Principle 3: Buy local, build local

Prioritise local procurement, manufacturing, and supply chain opportunities. Work with local businesses to enable and support their involvement.

During QREZ development, benefits can be shared with local communities by increasing the level of locally sourced goods and services. Procurement practices should prioritise local, regional, state and Australian content with a focus on manufacturing and supply chain opportunities.

Manufacturers and other related businesses will have more confidence to invest in local Queensland-based operations if they see a consistent pipeline of clean energy infrastructure locally via QREZ developments.

Many renewable energy projects are already finding opportunities to increase local content, including engaging with the surrounding business communities earlier in the project lifecycle to better understand the opportunities to meet project needs with locally sourced providers.

Local content - government policies and approaches

To ensure a pipeline of opportunities for local businesses, some jurisdictions are implementing targeted policies to ensure local content is an explicit consideration of new renewable energy and transmission projects.

In Victoria, local content is required for renewable energy projects that are developed as part of the Victorian reverse auctions for meeting legislated renewable energy targets. In New South Wales a manufacturing taskforce has been established to investigate the use of local materials in REZ projects. The taskforce includes representatives from the steel, aluminium, cement, manufacturing industries and associated trade unions. In Western Australia (WA) a Local Industry Participation Group has been established, including steel manufacturing and union representatives. The WA Government is investigating local wind turbine component manufacturing.

Other approaches seek to reduce the barriers for renewable projects increasing their levels of local content. This includes mechanisms that assist in matching project needs with local capabilities such as using online platforms which connect buyers and suppliers. Projects also choose to blend local content with complex imported technologies, for example, hybrid wind towers that incorporate locally fabricated wind tower segments with imported blade and turbine technology.

A focus on the supply chain of renewable technologies should also consider opportunities to support implementation of Queensland’s Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy to utilise recycled, recyclable, and low-carbon materials and to apply circular economy principles. This includes appropriate early planning for project decommissioning and land rehabilitation.

Procurement policy

The Queensland Government’s Buy Queensland Procurement Policy 2021 (QPP) aims to increase the use of local workforces in projects, ensuring Queenslanders, particularly in regional and remote communities, are supported through targeted Government investment.

Queensland government-owned energy corporations have driven more than 2,000 MW of renewable energy projects in the last five years, either through direct investment or via financial offtake arrangements.

As major construction and infrastructure developments funded by Queensland Government investment, renewable energy projects could trigger several key requirements in the QPP, including the application of Best Practice Principles for all major projects (where the project is valued $100 million and above, or declared), requiring the use of contractors and suppliers, including manufacturers, that employ local workforces, and providing opportunities for apprentices and trainees. These Best Practice Principles ensure quality, safe workplaces by expecting:

  • workplace health and safety systems and standards
  • commitment to apprentices and trainees
  • best practice industrial relations.

The Queensland Government’s $2 billion Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund allows government-owned energy businesses like Powerlink Queensland, CleanCo Queensland, Stanwell, CS Energy and Energy Queensland to increase ownership of commercial renewable energy and hydrogen projects, as well as supporting infrastructure, including in partnership with the private sector.

This provides a future opportunity to ensure the QPP Best Practice Principles are applied to more renewable energy developments.

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