Opportunity for industry to capitalise on Collie’s strategic advantage

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Collie shire president Sarah Stanley wants to attract families and new industry to town.
Camera IconCollie shire president Sarah Stanley wants to attract families and new industry to town. Credit: Stuart McGuckin

Ensuring Collie is an attractive place for families to live while capitalising on a strategic advantage as a power generator are the key to the town’s prolonged survival, according to shire president Sarah Stanley.

Cr Stanley said that regardless of how power was generated, all the electricity infrastructure was already in Collie.

“We have that power network which is extremely expensive to set up somewhere else,” she said.

“If you take away the poles and wires component of power in WA, we have globally competitive power.

“We should be looking outside of the State at industries which are energy and labour intensive and inviting them to set up here and plug straight into our power stations.”

She said that would create new jobs in similar industries for the town’s skilled workforce.

“That workforce could slot straight into those industries,” Cr Stanley said.

“It would also shore up the operations of Synergy because they would be able to pre-sell power to those operations.

“That means the stations will be able to keep ticking along at a lower level in order to better deal with power demand as it fluctuates depending when renewables such as solar and wind are on or off.”

Cr Stanley reiterated that while a majority of employees continued to travel from outside of the town to work at the mines, the power stations and Worsley, there would be a big impact on Collie.

“We can’t force people to live in a town because we’d end up where they just have an address and don’t live here anyway,” she said.

“We want people to want to live here and that’s where we get back to creating diverse opportunities.

“Generally when we look at the make up of families, one partner might be in the sector and the other partner is usually in something quite different.

“When people make choices about where they live it will often be the primary care giver that will be closer to their workplace.”

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