Monday, 22 February 2021. Farmers are at Parliament House in Canberra this morning calling on the government to use clean, renewable energy to revitalise regional Australia.
Their visit coincides with the introduction of the Australian Local Power Agency Bill into Parliament.
Farmers for Climate Action chair Charlie Prell, a NSW sheep farmer who hosts wind turbines on his property, said: “The renewable energy transformation currently underway is a once-in-a-century opportunity to revitalise regional Australia. We must have a plan that ensures the roll-out creates local jobs, increases the autonomy of the regions, lowers electricity costs and leads to the creation of a new and lucrative export industry.
“The Local Power Plan outlines a clear strategy for doing this. It ensures that regional communities will have buy-in, some control, and a reasonable level of ownership of the new generation infrastructure.”
Narromine cotton and wheat farmer and founder of the National Renewables in Agriculture Conference and Expo Karin Stark said: “On our farm in the Central West, the use of 500kW of solar power for pumping has significantly reduced our costs while saving 500 tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere every year.
“This type of development is future proofing our farm and for landholders able to host or part own, large scale renewable energy projects, or for communities able to invest in local power, this only adds to diversifying incomes and building resilience.
“When local communities become active participants in the transformation and invest in renewable energy projects or build and own their own power, it means profits stay within the community.”
Farmers for Climate Action is a movement of more than 5000 farmers and agricultural leaders working to ensure that farmers, who are on the frontlines of climate change, are part of its solution.