Delegates, here is the March MERC Newsletter, submitted to delegates in very different times to what it was a month ago for your information. Most of the information in this newsletter about MERC busness is in view of the COVID-19 Virus situation, with some interesting but relvant articles..
Please circulate this to your fellow Councillors and senior staff, so they can appreciate and understand the excellent work the Association and you are doing on behalf of your Council and community, with regard to mining and energy related matters.
COVID-19 Virus Impact on MERC
The NSW Government is working with councils to support communities across the state in response to COVID-19. Consequently, there have been certain changes that will affect MERC and members going forward as a result of the NSW Government’s respective Ministerial Public Health Orders to implement controls as necessary to combat the COVID -19 Virus, details are provided from the DPIE site in relation to the following:
Local Government Elections To provide certainty to councils, communities and potential candidates, the NSW Government has made the decision to postpone the September local government elections in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
The decision to postpone the elections is necessary to ensure the health and safety of voters, NSW Electoral Commission staff and election candidates. It follows Parliament passing amendments to the Local Government Act to provide the Minister with the power to postpone the elections for 12 months with a possible further extension to 31 December 2021 should the need arise.
It is the Government’s intention that these council elections will be held in September 2021.Current councillors and popularly elected mayors will continue to hold their civic offices until the rescheduled local government elections are held.
Mayoral Elections: These will need to be held for mayors elected by councillors in September 2018 when their two-year terms expire this year. Mayors elected in September 2019 will continue to hold office until September 2021 once the new election date is gazetted”.
Council meetings conducted remotely “Amendments have been made to the Local Government Act to allow councils to meet remotely to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and ensure compliance with the Public Health Order.
For the next sixth months councillors can participate in meetings by an audio-visual link instead of attending in person. Council meetings can be held entirely remotely by audio-visual link.
Alternatively, where councils continue to meet in person, individual councillors are permitted to participate in the meeting by audio-visual link.
Ministerial Order Changes to the EPA Act 1979 On 25 March 2020, the NSW Government introduced the COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020, which made changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
The changes allow the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces to make an order for development to be carried out without the normal planning approval in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. The list of Ministerial orders currently in force is below. The list will be updated progressively. Orders can also be found on the NSW Government Gazette. These measures will be kept in place until the crisis is over/ and reviewed as new issues arise.
Physical Copies of Some Planning Documents Removed. The COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 removed the requirement for planning decision makers (such as councils) to display physical copies of some documents. These documents will now be available online via the NSW Planning Portal and local council website.
To provide certainty, the Secretary of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has also approved the use of local council and state agency websites to display these documents. Councils do not need to provide physical copies at their offices.
Digital documents include development applications, Environmental Impact Statements on exhibition, registers of development consents, complying development certificates and construction certificates. Current exhibition periods will be unaffected, and documentation that is required to be made physically available will be made available online for the duration of exhibition periods.
The NSW Planning Portal provides a range of digital services that enable the community, industry and councils to work together in a secure online environment on planning matters, such as Development Applications. All digital services can be accessed from the safety of your home or office at any time. This supports the need for business continuity during the pandemic, lessening its impact to the NSW economy.
To see if which services are available in your local government area, visit the NSW Planning Portal.
A planning webinar was conducted on 30th March 20 by Marcus Rae, DPIE Group Deputy Secretary, Planning & Assessment, introduced by Tim Hurst, Deputy Secretary, Local Government, Planning and Policy on the aforementioned and General Managers and Dorectors of Planning & Environment from all NSW Local Councils were invited to particpate and over 260 did, including Joint Organisation Executive Officers.
A lot of details on operational issues were asked by attendees with Marcus indicating the slides, questions & answers will be put on the DPIE site.
At the time of writing this newsletter, they were not available to reproduce and it is recommended that staff of member councils pursue this to assist them in their councils’.
Two year terms for Executive Committee
MERC is to consider the Executive being elected for two year terms and to clarify the wording in Clause 7.1 of the constitution on the composition of the Executive Committee on whether two from any one member can be on it, at a future Special meeting. MERC Executive Committee currently comprises Chair, two Deputy Chairs and three other delegates with all to come from separate council areas and they are elected annually, however recent events have demonstrated the clause needs rewriting for clarity purposes..
