Eco-conscious Riverina farmers descended on Canberra this week to lobby the government over a Local Power Agency bill, which would provide funding for community renewable energy projects.
The Bill was tabled by Member for Indi Helen Haines.
One of them is Grong Grong farmer Gemma Meier, who will be hosting a community solar farm on her own property as a way to generate clean energy for locals.
Ms Meier said such renewable energy projects were a way to boost regional jobs while tackling the problem of climate change.
"I'm here because this is just a really important bill, with such broad opportunity for small and large investment in the renewable sector, "Ms Meier said.
"My local community is perfectly positioned for medium scale, community-owned renewable energy developments. These would allow us to do our bit towards climate change, as well as creating jobs and wealth for the region."
She was joined by cropping farmer Peter Holding, who runs a cropping farm near Harden just out of Cootamundra.
Mr Holding said these small scale community projects were crucial to revive dying country towns and bring back jobs being lost in the regions.
"Our nursing home at Harden has just closed down. That's a massive blow to jobs in our region," Mr Holding said.
"Community energy initiatives in our region offer the possibility of job and wealth creation, at a time when we really need it.
"Lower cost energy would benefit our local industries which are energy intensive, such as the lime mine and the duck farm, and it could also lead to a return of facilities which have left the region, such as fruit packing and cool stores."
Joining the delegation was sheep farmer and Farmer for Climate Action chairman Charlie Prell, who hosts wind turbines on his property.
Mr Prell said renewable energy technology was going through a renaissance, and that it would be a shame for regional Australia to miss the wave.
"The renewable energy transformation currently underway is a once-in-a-century opportunity to revitalise regional Australia," Mr Prell said.
"We must have a plan that ensures the roll-out creates local jobs, increases the autonomy of the regions, lowers electricity costs and leads to the creation of a new and lucrative export industry.":
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