Monday, 13 July 2020.
TENTERFIELD Shire hopefully will share in the benefits of an anticipated jobs and investment bonanza following the NSW Government’s creation of a new Renewable Energy Zone (REZ), according to State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin.
The NSW Government last week unveiled plans for a New England REZ, including Tenterfield Shire, which aims to attract 8000 megawatts of generation capacity, almost the size of the State’s fleet of coal-fired power plants.
In welcoming the move, Ms Saffin said: “I would hope that the people of Tenterfield Shire really benefit, not only from some of the new jobs created but through cheaper power prices over the longer term.”
Ms Saffin said that former Labor governments at State and Federal level had delivered increased investment in renewable energy and in opposition remained committed to these policy settings.
She said she welcomed what appeared to be the weakening of the Liberal-Nationals Coalition’s long-held resistance to embracing a renewable energy future in rural and regional New South Wales. “This is where future jobs are for our country kids,” Ms Saffin said.
“What we’ve had in the past from the Coalition is a stop-start approach to this issue and it is encouraging that this half-heartedness may be about to change.
“I note where the NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro told The Sydney Morning Herald that the New England REZ could attract up to $12.7 billion in investment, support 2000 construction jobs and a further 1300 ongoing jobs in new wind and solar farms.
“NSW Energy Minister Kean also estimates that the New England REZ will be able to power 3.5 million homes. Matt Kean says the Government plans to spend $79 million to ramp up new grid connections in the New England region.
“If this REZ is rolled out well over the coming years, it has the potential to future proof our regions as we move away from coal-fired power stations.”
Ms Saffin said in her inaugural speech last March, she outlined her Lismore Electorate Renewal Plan to bring new energy and new priorities to our communities, to ensure they are economically and environmentally sustainable to maintain and enhance our quality of life.
“My plan advocates accelerating the transition to renewables, the repair of our rivers, securing our water and taking real action on Climate Change, and I welcome the rollout of Renewable Energy Zones as a move in the right direction,” Ms Saffin said.
Further information on the NSW Renewable Energy Zones is available at https:energy.nsw.gov.au/renewables/renewable-energy-zones