Stanley continues to be a hotbed of conversation on the proposed Western Plains Wind Farm, as one union says state government should take a lesson from history.
A community meeting will be held at Town Hall on Sunday, which will be moderated by independent Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest.
One of those speakers will be Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union state secretary Michael Anderson, who likened Epuron’s Stanley proposal to other private energy generation projects in Tasmania.
“We believe these sort of projects are not in the best interest of small communities,” Mr Anderson said.
“And that things like Hydro, which Tasmania built over 100 years should be used to provide actual good jobs and benefits to the community.”
TasNetworks has spruiked large energy projects as job creation for Tasmania, something Mr Anderson disagrees with.
“Private energy generation is being sold as this jobs boom, but certain technologies don’t provide that, especially in Tasmania.”
He said there was a lack of local workers, because industry and government hadn’t shown an interest in developing a workforce over many years.
“And if you have a look in the North-West region, similar to the arguments we made against the Robin’s Island wind farm proponents, is the exodus of manufacturing out of that area has decimated that workforce in those communities.”
Mr Anderson pointed to history of Hydro in Tasmania as a blue print for creating long-term that created renewable jobs through the generations.
He said to limit upsetting communities, wind farms should look offshore.
Mr Anderson said if the government were to operate in the interest of the community, “which is what the Hydro did at the peak of its powers”, it would trade off the dearer costs of offshore wind farms with higher quality jobs.
On the Stanley wind farm proposal, Mr Anderson said it was the first cab off the rank.
“Because if this becomes the norm, the real victim in all this is going to be every proceeding community that gets sold apart with these various furphies from the developers.”
Mr Anderson will join a host of others expected to speak at the community meeting.
Dominica Tannock is a lawyer who has represented other communities living with windfarms and has won a case against a wind farm at Bald Hills in Gippsland.
BirdLife Tasmania’s Dr Eric Woehler will be present, along with a paper from Dr Ian McFarlane.
Respect Stanley spokeswoman Kerry Houston said the meeting was in response to concerns raised by community members.
Epuron’s proposal is for 12 wind turbines near Stanley.
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