Energy usage underpins and cuts across almost all activities and life in South Gippsland. The decarbonisation of industries, towns, communities and transport is central to both dealing with the climate emergency and providing economic opportunities for South Gippsland.
At present, the energy sector directly contributes $131m, or 4% of the local economy. The development of renewable energy projects, whether via private, public or community funding, has the potential to greatly increase that contribution. Renewable energy, dispersed across different forms and locations, has the potential to employ many more people locally, and energy efficiency programs that target our built infrastructure can also be an important source of local work.
Projects such as the Star of the South offshore wind farm provide the opportunity for cheap energy at scale, which can power new, low-carbon industries such as bio-fertilisers, hydrogen gas production, intensive food production and ongoing desalination options for water security.
Opportunities for energy storage to stabilize the energy grid would provide further opportunities for energy infrastructure jobs and markets for locally produced energy. Whilst the land required for new projects and distributions lines provide an opportunity for nature parks and trails for common use, as well as habitat creation and rewilding.
An initial task could be a local analysis of the State Government’s energy roadmap for Gippsland and the priortisation of projects for South Gippsland.
Southern Gippsland spans Bunurong and Gunai-Kurnai country. We acknowledge that this land is unceded and pay respects to Elders past, present and emerging. A just transition is one that allows for First Nations sovereignty.
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