A sustainable-energy forum set for later this month in Lismore aims to make the north coast a renewable-energy region.
North Coast Energy Forum convenor Mark Byrne has scheduled politicians from three tiers of government to speak, though believes what they take from the forum is what will make it more than the usual ‘talkfest’.
‘Politics has been called “the art of the possible”. It’s about making things happen, so we wanted to get our political leaders on board to make sure they know what we want and can reflect on how to make that happen,’ he said.
Page MP Janelle Saffin, Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell, Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson and NSW Greens MLC John Kaye will all speak at the event.
‘The forum aims to stimulate the move towards a sustainable-energy system for the north coast,’ Mr Byrne said.
‘We need the involvement of all levels of government to make that happen. We also need the shift to a more sustainable energy system that will provide a more liveable planet for future generations to be seen as above party politics.
‘This region has abundant bioenergy potential in particular. There have been some teething problems with the cogeneration plants at the Broadwater and Condong sugar mills, but once these have been overcome the scope is significant.’
Page MP Janelle Saffin said she looked forward to participating in the energy forum.
‘I told Sustain Northern Rivers I want to see a plan for our area becoming a renewable-energy region, and how we could get there,’ she said.
‘The new bioenergy study is a first step on that road. It identifies a variety of opportunities including food processing, landfill gas collection and energy crops. I will continue to support efforts for the north coast to become a renewable energy region.’
The North Coast Energy Forum will be held from 9am till 5pm on Friday 31 May at the Italo Club in North Lismore. It is a community-driven, not-for-profit event that is being supported by sponsorship from Juno Energy, Lismore City Council, Total Environment Centre, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Nickel Energy, AusIndustry and SAE Group.
Partner organisations include Sustain Northern Rivers and Starfish Enterprises. Go to www.facebook.com/northcoastenergyforum or www.ncef.net.au for more details, and www.trybooking.com/CPXS or http://ncef.eventbrite.com.au to register.
For more information call Mark Byrne on 0403 070 442 or email [email protected].