Jobs guar­an­teed

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

A world-first $565-mil­lion part­ner­ship will de­liver al­most 1100 jobs to the North­ern Grampians Shire re­gion fol­low­ing sign­ing of a con­tract be­tween the State Govern­ment, Neoen Australia and Nec­tar Farms.

The signed con­tract en­sures con­struc­tion of both the Bul­gana Green Power Hub and Nec­tar Farms green­house fa­cil­ity will pro­ceed as planned, with the con­struc­tion phase of both projects de­liv­er­ing 315 di­rect jobs and 786 in­di­rect jobs, along with an on­go­ing 271 full-time jobs and 151 in­di­rect jobs for the life of the as­set.

Neoen has also an­nounced a $120,000 an­nual com­mu­nity fund co­or­di­nated by coun­cil, with money dis­trib­uted to North­ern Grampians Shire com­mu­nity groups.

North­ern Grampians mayor Tony Driscoll said in ad­di­tion to de­liv­er­ing a much-needed boost to em­ploy­ment in the re­gion, the project would also have un­told eco­nomic on-flows for ex­ist­ing busi­nesses.

“This is an­other clear sign that out­side in­vestors and the Vic­to­rian Govern­ment are will­ing to put their faith in the fu­ture of the North­ern Grampians Shire,” he said.

“We wel­come the job cre­ation that this project will bring with it, along with the eco­nomic div­i­dends it will de­liver for our ex­ist­ing busi­nesses, in­clud­ing lo­cal con­trac­tors, ac­com­mo­da­tion providers, the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try and other ser­vices. Since this project was an­nounced in June, coun­cil and the en­tire North­ern Grampians Shire com­mu­nity have ea­gerly been an­tic­i­pat­ing the sign­ing of this con­tract in order to see such an ex­cit­ing project come to life within our re­gion and place Stawell at the fore­front of the emerg­ing re­new­ables sec­tor.

“The ad­di­tional an­nounce­ment of the com­mu­nity fund is a clear demon­stra­tion Neoen is se­ri­ous about sup­port­ing lo­cals and work­ing with coun­cil to en­sure the on­go­ing liv­abil­ity of our shire well into the fu­ture.”

When the project was an­nounced in June last year, the State Govern­ment signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing with Neoen and Nec­tar Farms, de­tail­ing an agree­ment for the Govern­ment to pur­chase 90 per­cent of the en­ergy gen­er­ated by the 63-tur­bine wind farm, with the re­main­ing 10 per­cent to be supplied to power Nec­tar Farms’ 40 hectares of green­houses at a com­pet­i­tive rate.

The con­tract sign­ing rat­i­fies that agree­ment.

Fur­ther com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion and in­for­ma­tion ses­sions will be sched­uled early this year.

Cr Driscoll said peo­ple want­ing more in­for­ma­tion can call North­ern Grampians Shire Coun­cil in­vest­ment at­trac­tion of­fi­cer Lyn­ley Hoiles on 5358 8700.

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