Article for Energy Magazine
The National Native Title Council, Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation and First Nations Clean Energy Network have co-hosted a First Nations Clean Energy Symposium in Melbourne.
The two-day conference brought Traditional Owners, government policymakers and First Nations leaders together to exchange ideas about Australia’s move towards renewable energy.
Community-owned renewable projects that deliver lower-cost, reliable energy were a major focus. These projects will bring secure job opportunities to First Nations communities and strengthen local economies.
The platform advocated for a national policy framework, sharing lessons from Government-First Nations relationships in Canada and New Zealand.
National Native Title Council Chairman, Kado Muir, said this approach would allow First Nations peoples to meaningfully contribute to Australia’s future renewable energy projects.
“We want to be active participants in the economy of renewable energy, as owners of projects, technology and power distribution into markets,” Mr Muir said.
Federal Climate Change and Energy Assistant Minister, Jenny McAllister, addressed attendees at the event, highlighting the crucial role First Nations communities will play in Australia’s clean energy future.
“The starting point of course, is that our clean energy future depends on First Nations communities, in a very tangible way,” Ms McAllister said.
“Earlier this month I was able to visit the Torres Strait and heard from First Nations people how difficult their reliance on diesel was becoming. Installation of microgrids, batteries and small scale solar generation promises cheaper, more plentiful and more reliable energy.
“Australia’s First Nations communities have so much to contribute to our energy transition – they also have so much to gain.”