Next Meetings for the Association in 2020
The COVID-19 Virus will also have an impact on the holding of the next meetings of MERC given the social distancing and group gathering number limitations imposed by the Public Health Order. It is expected this control measure to combat the coronavirus is expected to last three to six months, the latter more likely, affecting the May and August meetings of MERC.
The locations/dates for meetings in 2020 were agreed to be held at Blayney 7/8th May 2020; Orange on 13/14th August and Sydney in November (date TBA) to fit in with Country Mayors Association (6/3/20, 29/5/20, 7/8/20 & 6/11/20) and parliament sittings.
Under the constitution, MERC is required to have one General Meeting (the Annual General) a year and as many other General Meetings as the Executive Committee determine. It must have four Executive Committee meetings a year. Consequently it has been practice to have four Executive Committee meetings, four General meetings after the Executive Committee, Special General meetings as required and one Annual General meeting a year.
The Executive Committee will be canvassed to ascertain how they would like to deal with this situation and delegates advised as soon as possible, given that delegates would have the dates and times and possibly accommodation booked already. On this basis, the proposed meetings will not be able to be physically held in Blayney and possibly not Orange either, however meetings could be held via virtual applications.
Update on the Voluntary Planning Agreement Steering Committee
The Guidelines for VPA’s and a VPA framework agreement (including scope and calculation methodologies) has now been agreed to by NSWMC & the MERC VPA Working Party. The aim is to have it endorsed by DPIE (in a way similar to that of the Blueprint for Renewable Energy that Northern JO’s developed and was circulated by DPIE) and to be sent to members and all LGA’s in NSW. Matter has been raised with Mike Young at our meeting 5th March 2020 and awaiting response.
Resources for Regions (R4R) versus a Royalties for Regions.
In our pursuit of the R4R being changed to better suit mining affected Councils, the MERC working party has been involved in the early discourse with the government’s Resources NSW staff. It was resolved at the Ordinary meeting on 5th March that M/s Suzanne Gillham, Project Manager for Resources NSW developing the new criteria and program for Round 7 Resources for Regions, be invited to address members at a future meeting, along with Deputy Premier, Hon John Barilaro, on the contents of the new Program.
Discussions have been held with Suzanne about addressing delegates by teleconference or video conference in lieu of in person, at the next meeting of MERC either on 7th for the Executive or on 8th May 2020 for the Ordinary meeting (if held). The chances of the Deputy Premier doing the same would be highly unlikely, However depending on the responses, this may determine what format the next meeting of MERC is to take or not. Watch this space!
Regional Advisory Forum (RAF)
Delegates raised the benefits of having a RAF with a delegate from MERC on it being retained with Mike Young on 5th March 2020 and he requested MERC put forward an argument for its retention. A response has not been received to date.
At the Ordinary meeting in Sydney on 5th March 2020, it was agreed that MERC authorise the Executive Officer to develop and implement a marketing campaign in consultation with the Chair and relevant MERC membership staff to include pamphlets, notepads with “We are your voice – become a member” or suchlike on them for handouts, a banner indicating locality of members throughout NSW, a video to play on a laptop to link back to the webpage, set up a membership page on the website, etc to the value of $5000 plus take a stand at the LGNSW Conference in November 22-24, at Cessnock and do a presentation to the Country Mayor’s Association at a future meeting.
The coronavirus may also impact on MERC’s marketing campaign whether or not LGNSW has a conference this year and the Executive Officer is able to present to a future Country Mayor’s Association meeting, awaiting responses from them on these matters.
