Clean Energy Programs for Indigenous Australians
Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Greg Combet and Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin today announced a range of programs to assist Indigenous Australians and communities to participate in Australia’s move to a clean energy future.
The Government is committed to supporting Indigenous people make the adjustment to a clean energy future.
In addition to household assistance and tax cuts, a new $40 million Remote Indigenous Energy Program will help remote Indigenous communities access clean, affordable and reliable 24-hour power supplies.
The program will help Indigenous Australians to manage their energy efficiently and will build on the success of the former Renewable Remote Power Generation Program by providing financial support to install renewable energy generation systems such as solar panels and wind turbines in around 50 remote Indigenous communities.
Many of these remote communities currently rely on diesel generators for their power supplies.
It will also include training in system maintenance and the provision of energy efficiency information to encourage ongoing energy management.
Additional support will be provided to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to participate in the Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative, through the $22 million Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund.
Indigenous Australians manage around 20 per cent of Australia’s land mass, drawing on traditional knowledge of the land and its responses to fire, flooding and drought.
Funding will also be provided for specialists to work with Indigenous communities on carbon farming projects. There will also be funding for research and reporting tools for Carbon Farming Initiative methodologies that will create real and lasting opportunities for Indigenous Australians.
Indigenous Australians will also benefit significantly from the substantial investment that the Government is putting into land sector research, abatement and biodiversity totalling 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