Energy retailer calls on energy sector to invest in regional Australian jobs
Energy retailer, Tango Energy, has thrown down the gauntlet to other energy providers. It says it’s not only providing affordable – and from next year zero-carbon – energy, it’s issuing another challenge to the industry: follow our lead and invest in regional Australian jobs.
Tango Energy is the retail arm of renewable energy provider, Pacific Hydro Australia, and is a big believer in regional jobs and community investment.
‘Tango and Pacific Hydro have invested significantly in regional jobs. Our solar and windfarms are only built in regional areas. Those projects can last from 12-24 months, providing regional jobs, said Tango Energy CEO, Mr Domenic Cappomolla.
‘We also run a Community Investment Program that has positive and lasting social, environmental and economic benefits in the communities that host our clean energy projects.’
In fact Tango Energy decided years ago to place its headquarters in the regional city of Geelong.
When the Ford factory in Geelong closed down in September 2016, it was the end of a Geelong icon. Ford was enmeshed in the Geelong community as a sponsor of the Cats and as an employer to 600 people in Geelong and surrounds.
There were concerns following the Ford closure about where new jobs might come from to revitalise the Geelong economy, particularly in Geelong North where unemployment remains high.
But anticipating the Ford closure – announced by Ford in May 2013 – there were already moves afoot to revitalise the Geelong economy.
In 2014, as part of the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund (RJIF), Tango Energy announced it was opening up for business in Geelong – locating its headquarters in the historic Federal Woollen Mills, re-invented as the Pivot City Innovation District – and now calls Geelong home.
‘Tango’s customer care and operations centre in Geelong has grown from 15 to 53 employees over the last 18 months and we only anticipate it growing,’ said Mr Capomolla.
‘Tango Energy prides itself on its social responsibility, and that extends to regional Australia. That’s why we’re calling on the energy sector to do its part for regional jobs and development and invest in regional Australia.’
The emergence of a renewable economy in Geelong has been a boon for the area following the Ford factory closure. In September 2019, the factory was reopened by wind turbine manufacturer Vestas and is training hundreds of local staff in wind turbine assembly and maintenance.
Tango Energy has partnered with Regional Development Victoria and the Geelong Chamber of Commerce to help grow jobs in regional Australia.
And Mr Capomolla has every intention of helping Tango Energy expand its operations in Geelong which in turn, he says, will benefit not only jobs but the environment as well.
‘For every customer we get, we’re then able to help finance more renewable energy projects, which is great for the environment and for jobs growth,’ said Mr Capomolla.
Bringing renewable business to regional Victoria has been a key focus of Regional Development Victoria, while Tango Energy’s investment in the region has not only created direct jobs but flow on jobs and an investment in the town’s future, according to Andrew Hamilton of Hamilton Group.
‘When we started developing the old Federal Woollen Mills site in 2013, the Ford factory was just starting to wind down,’ said Mr Hamilton.
‘At that stage we saw a lot of potential revitalising these existing sites and bringing new employment back to the area. Many suggested we were too optimistic as the economic opportunities in Geelong’s North weren’t perceived as any good.
‘I can’t stress enough how important it was to have an early adopter like Tango Energy move into the site and spruik the area.
‘They showed a lot of faith in Geelong and have provided not only direct employment, and indirect employment through the construction project, they have also been a flagship for other businesses to set-up here. We consider Tango a great advocate of the area and our Pivot City project,’ said Mr Hamilton.