• AMWU national secretary, Steve Murphy.
    AMWU national secretary, Steve Murphy.

Environmentalists have welcomed the federal government’s declaration of the Southern Ocean offshore wind zone, but unions claim the project lacks local content provisions.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) national secretary, Steve Murphy, said stronger local content provisions must be implemented if Australian manufacturers, workers and communities are to see the full economic benefit from the project.

The new renewable energy project that will generate up to 2.8 GW of offshore wind energy.

“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,” Murphy said.

“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. “

In a global race for the jobs of the future, Murphy said 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.,” he said.