My name is Kathryn Maxwell and I’m the president of the Southcoast Health and Sustainability Alliance (SHASA), a community energy group in NSW. I’m writing to you today from Parliament House to launch a new campaign to Repower Our Communities along with Community Power Agency.
Many of you have first-hand experience of the wonderful things community energy groups can achieve in towns across the country. In Eurobodalla our group has helped 10 community owned facilities install over 100 kW of solar and 20kw of batteries. However, I know that it is a real struggle to access the required resources to make more of these projects happen, whether that be funds, expertise or capacity.
That’s why I came to Parliament today with a group of farmers and other community energy representatives from regional Australia. This exciting new campaign, in partnership with Farmers for Climate Action can sidestep the climate wars by highlighting the bushfire resilience, local jobs & economic opportunities that community energy can bring to our regional communities if it’s supported appropriately.
The Repower Our Communities campaign, based on Independent Member for Indi Helen Haines’ Local Power Plan, will build public support for the roll out of community-owned renewable energy in the regions, making sure our towns and regions benefit from the renewables boom.
There are no losers here. By keeping the focus on local jobs and benefits to our regions, the Repower our Communities campaign is a chance to avoid getting bogged down in the climate debate and get on with the job of reducing Australia’s emissions. It’s a no brainer, truly.
We farmers already know that, with government leadership, the transition to renewables could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to revitalise our farming and regional communities.
Wind and solar can be harvested throughout the year, providing local jobs and income in good times and bad. By making sure the benefits of renewable energy projects stay with us, we can increase the resilience of regional communities in the face of a changing climate.
I believe we can win this campaign. Australians love renewable energy and already right across the country, from Yackandandah to Shoalhaven, local groups are developing community-owned renewable projects. We just need the government to come to the table.
Sign up and help power Australia with community owned renewable energy.
Here’s to helping more communities transition to a renewables future,
President, Southcoast Health & Sustainability Alliance (SHASA)