Groups approve carbon package

By Rosa Ellen
Updated November 6 2012 - 6:24pm, first published July 11 2011 - 1:59am
Mount Alexander Shire Sustainability Group project officer Dean Bridgefoot.

THE carbon tax will bring renewable energy a step closer for central Victoria, sustainability groups say.Bendigo and Mount Alexander Shire sustainability groups said the $10 billion dollar funding allocated to renewable energy over five years in the carbon price package showed the time for renewable energy had come.Mount Alexander Shire Sustainability Group project officer Dean Bridgefoot said jobs from renewable industries could arrive in Bendigo within the next four to five years.“This is the sort of thing that is really possible. What happened yesterday was a great thing for renewable energy and regional renewable energy,” he said. “At the moment (developers) in solar energy are now going overseas to work... but we could be producing that power locally and employing local people.”Last month the two sustainability groups presented Federal Member Steve Gibbons with the results of a local survey showing support for renewable energy investment.The groups said the carbon tax funding proved Federal Member for Bendigo Steve Gibbons had heard the “call from the community”.As part of the Solar Cities project, Bendigo’s medium scale solar park produces enough power for around 150 households but that demand will grow along with large-scale parks with the move away from coal, Mr Bridgefoot said.“You could see larger scale solar panel plants over the Divide that powers most of Victoria.“The more we invest in those technologies, the cleaner they become.”Mr Bridgefoot predicted that in five years large thermal or solar parks that produced “local energy and local employment” would be a reality.