$40M is available to provide energy efficiency education and renewable energy systems to remote indigenous communities.
Remote Indigenous Energy Program is an important component of the Government’s plan for a clean energy future and a central element of the Government’s commitment to encourage energy efficiency.
Remote Indigenous Energy Program supports the Government’s key priority of Closing the Gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by building on investments in services in remote Indigenous housing and increasing opportunities for economic participation and employment.
Remote Indigenous Energy Program will deliver capital works, repairs and maintenance and implement strategies for supporting local capacity building via training, education and employment.
Remote Indigenous Energy Program will primarily provide reliable 24-hour power in up to 50 smaller remote Indigenous communities across Australia through the installation of fit-for-purpose renewable energy systems. RIEP will also provide energy efficiency education and training in basic system maintenance to community members and repairs and maintenance to existing systems.
All services delivered under Remote Indigenous Energy Program will provide the opportunity for the employment of Indigenous Australians.
Remote Indigenous Energy Program will provide fit-for-purpose renewable energy systems in up to 50 smaller remote Indigenous communities, energy efficiency education, training in basic system maintenance and repairs and maintenance to selected existing systems.
As part of the Clean Energy Future package, the Australian Government has maintained its commitment to remote renewable energy through the $40m four-year Remote Indigenous Energy Program (RIEP), which will be administered by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).
Communities selected to receive services through the Remote Indigenous Energy Program will be smaller remote Indigenous communities that:
- are dependent on diesel generators for power (off-grid);
- have an ongoing permanent population;
- have a demonstrated social or economic need for reliable power such as employment or education; and
- have a capacity to assist in basic maintenance.
The following entity types are eligible to apply for funding under the Remote Indigenous Energy Program:
- Incorporated Associations (incorporated under State/Territory legislation, commonly have ‘Association’ or ‘Incorporated’ or ‘Inc.’ in their legal name);
- Incorporated Cooperatives (also incorporated under State/Territory legislation, commonly have ‘Cooperative’ in their legal name);
- Companies (incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001 – may be not-for-profit or for-profit proprietary company [limited by shares or by guarantee] or public companies);
- Aboriginal Corporations (incorporated under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2006);
- Organisations established through a specific piece of Commonwealth or State/Territory legislation (many public benevolent institutions, churches, universities, unions etc.);
- Partnerships (incl. consortiums) ;
- State and Territory Governments; and
- Local Governments.
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, has announced remote Indigenous communities in the Kimberley region would benefit from a $40 million Australian Government program designed to help improve energy efficiency.
The Remote Indigenous Energy Program is part of the Clean Energy Future package and will help provide reliable, 24-hour power in up to 50 remote Indigenous communities across Australia.
“This program is delivering renewable energy generation systems, such as solar panels and wind turbines, in remote Indigenous communities,” Ms Macklin said.
“We want to help small remote Indigenous communities that still depend on diesel generators for a majority of their power supply to help reduce their costs and make their power supply more efficient and reliable.”
In the Kimberley, the Government will now work closely with the communities of Budgarjook, Jarlmadangah Burru, La Djardarr Bay, and Wijilawarrim to determine their needs and suitability.
Labor Senator for Western Australia, Louise Pratt these communities will undergo technical assessments before being provided with renewable energy systems that suit their needs.
“Local people will have the opportunity to be trained and employed to assist in building the systems and in maintaining them in the long term,” Senator Pratt said.
“The program will also help provide communities with a more reliable power supply.”
The Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus, said the program is an important component of the Government’s plan for a clean energy future.
“A clean energy future will help us maintain a competitive economy, protect our environment and do the right thing for our children and grandchildren,” Mr Dreyfus said.
“This program will not only help us encourage energy efficiency, but will help close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage by creating job opportunities and improving the health of people in remote communities by ensuring they have a reliable power supply to keep food healthy and fresh for longer.”
Labor Senator for Western Australia, Glenn Sterle said the Remote Indigenous Energy Program builds on the Bushlight program, which has provided 148 renewable energy systems to 130 remote Indigenous communities since 2002.
“Under the Remote Indigenous Energy Program we will continue to maintain renewable energy systems previously maintained by the Bushlight program, including 40 systems that provide power to 36 communities in the Kimberley.”