- South East NSW Councils Buddy Group (NSW)
Prior to their involvement in the Cities Power Partnership, the South-East NSW Councils had minimal interaction on energy and climate issues, despite dealing with very similar concerns. Since commencing the ‘South-East NSW CPP Buddies Group’ in early 2018, relevant Council staff now interact more freely with colleagues in the region and work on partnership projects for greater efficiency and economies of scale. Under this new arrangement, the Buddy program has leveraged more contact between the five regional Councils where there was previously no mechanism for such communication.
The work done by the Buddy partnership team was recognised at the Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation (ISJO) Solar Opportunities Forum in August 2018. The CPP Buddies program has also allowed other stakeholders to have more direct and streamlined communication with the group; such as the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage (OEH) and Local Government Procurement (LGP), who utilised this for its Solar Power Purchase Agreement program.
This Buddy Partnership has been profiled in a number of publications including Bega District News, the South Coast Register and various media releases. To ensure the Buddy group worked effectively, it first developed a baseline understanding of what each Council were expecting to both receive and contribute as a member of the group. Once each Council’s expectations were known, it allowed for the development of an effective engagement strategy that included:
- Streamlining of communication.
- Collaboration and sharing knowledge, skills and experience.
- Future connections and collaboration.
- Potential new interstate Buddies.
Since its inception in early 2018, the South-East NSW Buddies Group has met three times and discussed a number of possible joint projects including a South-East Electric Highway proposal, an ESC Emissions Reduction Plan and a WSC Revolving Energy Fund, amongst other things.