Labor accused of hot air as wind-tower maker topples
A WIND-TOWER manufacturer has been placed into administration with the closure of three plants and the loss of more than 150 jobs.
RPG Group -- one of Australia's largest heavy engineering companies -- appointed Ferrier Hodgson as administrators and yesterday closed its plants at Dalby (76 jobs) and Richlands (eight) in Queensland and Kilburn (69) in South Australia following a review at the weekend.
One worker in Melbourne was also made redundant. Operations at Wacol in Brisbane remain under review. The business was advertised for "urgent sale" yesterday. The group employed 310 staff at four manufacturing sites.
The company specialises in building large steel structures, such as wind power-generation towers, for the mining and renewable energy sectors.
South Australian Liberal opposition planning spokesman David Ridgway slammed the government for raising false hopes about the economic boom that would supposedly be generated by the renewable energy industry.
"Just last year federal Climate Change Minister Greg Combet and then SA premier Mike Rann dropped in on the Adelaide engineering company, promising wind farms would produce a spate of local manufacturing jobs," Mr Ridgway said yesterday. "RPG once made crane booms and mining equipment, but bolstered by subsidies, handouts and incentives the company got heavily involved in wind farm towers. South Australia has more than 50 per cent of the nation's wind power and we've got more than that fully approved and ready to be built.