Not everyone gets to do a job they love and live where they choose. Cyrus Davies, Site Supervisor at the recently constructed Lal Lal Wind Farm, has been maintaining wind turbines at plants across Western Victoria for 16 years, all the while living on some land outside Ballarat.
“I started at Challicum Hills near Ararat in 2004 and worked for a few different companies since then. I’ve lived in one place the whole time and brought up a family. It’s handy being in this business in this area,” Cyrus said.
“I’ve been doing wind farm operations the whole time. It’s not that usual being rural and getting such a good job. It’s pretty secure in the wind industry and being rural there’s not many jobs around.”
Lal Lal Wind Farm consists of 60 turbines across two sites at Yendon and Elaine, south east of Ballarat. Turbine manufacturer, Vestas, is also building the Berrybank Wind Farm, 80km away towards Geelong. As Site Supervisor Cyrus is responsible for making sure the work continues to get done at Lal Lal while staff adhere to new work practices to keep them safe from COVID-19.
“We’re holding our meetings in the warehouse so we can keep our distances, avoiding time in the office, doing a lot of paperwork on the phone. We try to share resources between sites but that’s harder to do which makes things busier.”
With an extraordinary eleven wind farms under construction in Western Victoria right now, new workers are being enticed to the region to use their skills in the wind industry.
“There are so many wind farms around here, there are so many people working.
“Across our two sites we’re using lots of local people. There are others who are moving up here for work, including lots of young people. One 28 year old diesel mechanic has moved up from Melbourne to Ballarat. We’ve also got a fitter, his first time in wind, and two young guys from Geelong who are electricians. It’s their first time in wind too. And then you’ve got other jobs like storemen, plumbers. We use plenty of the local service outfits too for repairs.