Councils converge in Uralla for forum on renewable energy future

Published on 10 May 2021


Councils converge in Uralla for forum on renewable energy future

Forty representatives from five New England/North West Councils met in Uralla on Friday for a Joint Council Forum on the New England Renewable Energy Zone.

Councillors and Council Staff from Armidale, Glen Innes Severn, Tamworth, Uralla and Walcha were joined by a panel of experts from NSW Government planning and energy departments along with UNE SMART Region Incubator Director Dr Lou Conway and president of ZNET Uralla, Dr Sandra Eady.

“The forum has been a valuable opportunity to work collaboratively with Staff and Councillors from our neighbouring Councils. To listen and learn from each other, to benefit from a connected, collaborative approach,” said Uralla Shire Council Mayor, Michael Pearce.

“We’ve also had some great input from guest speakers into the kind of opportunities that these large scale developments can provide in terms of economic developments for local communities when there is sufficient planning and capacity building in place,” Mayor Pearce said.

Glen Innes Severn Council representatives gave a valuable presentation on their experience of large scale Wind Farm developments, with the region being home to five Wind Farms either operational or in planning stages. 

“The experience of neighbouring councils, such as Glen Innes Severn, can assist other councils in being better prepared to manage changes in their regions brought about by large scale development – both the pros and cons,” said Kate Jessep, Uralla Shire General Manager.

In the afternoon, staff from Tamworth Council ran an interactive workshop on Wind Energy – its challenges and opportunities for council and communities – and Armidale Regional Council staff facilitated a workshop on Solar Energy.

“From these sessions we’ve collated a range of questions and suggestions that we can take with us to the New England REZ Reference Group, which met for the first time last month,” said Ms Jessep.

“The aim is to have the considerations of councils and the communities they represent at the forefront as the NSW Government establishes the New England Renewable Energy Zone.”   


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