Wellington Shire Council is excited to be progressing renewable energy priorities, continuing to demonstrate its commitment to renewable and new energy transition throughout Wellington Shire and broader Gippsland.
A key part of this commitment comes as Council announces Kirsten Power as its new Business Facilitation and Leveraging Officer, ensuring businesses are well-placed to get the most out of $40 billion in planned renewable energy investment across the region. This new position is part of a coordinated plan responding to new energy, and considers transmission infrastructure, economic and community benefits, community engagement, local construction and jobs, training and skills, regional collaboration, and information sharing across government.
In 2021, the Wellington community identified climate change as their number one Council Plan priority, and Council has wasted no time supporting renewable energy investment and transition. While supportive, Council acknowledges that there are diverse views about the impacts of renewable energy throughout the local community and is working closely with businesses and government to ensure planned renewable investment in Gippsland provides significant legacy benefits to Wellington communities.
Council continues to advocate to the Victorian Government via VicGrid, for well-planned and coordinated transmission outcomes. Council’s position supports community sentiment that underground is preferrable, and above-ground or a mixture of both may be accepted when necessary. This will avoid a “spaghetti effect” of transmission and minimise impact on landowners, while also acknowledging that the responsibility for ensuring responsible transmission infrastructure remains with the state government and not Council.
Council seeks to ensure the economic potential of renewable energy investment and continues to advocate for employment and supply-chain inclusion for businesses across the Shire. Businesses of all sizes are encouraged to think about the role that they could play in energy transition, and to contact Kirsten Power, Council’s Business Facilitation and Leveraging Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate their interest.
Wellington Shire Council remains active in the facilitation of investment from businesses that align with its focus on renewable industries, including already established companies including, Elecsome in Kilmany - building Australia’s first solar panel upcycling service, and H2X - establishing a facility to convert traditional fossil fuel-based vehicles to hydrogen-power.
Wellington Shire Council supports the role of local ports at Barry Beach and Port Anthony for the construction, operation and maintenance phases of new energy transition projects in Gippsland.
To take advantage of the role that Wellington Shire will play in new energy transition, Council believes that Wellington-based training and education opportunities are vital, and will collaborate regionally with other Local Government authorities and the state government to support advocacy priorities.
Council will also encourage state and federal government bodies, along with renewable energy proponents to engage effectively with the Wellington Shire community and Traditional Owners to inform final project proposals and investment decisions. Community consultation is strongly encouraged during the planning and implementation process for energy transition, especially within communities directly impacted by transitioning industries.
Wellington Shire Council is committed to achieving the best long-term outcomes for the Wellington Shire community, more detail about Council’s key priorities can be found at www.wellington.vic.gov.au/renewableplanning.