The $1.21 million comes as part of the Queensland Government’s Local Council Energy Partnership (LCEP) program, which will support councils in their renewable energy projects. 

The program is intended to connect councils and Regional Organisations of Councils (ROCs) with planning experts to ensure they can get the best results from renewable energy developments and provide a coordinated approach for local communities.

Local Government Association of Queensland President, Mark Jamieson, said that councils have been loud and clear – Queensland’s renewable energy transformation needs to come as a benefit to local communities, not a detriment.

“This pilot scheme will help put councils front and centre to make sure communities gain the full opportunities offered by the renewables boom in Queensland, rather than being left to pick up the tab for it,” Mr Jamieson said. 

“Funding from the State Government will help give councils resources they need to help make sure renewables developments deliver what their communities want and need.”

Queensland Minister for Energy, Mick de Brenni, said that the funding comes as some councils experience a surge in development applications and the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan lays out a target of 80 per cent renewable energy by 2035.

“The State Government recognises the critical role of local governments as representatives of grassroots regional communities where the clean energy transition offers huge opportunities for continued prosperity,” Mr de Brenni said.

“We’re committed to putting locals at the forefront of the clean energy transition, ensuring we give them a voice, real choices and deliver real benefits that extend beyond cleaner, cheaper energy.

“By partnering with the Local Government Association of Queensland, we are able to help local councils navigate the development process to bring these projects online in a way that locks in local benefits.

“This is global leading practice and forms one component of the significant suite of measures already underway to ensure local priorities are at the heart of this transition, including our REZ Readiness Planning, Landholder Toolkit and Community Benefits Packages.

“Every renewable energy project presents a new opportunity for local communities to power ahead thanks to cleaner, cheaper power, more jobs in more industries and the additional investment and economic growth these projects bring.” 

Image: Dorothy Chiron/shutterstock.com

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