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.