First Nations Renewable Energy Alliance media release - 1 March 2017:
Formation of First Nations Renewable Energy Alliance, a pioneer moment at Community Energy Congress
Over 25 First Nations delegates from around Australia attended the Community Energy Congress in Melbourne on the 27th and 28th of February, and an outcome of forming an inaugural First Nations Renewable Energy Alliance was achieved.
The First Nations delegates who attended were very excited to gain information about the rise of renewable energy sources in Australia and how First Nations and their People’s can spearhead projects in this new and exciting era of energy generation.
Members of the following Nations that were present; Euahlyia Nation Goodooga NSW, Ngalia Nation Leonora WA, Yidinji, Mbarbarum & Njadon Nations Cairns QLD, Nyemba Nation Brewarrina NSW, Wongathar Nation Kalgoorlie WA, Dadaway Nation Kimberley WA, Yanyuwa & Garrawa Boorooloola NT, Murriwarri Nation Weilmoringle NSW, Noognar Nation Perth WA, Tjapawrung, Brabrooloong & Krauatungulung Clans Vic.
The First Nations delegates presented their stories and held many discussions throughout the two days to workshop issues around the delivery of renewable energy to First Nations communities throughout the country and were very concerned about tactics that have been employed by some of the big energy providers shutting renewable energy out of communities. The members who attended felt that there should be the formation of a First Nations Renewable Energy Alliance to lobby Government, to partner with private enterprise and other community energy alliances to support First Nations communities across Australia to transition to renewable energy. Breaking the cycle poverty, reliance on dirty fossil fuels and reducing impact of large power bills that are often as much as $5,000 per quarter in some remote communities.
The Alliance established a Steering Committee of seven First Nations members to progress actions and relationships with experts and other community energy organisations throughout Australia and across the world. The First Nations members present were extremely impressed with the way that renewable energy has been received by other First Nations such as the Tsu’ke Nation and Lubicon Cree in Canada who were represented by Chief Gordon Planes and Melina Laboucon-Massimo who have offered to build further relationships with First Nations people through this Alliance. Soren Hermansen from Samso Island, Denmark was a key part of the discussions over the two days around self-determination and self-governance for First Nations people, also committing supporting to furthering global partnerships.
The Committee would like to thank the following for their support; The Valley Centre for co-ordation; 360.org Energy group who has pledged $10,000 and the use of their office space and other resources for the development and inauguration of the First Nations Renewable Energy Alliance; Getup! for their support and Alternative Technology Association and Community Power Agency who have been instrumental in the process of the First Nations gathering at the Congress.