There is a big divide between the attempts to tackle climate change of the federal government and people in Indi.
The proposed National Energy Guarantee will be discussed by federal and state politicians at the COAG energy council this week, which includes a goal to reduce emissions by 26 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.
Meanwhile, crowds of between 60 and 100 people have been turning up to a community energy roadshow in the North East over the past few days, inspired by a plan to generate and share energy without relying on the electricity grid.
Community Power Energy’s Nicky Ison raised the issue of the NEG at the Wangaratta forum.
“Federal politics around energy gets me down a lot,” she said.
“The thing about community energy is people are just getting and doing it, it doesn’t matter what the federal politics are. It’s happening here and now.”
A survey of 998 people conducted by Indi MP Cathy McGowan after the federal budget found it was the most important issue for 14.7 per cent, the second most listed issue after tax, and 75.8 per cent of respondents listed renewable energy as “very important”.
About 25 per cent of Indi dwellings have solar, compared to the national average of 20.4 per cent.
Most of the survey respondents supported renewable energy; one person said “solar and battery storage should be compulsory with every new house build”.
Others did not agree, with one saying “renewables are too unreliable and expensive”.
The issue ranked higher in the survey than issues such as health and aged care, despite worries about the lack of hospital funding, and education and training.
Just 6.2 per cent of people are studying at university or TAFE, below the national average of 16.1 per cent.
“Country students are at a distinct disadvantage compared to city students who can stay living at home. Not all courses are available in the country,” one Indi survey respondent said.