Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Gone With The Wind

IT WAS a special day, the dawning of a new and enlightened age, when Climate Change Minister Combet and SA Premier Rann dropped in on Adelaide engineering company RPG to celebrate the wind-powered economy everyone agreed would change the face of Australia, re-shape the workforce and make the world a nicer, greener place.

A familiar theme, it had been first spelled out by then-Climate Change Minister Penny Wong when she visited RPG in November, 2009.
It’s great to be here at Kilburn and having just been taken around this site to see the sorts of opportunities that investment in renewable energy brings to South Australia and to the country.... This Government is absolutely committed to renewable energy ... That’s why we’ve got through the Senate the renewable energy legislation to increase by four times the amount of wind power, solar power, geothermal, wave, tidal and whatever other forms of renewable energy...
Wong was just getting fired up:
We’re very excited also about the employment potential and today what I saw was people doing welding, painting – a whole range of the traditional trades, but doing it for a renewable energy project. Which  just shows that when we talk about green skills or clean energy jobs, it is about the jobs that we used to do but applying them to much cleaner technology for the benefit of the climate, but also for our economy and for our community.
Once upon a time RPG made crane booms, mining equipment and other useful things. Now, bolstered by subsidies, handouts and incentives, the company was lauded for the huge strides it was making, as Rann and Combet enthused two years after Wong turned up with the taxpayers' cheque book:
“With RPG in Kilburn, we see a company that has adapted to harness the opportunities of new green industries," Mr Rann said.

“Out of their workforce of about 100 people, 90 of them are working on wind-turbine tower production – an industry that didn’t exist here a decade ago."

“We are confident that a clean energy future for Australia will continue to create employment with new industries and investment opportunities.”
That was July 26 last year.

Fourteen months later, "wind-turbine tower production" is once again an industry that does not exist.

21 comments:

  1. Note the cosy familiarity among "Penny" and "Mike" and "a journalist" and "Penny". The love here in South Oz between state and federal Labor and between them all and journalists is practically incestuous. Nothing changes in South Oz. The current Premier, Jay Weatherill, and Penny shared the love going back to their Uni days, until she realised he was the wrong sex.

    Pedro of Adelaide

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  2. Nothing satisifes more than seeing the demise of another rent seeker.

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  3. The Old and Unimproved DaveOctober 9, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Could it be that the Bad Penny has again failed to master her brief?

    Otherwise why would she try to have wind turbines produced by a company who acronym is the common abbreviation for either 'Role Playing Games' or 'Rocket-Propelled Grenade'...?

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    1. Dave, the initials RPG are in fact an acronym for Ruchnoi Pulemet Granata, Russian for Squad Level Grnade Launcher. In any case, it seems one has hit RPG!

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    2. I'm partial to "Gamer" and I sure hope the owners strip mined the subsidies and grants before they folded everything up - not to do so would be giving candy back to the baby.

      What's interesting is they did not go for more handouts - which they most certainly would have been given by this inept mob.

      You see a lot of people getting out now while they have some cash, can pay everything off and go do something else.

      They resist the temptation to become a "welfare" house like Holden or Ford have.

      just saying, it's interesting and I do wonder where they all end up and doing what.

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  4. To be fair the govt have facilitated growth in the insolvency business

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    Replies
    1. Stole my thunder!

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    2. plenty more of that to come with the $10Bn Clean Energy Fund bankrolling non-commercial renewable ventures

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  5. Msrs Wong, Combet and Rann are simple souls. A quick word to anyone who has been a regular sailor would have enlightened them that the wind doesn't always blow and sometimes when it does it is not sufficient to instigate movement. A project of the ilk of Timmy FlimFlam's geothermal project no less.

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    Replies
    1. There was a poster on OLO who was clearly a scientist, who kept pouring more and more of his self managed super funds into the geo thermal thing Timmy had going - he thought it was a winner.

      That's the type of scientist I need to meet more of, since the carpet bag is out now and in need of filling.

      There are so many fools about, with cash!

      What to do what to do

      Some scientists might be clever, savantish, but others should not be allowed to cross roads without help.

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  6. "Why? Why?" the distraught throngs of anguished, inconsolable, sobbing Greenies ask of the heavens, with massed bottom lips a-tremblin', limbs a-flailin' and tears a-floodin'.

    The answer, my friends, is a-blowin' in the wind ... which unfortunately does not occur anywhere near the 24 hours a day needed for any of these things to actually make a buck.

    Gobsmacked of Gippsland

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  7. Wong has this Costanza-like shtick, where she acts impatient and annoyed all the time to make it look like she's a hard-working competent.

    It didn't work for George either.

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  8. k d wong builds wind-farms?
    I thought she was a singer.

    The Irish Lion

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    Replies
    1. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

      Isn't she the he when she's not at work - you know, playing the dad part?

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    2. Misogynist, heteronormative comment - we're coming to repossess that Merc!

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  9. Professor, when I worked there at Kilburn as an inspector on the wind tower constructions, my invoices were paid by Air Ride Wind, an entity that does not appear in the administrators list. RPG may have been the holding group, owning the workshop facilities, etc, but the wind tower contract by ARW may have been separate.
    I don't particularly like wind turbines but the product that left the workshops was spicko.

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  10. What was the taxpayer subsidy damage in the nearest $millions?

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  11. It's not all bad news. More work for Mrs KRudd.

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  12. Can't we train koalas to, you know, exhale on wind turbines?

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  13. I used to drive past their laydown yard on Churchill Rd on the way to work. About once or twice a week they would block off the traffic while they moved one of those white elephants to where one assumes they would be set to work killing wildlife, all safe from the eyes of the NIMBY latte set who loved the pointless things.

    So to be honest, I am not sad to see them go belly up.

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  14. Maybe they can reorientate their business focuss and commence production of Blue Steel Dildos...
    That may please both Wong and Gillard

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