LOCAL GOVERNMENT leaders flock to Port Augusta, Australia’s renewable capital, to see first-hand the coal to clean energy transformation underway as part of the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership program.

Port Augusta has just marked three years since its last coal power station closed down. Now, this pioneer regional city is thriving on renewable energy and 14 councils from all around Australia have travelled to South Australia to witness this world-leading renewable revolution and ramp up clean energy in their own cities and towns.

Former South Australian leader and renewable energy advocate, Jay Weatherill, met with the local government leaders in Port Augusta to underscore how supportive state policy and planning rules mobilised local governments and business to champion Australia’s renewable energy and storage transformation.

“Our strong state policy is what has driven South Australia’s renewable energy boom,” he said.

“We have 14 renewable energy and storage projects under construction or due to start soon, supporting more than 2,000 jobs. South Australia generates more wind and solar energy than any other state, accounting for more than 50% of generated power and we are a leader in rooftop solar – and that’s because local and state governments, industry and community worked together to get us there.”

Former Port Augusta Mayor, Sam Johnson, a key player in the region’s energy revolution, said that strong local leadership, with support from state government, attracted new jobs and businesses to the area the state’s last coal-fired power stations closure.

“Just three years on, there are at least eight renewable energy projects in various stages of development in the Port Augusta and Whyalla region, supporting more than 850 jobs and approximately $1.5 billion in investment. This has seen our city thrive on cleaner power, less pollution and lower energy prices.”

“The rebirth of our former coal town shows exactly what investment in renewables can do for transitioning regional towns. It’s fantastic to see the Cities Power Partnership bring councils from around Australia to inspire a renewables boom in their own cities and towns and put more clean energy projects on the ground.”

Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie reinforced that local and regional clean energy projects form a crucial part of Australia’s climate solution – but they need supportive state and federal policy to surge forward.

“Working together, local councils can be far more than the sum of their parts when it comes to tackling climate change and providing sustainable solutions for their communities,” she said.

“Following Port Augusta’s lead and coupled with supportive state policy, towns and cities around Australia can transform Australia’s energy landscape.”

This evening (Thursday 2 May) at the Lea Memorial Theatre, Port Augusta locals and visiting local government leaders will hear from Jay Weatherill, Sam Johnson, Amanda McKenzie and climate and energy experts explore what South Australia and Port Augusta’s future will look like with continued investment in renewables.

COUNCILS ATTENDING
South Australia
Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Alexandrina, South Australia
Mount Barker, South Australia
Onkaparinga, South Australia
Victor Harbor, South Australia

New South Wales
Blue Mountains, New South Wales
Central Coast, New South Wales
Inner West, New South Wales
Ku-Ring-Gai, New South Wales
Parramatta, New South Wales
Shoalhaven, New South Wales

Victoria
Monash, Victoria

Western Australia
Canning, Western Australia

Tasmania
Brighton Council, Tasmania

Community Energy Event details
Thursday 2 May, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Lea Memorial Theatre, Port Augusta
Speakers:
-Jay Weatherill, Former Labor South Australian premier
-Sam Johnson, Former Mayor, Port Augusta
-Amanda McKenzie, CEO, Climate Council
-Professor Lesley Hughes, ecologist and climate scientist
-Professor Andrew Stock, emerging energy technologies and renewables expert

Register here: http://bit.ly/2UJiHgv

For more information please contact the Cities Power Partnership media team on 0487 003 872 or email [email protected]

  ENDS

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