A petition has been launched in the North West calling on Parkes MP Mark Coulton to “put politics and ideology to the side” and support the regional development focused Local Power Plan (LPP) – an initiative of the independent Member for Indi Helen Haines.
The LPP, which will come before the Federal Parliament later this year, would involve three schemes delivered by a new independent statutory body, the Australian Local Power Agency (ALPA).
1. The Local Power Scheme will provide support for communities to develop their own renewable energy projects;
2. The Underwriting New Community Investment Scheme will underwrite mid-scale projects, making it more possible for communities to drive these projects;
3. The Community Renewable Investment Scheme will enable local communities to co-invest in new large-scale projects and ensure that profits are retained locally.
Sally Hunter, a director of the Narrabri based not-for-profit renewable energy organisation, Geni.Energy, last week travelled to Ms Haines’ electorate office in Wodonga to discuss ways the LPP could help local communities in the North West.
“The Local Power Plan is a practical way to create and retain the benefits of renewable energy locally,” Mrs Hunter said.
“Community groups from around Australia came together to create this plan - it was developed through a democratic process and is designed to help communities like Narrabri.
“If implemented, this raft of support would make designing and implementing local renewable projects much easier to achieve. Geni.Energy’s purpose is to drive these types of projects to keep as many of the jobs and profits as possible, in our local community.
“Here in Parkes we have seen far too many of the benefits created by major projects, being sent out of the region. Ownership by multi-national companies, with head offices in other cities and international shareholders means that money all leaves our community.
“Northwest NSW has fantastic renewable energy resources, but we run the risk that the majority of our communities will miss out on the opportunities arising from this industry.
“Local manufacturing and value-adding, recycling and even new industries based on cheaper renewable energy is all possible right here.
“It’s a no-brainer, so we’re asking Mark Coulton to put ideology and politics to one side and help regional communities by supporting the LPP - it’s a simple and practical way to encourage regional development and let our communities shine.”
Geni.Energy is a community-led, not for profit renewable energy company.
The petition is at www.geni.energy/lpp