Federal Government Must Mandate Local Procurement for National Infrastructure Projects Like Windfarms

Media Release by Weld Australia

On Thursday, the Federal Government introduced legislation that will pave the way for construction of Australia’s first offshore wind farms. In the wake of this legislation, Weld Australia is calling on the Federal Government to mandate local content in the construction of critical national infrastructure projects such as these wind farms.

The Offshore Energy Infrastructure Bill could permit the construction of the 2.2-gigawatt Star of the South wind farm off the Gippsland coast in Victoria’s south-east. The Bill could also enable construction of the Marinus Link interconnector between Victoria and Tasmania, as well as windfarms in areas like Gladstone, Newcastle and Wollongong.

According to Geoff Crittenden (Chief Executive Officer, Weld Australia), “The only way to ensure that these massive wind turbines meet Australian Standards for reliability, quality and safety is to award the fabrication contracts to local Australian companies. Local fabricators comply with internationally recognised Australian Standards and are certified by the relevant Australian authority.”

“The Star of the South and Marinus Link interconnector projects alone are worth $10 billion combined and are expected to create 10,000 jobs. A procurement policy that mandates local content would see that $10 billion reinvested back into our economy. It would create thousands of jobs in regional areas like Gippsland, Gladstone and Newcastle—jobs that are absolutely essential to Australia’s post-COVID-19 recovery.”

“The importance of our local manufacturing industry cannot be underestimated when it comes to Australia’s post-COVID recovery. Australia’s jobs-driven COVID-19 recovery must be manufacturing led. Now is the time to make manufacturing a national priority. Government, at all levels, must support and invest in the manufacturing sector to aid its growth.”

“Mandating local content in national infrastructure projects is the only way to ensure product quality and public safety, create new jobs, and strength Australia’s economy,” said Crittenden.