ASI award winning fabricator and wind tower specialist, RPG Australia recently announced the appointment of administrators who, following an urgent review closed three out of four plants with the loss of over 160 jobs with the axe hanging over the head of the last plant in Wacol Brisbane with another 150 jobs at stake. These numbers do not include a substantial number of contractors and related suppliers of goods and services. After establishing itself as one of Australia’s leading wind tower manufacturers, the company has suffered from inconsistent application of the Renewable Energy Certification (RECs) scheme which has either provided a feast or famine, and is devastated by news of two current major wind towers contracts being sourced from China and Korea. Seventy five percent of the Gullen Range Wind Towers being built by Goldwind Australia will come from China while we are being told that the Mount Mercer Wind Towers being built by Repower Australia for Meridian Energy will also be coming from overseas. ASI National Manager – Industry Development, Ian Cairns said the Australian Government’s promise of ‘green’ manufacturing jobs from the renewable energy sector as a result of carbon tax reinvestment has in fact not eventuated for the Australian steel industry. “We are losing them, not gaining them. Ironically, Industry Minister, Greg Combet reinforced the growth of green manufacturing jobs while visiting the RPG plant in Adelaide last year,” he said. Australian steel fabrication capability is already being damaged by the effect of the artificial suppression of the Chinese Yuan, the high Australian dollar and government subsidisation of the Chinese steel industry, a point that has recently been acknowledged in Europe and the US in recent anti-dumping cases. “Whilst we have supported the Government’s recent decision to make local industry participation plans compulsory for all Clean Energy Finance Corporation funded projects, there is little or no work expected to flow from this for some time,” Mr Cairns said. “The Government should be applying similar conditions to all ‘renewables’ projects immediately as ultimately it is the Australian public that will be subsidising these projects as we strive to meet the renewables energy target of 20 percent by 2020. The least we can expect out of this is the retention of skilled jobs. “Developed nations like Canada, the United States, many parts of Europe, even Ukraine support their local ‘renewables’ industries as it is considered in their national interest. We call on our Government to review the policies of those nations and act immediately to deliver on its promise of ‘green’ manufacturing jobs before more skilled jobs and vitally important training opportunities for our youth are lost forever.”