A clean energy future for remote Indigenous communities
Remote Indigenous communities will be able to access clean, affordable and reliable 24-hour power supplies through a $40 million investment, part of the Australian Government’s Clean Energy Future reforms to take action on climate change.
In Alice Springs today, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin visited the Centre for Appropriate Technology to inspect solar technology, which can help remote Indigenous communities reduce their reliance on diesel fuel.
The Australian Government’s new Remote Indigenous Energy Program will provide financial support to communities to install renewable energy generation systems like solar panels and wind turbines.
About 50 remote Indigenous communities will receive assistance to help manage their energy more efficiently and contribute to improvements in health, education and long-term economic viability.
Communities will be identified based on need and remoteness. The primary target will be remote Indigenous communities that still rely on diesel generators for their power supply. Systems will be installed by providers selected through an open tender process.
The Remote Indigenous Energy Program builds on the success of previous programs such as Bushlight. Since 2002 the Australian Government has provided about $57 million to the Bushlight program, delivered by the Centre for Appropriate Technology to install more than 140 renewable energy systems in more than 120 remote Indigenous communities. Bushlight also provides maintenance services and community training supporting renewable energy systems in a further 100 communities.
The Centre for Appropriate Technology is also set to receive $2.5 million through the Aboriginals Benefit Account for the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems in Barrkira, Gamarra-Guyurra, Bulunkaduru, Mapuru, Thakaperte and Ileparratye in Central Australia.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders will also be able to participate in the Government’s $22 million Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund, which will see specialists working with Indigenous communities on carbon farming projects to create real and lasting opportunities for Indigenous Australians.
In addition, Indigenous Australians will benefit significantly from the Government’s substantial investment in land sector research, abatement and biodiversity, totaling around $1 billion over the first four years.
Further information in relation to the Government’s clean energy future and carbon price announcement is available at www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au