Moyne dreams big about joint community fund
Community benefit schemes by wind farms across Moyne Shire could grow to $700K each year
A joint fund would allow for bigger, more strategic projects and leveraged funding across Moyne.
“We can’t be buying lawn mowers for 30 years,” says former Moyne Shire Councillor Colin Ryan of the collection of local grant programs set up by wind farms across the region.
In 2019, Moyne Shire Council passed a motion put forward by then Cr RYAN to start a strategic program to capture all the community benefit schemes by wind farms across the region.
“If we pool the funds, we can talk about programs that will actually make a difference.
“If these programs are going to run for the next few decades, we need to think more strategically about how that funding can be used to benefit people in Moyne.”
RE-Alliance Victorian Coordinator Tony Goodfellow is tasked with supporting the Moyne region to get the fund up and running.
“Over the life of this project, we’re talking at least twenty million dollars in total wind farm community benefits. This is a chance for Moyne residents to dream big and think about what will really make a difference in their lives.
“It’s common practice for wind farms to start a fund that allows them to share their annual profits with locals by supporting community groups, such as the CFA, environmental groups or playgroups to deliver projects locals need
“Pooling these funding streams into a joint program will allow local communities to target programs and assets that will leave a legacy for decades to come.
Over the next quarter, RE-Alliance will be kicking off the first round of community consultation on the fund.
“The next step is to lock in decision-making structures for the fund that are fair and transparent so everyone can get behind it.“
"This is a template for all renewable energy zones"
“This is one of the most important ways that the renewables boom can have a positive impact on local communities” says RE-Alliance National Director Andrew Bray.
“It demonstrates that wind and solar developers have an appetite to be involved at the local level, to make meaningful differences in the life of the towns and regional centres in which they operate.
“As we roll out and develop the renewable energy zone model, it’s critical that we build social licence in local communities. It’s a lot of change for these communities and they are rightly concerned about what it all means for them.
“Now is the time for governments and developers to be looking at these models if they are serious about making sure the renewable energy transformation is a winner for regional Australia.”