Landmark bill tabled in parliament

People speaking at a press conference
Matthew Charles-Jones speaks at the press conference after the tabling of the Australian Local Power Agency Bill on 22 February.
Photo: David Foote, Auspic

TRY was in Australia’s capital on Monday when our independent member for Indi, Dr Helen Haines MP, tabled a new bill to to enact The Local Power Plan. The Plan was the result of over 12 months work of Helen’s office and an expert panel of community organisations, of which TRY was a member, along with almost 100 submissions from around Australia.

With the current boom in small residential rooftop installations and large-scale commercial projects, the bill aims to fill a gap in Australia’s renewable energy landscape by amplifying the work of community-energy groups, so that the benefits of renewable energy can flow directly into rural and regional communities. It encourages community groups to build knowledge, stimulates mid-scale renewable projects and facilitates community investment in large-scale projects.

logo for The Local Power Plan

The bill allows communities to decide their own course and do what best suits their community’s context. With TRY’s foundation of three microgrids, a 200-property minigrid, and installation of a 274 kWh community retail battery with Indigo Power, the mid-scale energy storage and generation projects that are our next step to 100% renewables are exactly what the Local Power Plan is aimed at.

TRY is thrilled to be a part of developing the bill and will continue working towards taking advantage of our unparalleled renewable resources, bringing the benefits, economic opportunities, reliability in energy supply and increased resilience in times of extremes, back to the people in our community.

The bill has now been commended to the House of Representatives for debate and the community groups that participated in its development, along with many others, look forward to seeing the parliament take on board a policy that will give regional Australia a once-in-a-century chance to reinvigorate itself.

The significant benefits of the The Local Power Plan have also been taken up by Farmers for Climate Action and the Community Power Agency in their Repower our Communities campaign. Keep an eye out for it and support it where you can!

Two MPs and representatives from community groups standing behind them
Dr Helen Haines MP and Zali Steggall MP stand in front of community group representatives in the Mural Hall at Parliament House on Monday. The group participated in drafting the Local Power Plan with Helen Haines office last year. Photo: David Foote, Auspic.

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