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Central-West Orana REZ Community Network

Join the Renewable Energy Zone Community Network - make a difference in your region

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The Central West Orana region is on the cusp of huge transformation and opportunity with the delivery of the state’s first Renewable Energy Zone (REZ). More on the Central-West Orana REZ here.

You and/or your organisation, small business or group are invited to be part of a first ever locally driven REZ Community Network (‘the Network’). The purpose of the Network is to work together on the future aspirations and ambitions for the region, making the most of opportunities that come with the announcement of the Central-West Orana REZ.

The first project of the REZ Community Network will be to put together a plan that identifies what’s important for our region and what opportunities would create the most meaningful and long lasting social and environmental benefits. Some of the local benefits the Network could advocate for are outlined in the RE-Alliance Community Benefits Handbook.

Once developed with as wide a section of the Central-West Orana region community as possible, the plan would be used as an advocacy tool for state and local governments, as well as developers who are making decisions now that will impact our region for the next few decades. 

Sections of the plan could include;

  • A vision for our region
  • Local values and principles
  • Identification of projects and legacy outcomes 
  • Existing plans and strategies
  • Roadmap of how to get there
  • Evaluation and reporting

Why join the Community Network?

Local communities themselves will, if they choose, play a massive role in determining what REZs will look like and what local benefits they will deliver. The next couple of years will be critical for REZ communities in articulating what they would each like to see come out of the influx of renewable energy investment in their region.

By working together, we can provide a stronger, powerful and cohesive voice about what our region needs and what we want out of the REZ investments. Outcomes could cover social, environmental and business outcomes.

Joining the Community Network means you will be added to a Facebook private group/Whatsapp group and email group so we can collaborate together and keep each other informed about opportunities for action. 

Next steps..

We are seeking feedback on the network concept between now and early December and hope to have ten organisations join the Network by the end of the year. We are commencing our first Community Plan workshop on Thursday the 9th of February 2022. 

Who should join the Network?

We want the Central-West Orana REZ Community Network to represent as broad a section of the population as possible. 

  • First Nations groups
  • Local volunteer-based groups such as landcare or CWA
  • Local small business owners
  • Local health or welfare providers
  • Farmers & landholders
  • Anyone who lives in the region and wants to see renewable developments benefit the local community

Time commitment

We anticipate that the workshops will be three hours in length. We plan to run multiple workshops across the Central West Orana region to ensure people have the opportunity to attend somewhere that is convenient for them. Your organisation can choose to attend just one workshop, or all of them. If you have people located across the region, it may be beneficial to have representatives of your organisation attend multiple workshops as they will be locally grounded.

Depending on your interest and capacity, we will also ask you to assist with an iterative editing process for the final document that will comprise the Community Plan, to be based on the outcomes and discussions held in the workshops. 

Who are RE-Alliance?

RE-Alliance is a community-based organisation working to secure  an energy transformation that delivers sustainable prosperity for regional Australia. We do this by starting with the needs and concerns of local residents, facilitating collaboration across the industry to achieve social outcomes and advocating for improved government policy to achieve regional benefits.

We are uniquely situated with strong relationships with both industry and EnergyCo, who trust that our recommendations and ideas come from a place of grounded community engagement, extensive research and a commitment to the renewable energy transformation. Through enacting a collaborative process to create a CWO REZ community plan, both RE-Alliance and the local community will be in an even stronger position from which to advocate for certain benefits and engagement outcomes to both government and industry. 

What is a REZ?

REZs will be the power stations of the future. Distributed over a region, solar, wind, pumped hydro and battery projects will collectively provide a steady supply of clean power that can be delivered to the National Electricity Market via high voltage transmission lines. Using existing lines as much as possible and then building new lines to projects concentrated in REZs is the most efficient and cost effective way to bring this clean power online.

Questions?

We want to hear your questions and thoughts about what the Community Network could achieve. Get in touch with Alana West at [email protected]

Send us an expression of interest in the REZ community network

Join our email list