Monday, 22 February 2021. Riverina farmer Gemma Meier joined a farmer delegation at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to call on the government to use clean, renewable energy to revitalise regional Australia.
The visit coincides with the introduction of the Australian local Power Agency Bill into Parliament.
Gemma, who runs a mixed grazing and dryland cropping farm east of Narrandera, said: “We have a 10kw domestic system but we’re also going to be the site of the Haystack Solar Garden. It’s the first large scale solar garden being built in Australia it enables people locked out of rooftop solar to purchase a plot in a solar garden off site and have the benefits of being able to purchase through a common retailer.”
The Haystacks Solar Garden will be around 1.5MW, generating around 3.7G of community owned energy per year.
“I’m here because this is just a really important bill, with such broad opportunity for small and large investment in the renewable sector. My local community is perfectly positioned for medium scale, community-owned renewable energy developments. These would allow us to do our bit towards climate change, as well as creating jobs and wealth for the region.”
Also at Parliament House, 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.”
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.