of the roads around Macarthur.
During the busiest construction times there were nearly 100 truck movements to the wind farm each day from quarries.
“Both Moyne Shire and VicRoads have been provided with funding from AGL and its partners to assist with road maintenance programs – this commitment has been over and above the obligations set down in the traffic management plans,” the report reads.