The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of a $100 million Community Energy Upgrades Fund for local governments.
Announced by Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, at the Australian Council of Local Government (ACLG) Forum in Canberra held on 16 June, the new fund has been developed to enable local government to deliver energy upgrades and bill savings for community facilities like local pools, sporting clubs and community centres.
ALGA President, Councillor Linda Scott, said the energy efficiency fund is a major win for local governments who have been long-term leaders and champions for climate action.
“Australia’s 537 local governments have been leading climate action and reducing their carbon footprints for decades,” Cr Scott said.
“Together, local governments have advocated for funding for programs we know reduce emissions, boost our capacity to reduce emissions and share council innovations. We are thrilled the Government has listened to ALGA, and is delivering this new Community Energy Upgrades Fund.
“By investing in local clean energy solutions like upgrading public sporting, community and cultural facilities, local governments can help deliver cleaner energy solutions and save our communities money.”
A recent report Australian Local Government Climate Review 2021, by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and partners, showed around three-quarters of Australian councils have set, or are in the process of, developing community emissions reduction targets, with a commitment that anything other than a net-zero target is not acceptable from a climate risk perspective.
Cr Scott said local government looked forward to working with the government to roll-out the new program to ensure funding is delivered to where it’s most needed.
“As the sphere of government closest to the community, local governments are critical to empowering communities and creating a sustainable, prosperous future for Australia – as well as helping the Government achieve its target of net zero emissions by 2050,” Cr Scott said.
“Investing in local clean energy solutions will create new jobs, deliver cheaper energy and better housing while increasing our resilience to climate change.”
Featured image: At the launch of the new Community Energy Upgrades Fund at Queanbeyan Pool. From left to right; Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy Senator Jenny Mcallister, ALGA President Linda Scott, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council Mayor Kenrick Winchester, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen, Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories Kristy McBain and Rebecca Ryan from Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council. Image courtesy of ALGA.