Independent Helen Haines leads on climate and renewables opportunities

Independent candidate for Indi Helen Haines says Indi is in a unique position to lead Australia in the development and use of renewable energy to cut power prices and combat climate change.

“This is the climate election,” she said at the launch of her renewables and climate change policy in Wodonga today.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity for regional Australia to lead the way and show what communities can do – communities that are way ahead of the federal government in stepping up to meet the challenge of climate change.

“We cannot wait for the coalition or Labor to lead. They’re yet to catch up with Indi and the rest of the world.

“We are at the forefront, with 11 of Australia’s 100 community energy projects up and working in Indi. We are setting up opportunities for our children and instead of playing catch-up on renewables, we are leading.

“Investment in reneable energy in Indi will create jobs for our young people, it will create opportunities for them to start businesses and to build on the technical expertise that we are developing in Indi. All of this will help provide reliable, cheaper power and jobs.”

Dr Haines said Indi had the sun, hills, wind and skills to lead the nation in the production of clean, locally-generated renewable energy.

“We are already doing this in North East Victoria, with Totally Renewable Yackandandah setting the target, aiming to have the whole community relying completely on renewables for its energy by 2022,” she said.

“This idea, from a community that has always walked towards possibility, is spreading to others in the North East – taking us towards a ‘totally renewable Indi’, the prospect envisaged, shaped and set on a path by the retiring Indi MP, Cathy McGowan AO.

“This community investment in renewables will create more jobs and opportunities locally, with the ultimate benefit of limiting damage to our planet.”

Dr Haines said Australian communities were acting on their own because of the federal government’s energy policy vacuum of the past six years.

“Australians are demanding a comprehensive, national plan for how we should proceed,” she said.