Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Remote Kimberley communities to benefit from improved energy efficiency

Joint Media Release with:

    Cabinet Secretary
    Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

    Senator for Western Australia

    Senator for Western Australia

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, today announced remote Indigenous communities in the Kimberley region would benefit from a $40 million Australian Government program designed to help improve energy efficiency.

The Remote Indigenous Energy Program is part of the Clean Energy Future package and will help provide reliable, 24-hour power in up to 50 remote Indigenous communities across Australia.

“This program is delivering renewable energy generation systems, such as solar panels and wind turbines, in remote Indigenous communities,” Ms Macklin said.

“We want to help small remote Indigenous communities that still depend on diesel generators for a majority of their power supply to help reduce their costs and make their power supply more efficient and reliable.”

In the Kimberley, the Government will now work closely with the communities of Budgarjook, Jarlmadangah Burru, La Djardarr Bay, and Wijilawarrim to determine their needs and suitability.

Labor Senator for Western Australia, Louise Pratt these communities will undergo technical assessments before being provided with renewable energy systems that suit their needs.

“Local people will have the opportunity to be trained and employed to assist in building the systems and in maintaining them in the long term,” Senator Pratt said.

“The program will also help provide communities with a more reliable power supply.”

The Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus, said the program is an important component of the Government’s plan for a clean energy future.

“A clean energy future will help us maintain a competitive economy, protect our environment and do the right thing for our children and grandchildren,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“This program will not only help us encourage energy efficiency, but will help close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage by creating job opportunities and improving the health of people in remote communities by ensuring they have a reliable power supply to keep food healthy and fresh for longer.”

Labor Senator for Western Australia, Glenn Sterle said the Remote Indigenous Energy Program builds on the Bushlight program, which has provided 148 renewable energy systems to 130 remote Indigenous communities since 2002.

“Under the Remote Indigenous Energy Program we will continue to maintain renewable energy systems previously maintained by the Bushlight program, including 40 systems that provide power to 36 communities in the Kimberley.”