List of Speakers for future meetings of MERC
MERC will be continually pursuing the following speakers for future meetings with The Greens now listed:
- Hon Rob Stokes, Minister for Planning & Public Spaces, Liberal Party;
- Hon Matt Kean, Minister for Energy & Environment, Liberal Party;
- Hon John Barilaro, Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW, Investment & Trade, Leader of NSW National Party;
- Hon Adam Marshall, Minister for Agriculture & Western NSW, National Party;
- David Shoebridge MLC (Energy) & Abigail Boyd MLC (Mining), from The Greens;
- Other relevant Opposition party members and government senior officers will also be pursued for meetings as required depending on locality of the meetings;
- Relevant Senior Departmental Executives;
- CEO’s, Clean Energy Council and Clean Energy Finance Corporation, ARENA, etc.
Research Fellowship Update
Peter Dupen has been busy seeking partners for the project likely to be in the Central Western area of NSW and hopefully the COVID19 Virus doesn’t impede his progress too much. More later on this when he responds to the Executive Officer in due course.
Strategic Plan 2020 – 2023 Review
A Sub Committee consisting of Clr Michael Banasik (Executive Committee – Wollondilly Shire Council), Cr Jo McRae (Orange City Council) and Glenn Wilcox (General Manager, Warren Shire Council & Life Member) will work with the Executive Officer to present a draft document updating the current plan to the August meeting of MERC. Executive Officer will be contacting the groups soon to get the ball rolling with this, hopefully the COVID-19 Virus situation wont cause too many issues with this.
Update on CRC for Transformations in Mining Economies Approval.
MERC was invited last year to be a NSW partner in the establishment of the national Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC TiME) being established in Perth, Western Australia at University of Western Australia, at no cost to MERC. This fits in with our strategic plan by being involved in making a difference through research partnerships with Universities in Australia on various topics such as rehabilitation and post mining impacts on economies.
The national partnership was required in order to get the grant announced below to set up the CRC for transforming mining economies from mining to no mining plus value add them and has been successful as Dr Guy Bloggs, CEO Designate advises:
We are delighted to inform you that the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews has today announced the successful outcome for the CRC for Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC-TiME) In a joint release with Minister for Resources, Northern Australia and Water, the Hon Keith Pitt MP, the Ministers state that:
“Australia’s world-class mining expertise is undeniable but being a global resources powerhouse means ensuring a sustainable future for our mining towns in rural and regional Australia. This new CRC will provide the tools for towns and regions to navigate opportunities to create new jobs and development that keep communities strong.”
“The Government and the resources industry recognise more needs to be done to diversify the economy of some local communities which are highly dependent on individual mining projects. The work of CRC TiME will help mining communities broaden their local economies so they can continue to grow and stay strong.”
“The full announcement and Minister attribution of comments is available at: https://www.minister.industry.gov.au/ministers/karenandrews/media-releases/investing-australias-mining-and-energy-future
Please find attached media information from which your organisation may like to draw in publicising this successful outcome. We welcome communication that reflects your perspective on the value of the CRC and role in this collaboration. We are also progressing strongly on the formation of CRC TiME, with seed funding for the establishment phase secured from UWA. Elementary Law has been engaged to provide legal support, with key documentation being prepared and the company expected to be registered in the next week.
We will then begin the process of participant agreement drafting and review by our members. We have also initiated the research planning phase, with program leaders gathering in Perth under the leadership of our Research Director, Professor Anna Littleboy. Further information on our timelines and plans for engagement will be provided soon.
Once again, we thank all our partners for your support and contribution throughout the application process. We can now celebrate our shared success and move forward with CRC-TiMEs formal creation and delivering on our vision for change in mine closure and post mine transitions”. Dr Guy Boggs, CEO Designate.
Related Matters of Interest – Mining and Energy Issues
“Green Power Risks Studied,” 30th March, Industrial Careers article:
A new study looks at renewable energy facilities in areas of environmental significance, which could threaten natural habitats. A study by the University of Queensland has found more than 2,000 renewable energy facilities are built in key environmental areas around the globe.
Lead researcher José Rehbein says there were some alarming findings. “Aside from the more than 2200 renewable energy facilities already operating inside important biodiversity areas, another 900 are currently being built,” Mr Rehbein said. “Energy facilities and the infrastructure around them, such as roads and increased human activity, can be incredibly damaging to the natural environment. These developments are not compatible with biodiversity conservation efforts.”
