A commitment by the Federal Labor Opposition to establish a Community Power Hub in Western Sydney will ease cost of living pressures and reduce health risks for some of Sydney’s most vulnerable people, the Voices for Power campaign says.
The Voices for Power campaign is a Sydney Alliance initiative that brings together ethnically and culturally diverse leaders who are taking the lead in “finding solutions to problems confronting the members of their communities.”
Announced in Western Sydney today, the planned Hub would facilitate collaboration between energy experts and Western Sydney community and religious leaders, so that residents have access to information about renewable energy in their own language, and from people they trust.
Rev. Alimoni Taumoepeau, is a Uniting Church Minister. He chairs the Voices for Power Leadership Team.
“For too long, the residents of Western Sydney, who bear the brunt of worsening heatwaves due to climate change, have been locked out of the clean, affordable energy solutions that will give them some relief,” he said.
“Renewable energy reduces energy bills and addresses climate change, but many people can’t access it because of logistical and financial challenges, and a lack of accessible information.
“Nobody should be left behind in Australia’s transition to clean, affordable, energy, least of all the most vulnerable people whose lives and health are impacted by climate change and energy poverty, and would be transformed by access to affordable energy.
“A Community Power Hub in Western Sydney would be a critical step forward in bridging this gap and delivering clean and affordable energy for all,” said Reverend Taumoepeau.
The Community Power Hub announcement follows two years of campaigning by the Sydney Alliance, of which the Uniting Church is a member.
The Sydney Alliance’s Voices for Power campaign aims to get bipartisan support for policies that address “energy inequity”, whereby people with less money cannot access energy as easily.
According to Rev. Taumopeau, “[O]ur diverse communities want action on energy affordability and climate change now.”
“Community energy solutions, tailored to people’s unique needs, show that everyone can win in the transition away from dirty and unreliable coal power to clean, affordable renewables.”
The campaign is hoping that the Morrison Liberal Government will match the pledge.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor