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Thursday, 4 July 2019
Page: 339


Ms SHARKIE (Mayo) (13:42): It's quite clear that, across Australia, business and local communities are doing the heavy lifting when it comes to energy transition. The facts have been evident in my own electorate, with local groups and councils leading the way when it comes to taking action on climate change. They've worked together to develop a climate change adaption plan, because current modelling says that Mayo is only going to get hotter and drier. Just this month in my community we held two community energy forums to outline a proposal to set up a regional community energy foundation.

One in two households in Mayo has rooftop solar, one of the highest rates in the nation. But not everyone can get involved. The community energy foundation is a model that involves local stakeholders bulk-buying retail renewable energy and then all of us sharing the benefit. There are more than 100 community energy projects established across Australia. This project in Mayo has the potential to reduce power prices and transition to renewable energy while also establishing a trust fund to pay for future initiatives.

This is about communities taking back the power, so I was incredibly proud to be invited to speak at both of the forums, and I will be doing my best in this place to advocate to government to do more in this space, because funding is much needed right across the nation.