Regional NSW “doing the heavy lifting” as goverments push for energy reform

23rd May 2023

The Country Mayors Association of NSW (CMA) is calling for State and Federal governments to ease the burden on Regional communities by implementing actions that will see a swift increase in the installations of rooftop solar in the greater Sydney metropolitan area.
As renewable energy projects sweep through the rural area’s, State and Federal Governments have not kept pace with this change. This is leading to massive land use and social conflict in Rural, Regional and Remote areas of our State.
Chairman of CMA Jamie Chaffey said that the closure of the Liddell coal fired power station brings to the forefront many critical concerns.
“Firstly the ongoing escalating cost of regional power to business and residences, the looming concerns over access to base load power in the near future and the viability of Regional communities that rely on employment from the extraction and power generation from Coal,” Mr Chaffey said
“Regional NSW is doing the heavy lifting with massive solar farms now dotted throughout our communities, wind farms installed or under development in the most controversial locations that are dividing our communities and pitting neighbour against neighbour.
“These renewable energy installations require the establishment of extremely expensive high voltage transmission towers to connect back into the grid, causing the escalation of the cost of power to Regional NSW.”
“The City and Regions are reliant on each other, the food and fibre along with the minerals and energy produced in Regional NSW is critical to the prosperity of the State; the majority supply of renewable energy should not be a burden on Regional NSW.”
Mayor of Armidale Regional Council, Sam Coupland said the closure of Liddell underscores the push toward renewable energy.
“When fully developed the New England Renewable Energy Zone will be the largest in Australia which brings with it significant challenges as well as some opportunities,” Mr Coupland said. “Of real concern to our region is that the renewable projects are being developed with scant adherence to the somewhat outdated Wind and Solar Guidelines.
“This is creating unnecessary yet significant social dislocation and community angst, all of which could have been minimised if the transition to renewable energy were better planned and the window to this transition not reduced by government policies that lead to the early closure of power stations such as Liddell.
“Once again it is our Regional communities who are doing the heavy lifting in terms of energy security with limited acknowledgement or support from the decision makers operating in the bunker of the Sydney Basin,” Mayor Coupland said.