Now that’s a good question, especially with a state election fast approaching.
To get some answers, Yes 2 Renewables have partnered with our pals the Australian Wind Alliance and Portland community members to present the Renewable Energy & Jobs Forum – 2014. RSVP now to secure your seat > http://tiny.cc/PortlandForum
The renewable energy sector has created jobs and generated millions of dollars worth of investment in south west Victoria since 2000. However, uncertainty clouds the sector’s future.
Unreasonably restrictive planning laws, the absence of a state-based renewable energy plan and uncertainty surrounding the national Renewable Energy Target are putting investment and jobs at risk. Just last month, a wave energy project proposed for Portland was cancelled.
Portland’s second-largest employer, Keppel Prince Engineering, is Australia’s most prominent wind turbine tower manufacturer, the region’s largest solar installer and one of the key forum organisers.
“Globally, renewable energy is booming. Yet government policies in Australia have put the brakes on the sector,” general manager of Keppel Prince, Steve Garner, told The Observer.
“At the moment, we can’t promise what work we have in our wind tower division beyond October and we are already planning more unpaid leave for some of our staff.
“Companies aren’t investing because they don’t know if the government will keep supporting the growth of the renewables sector with strong policies. That’s really putting good local jobs at risk.
“The community wants to know how Portland’s renewable energy jobs can be secured. That’s why we’re helping to put on this public forum.”
Portland businessman Wayne Barrett sees the forum as an opportunity to have a positive discussion about the renewable energy sector.
“We want to see political leaders have a productive discussion about renewable energy,” Mr Barrett told The Observer. “The forum will give politicians a chance to explain their plans for securing investment and creating jobs for Portland.”
The event will feature a prominent keynote speaker as well as high-ranking Victorian politicians. Local business representatives with a stake in renewable energy will accompany them.
Dr John Hewson, former Liberal Party leader, will headline the event. And at a state level, Labor’s shadow energy minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, and leader of the Victorian Greens, Greg Barber, will discuss what policies they will be bringing to the November 29 election.
Member for the South West Coast and Premier, Denis Napthine, has been invited to speak at the forum.
“We’re hopeful Premier Denis Napthine will join the forum and outline his government’s plan for encouraging the renewable energy sector,” said Australian Wind Alliance spokesperson Angela McFeeters.
“Getting such high-profile presenters to Portland is testament to the level of interest in the future of renewable energy. We’re expecting a lot of community interest in the forum.”
- WHEN: Sunday, 24 August 2014 from 3:00pm to 4:30pm
- WHERE: Fawthrop Community Centre, 1 Hood St, Portland, VIC 3305
- RSVP: Online
- FACEBOOK: Event page for sharing is here.
- Dr John Hewson, former leader of the Australian Liberal party
- Steve Garner, Keppel Prince general manager
- Wayne Barrett, Portland businessman
- Portland wind workers
- Lily D’Ambrosio, Labor shadow energy minister
- Greg Barber, Leader of the Victorian Greens
- This event is proudly supported by The Portland Observer, Quest Serviced Apartments Portland, Lawrence & Hanson Portland, Menzels Electrical, GR Carr Building Contractors, and Keppel Prince Engineering.