THE Maritime Union of Australia’s WA members have come out swinging in favour of a community wind farm on Rous Head.
Members voted in favour of a wind farm at Fremantle Port at the union’s recent annual general meeting.
The Community Wind Farm project has gained significant community support despite the Fremantle Port Authority dismissing it as potentially having negative effects on residents.
MUA assistant branch secretary Will Tracey said there had been claims the wind farm could not proceed while the union opposed it.
He said its membership was overwhelmingly in favour, although the union reserved the right to be satisfied that there would be no adverse health or safety effects.
“However, that’s a decision we will make based on the proven science,” he said.
“We reject the attempt by some of the opponents of the wind farm to speak on our behalf on this matter.”
Mr Tracey said blue collar workers would be vital to the creation of a sustainable future and would embrace the chance to shift into renewables.
Fremantle Ports Board spokeswoman Ainslie de Vos said its position remained that a wind farm would be incompatible with the surrounding uses and expose the port and neighbouring community to elevated risks.
“In considering whether Rous Head would be appropriate for a wind farm, Fremantle Ports undertook a detailed assessment of the relevant issues.
“We have taken a thorough approach, including commissioning an independent assessment of wind generation options, taking into account economic, technical, social and environmental aspects.
“With health implications undergoing further study in Australia and elsewhere in the world, potential impact on people working close by and those living near the port was one of the major considerations.”
Meanwhile, Fremantle councillor Sam Wainwright said the Port Authority’s emphasis on health fears had no basis in scientific evidence.