Renewable energy collaboration responds to change

Independent candidate for Indi Helen Haines believes the federal government should use tonight’s Budget to deliver support for a collaborative partnership developing Victoria’s first community energy and economic hub in the North East.

The hub strategy brings together communities, local councils, research organisations and industry to generate, store and share renewable energy using existing infrastructure systems.
It is being led by Mondo, AusNet Services’ commercial business, and encompasses 29 projects in Wodonga, Barnawartha North, Wangaratta, Benalla and Shepparton.
It requires a $95 million investment in the first phase of a three-phase roll-out that includes solar farms at North Wangaratta and Winton.
“The Hume economic and energy hub is a really exciting and logical project,” Dr Haines said.
“It’s the right time and the North East is the right place for this collaboration.
“We’ve already seen innovation and impetus in communities like Yackandandah, Beechworth, Wangaratta and Benalla to embrace renewable energy.
“The Hume hub is a partnership that responds to the challenge of climate change with leadership.
“It’s working to turn that challenge to new, shared opportunities – creating new jobs, building community resilience and helping the environment.
“It’s also a considered and genuine application that deserves support – the result of good planning and process, rather than ad hoc, politically-driven funding which so often circulates in an election year.”
Dr Haines also hoped the Budget would include funding for a dementia care wing at Benalla’s Cooinda Aged Care.
“We have an ageing demographic across Indi,” she said.
“Any society is judged by the way in which is looks after most vulnerable.
“People with dementia are incredibly vulnerable. We need to care for them in best way possible and in their own communities, and Cooinda is showing that it’s prepared to invest in a really important piece of infrastructure.”
Dr Haines said the Odyssey House residential drug rehabilitation program in Benalla and Corryong Health Service’s community health and fitness centre were other projects which deserved support.
For comment call Helen Haines 0436 122 029
For media enquiries call Jamie Kronborg 0409 912 967