The majority of renewable energy facilities in western Europe and developed nations are located in biodiverse areas. Mr Rehbein said there is still time for developers to reconsider facilities under construction in Asia and Africa.
University of Amsterdam senior author Dr James Allan said effective conservation efforts and a rapid transition to renewable energy was essential to prevent species extinctions and avoid catastrophic climate change. “The entire team agree that this work should not be interpreted as anti-renewables because renewable energy is crucial for reducing carbon emissions,” Dr Allan said.
“The key is ensuring that renewable energy facilities are built in places where they do not damage biodiversity. Renewable energy developments must consider biodiversity as well as carbon and avoid any negative impacts on biodiversity to be truly sustainable.”
The team urge governments, industry and development organisations to avoid expanding renewable energy facilities into conservation areas and plan for alternative locations.
The full study is accessible here. Refer www.industrialcareers.com.au
“New Pumped Hydro Coming”, 30th March 2020, Industrial Careers article:
Approval has been granted for what could be Australia’s first pumped hydro project in 40 years. Genex has secured a revised off-take agreement with utility Energy Australia for the 2,000MWh Kidston storage project.
The Kidston project is located in an old gold mine, and features 250MW of capacity with eight hours of storage. With a new deal in place, the pumped hydro project is now considered strongly likely to go ahead. “Pumped hydro is the perfect technology to complement solar energy, with its ability to store excess power in the middle of the day and then generate in the mornings and evenings when our customers need it,” Energy Australia has quoted markets executive Ross Edwards as having said.
“We thank the community, our counterparts and anyone who has actively followed this project for their patience and support while we work through the specifics,” the company said in a statement.
“It’s important that we continue to invest in the transition to a cleaner energy future through these challenging times to provide much-needed jobs and economic activity.”
Details of the deal are accessible here. Refer www.industrialcareers.com.au
“AEMO Issues Virtual Power Plant (VPP) Demonstration Report” 25th March 2020, Industrial Careers article:
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has released a report on its Virtual Power Plant (VPP) Demonstration. VPPs coordinate distributed energy resources (DER) like rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems, battery storage and controllable load devices, such as air-conditioners or pool pumps, through the market.
In July 2019, AEMO’s VPP program was established to understand and share insights on the operational capability of VPPs. “Our report highlights how our first VPP participant, the SA VPP, performed during several events in the National Electricity Market (NEM),” says AEMO’s Executive General Manager, Emerging Markets and Services, Violette Mouchaileh. “This included immediately charging and discharging batteries in response to frequency deviations following a contingency event to maintain stable NEM frequency levels, and responding to energy market signals by batteries pre-charging in anticipation of elevated prices and discharging during the elevated price event. “As a result of accessing aggregated and controllable DER through VPPs, the power system is supported by the provision of additional power when needed,” she said.
AEMO says it will continue to monitor and analyse participants’ responses to events on the power system. In Australia by 2040, AEMO forecasts that 63 per cent of coal-fired generation will retire, the equivalent annual electricity needs of all Australian homes and a proportion of businesses.
Meanwhile, DER generation capacity is expected to double or even triple, with rooftop solar to provide 22 per cent of total energy, between 32 gigawatts (GW) and 50 GW. Further, AEMO estimates that embedded battery storage capacity, including VPPs, will total between 17 GW and 30 GW. “What this shows is that Australia is a world leader in DERs, paving the way for VPPs to significantly contribute to Australia’s future energy system,” AEMO said.
The report is available in PDF form, here. Refer www.industrialcareers.com.au
“Dust Exposure is Re-assessed” 25th March 2020, Industrial Careers article:
New analysis suggests coal miners are being exposed to more harmful dust than previously believed.
Associate Professor Gunther Paul from James Cook University says scientists have looked at community-based air-monitoring stations in Queensland and New South Wales, along with 10 years of data from the national pollutant inventory, and estimated the impact that coal-mining activity is having on microscopic levels of dust in areas nearby.
The levels of harmful dust particles, metals and nitrogen oxides has increased in line with increases in production, Dr Paul says. “This increased production of coal produces an increase in pollution, and [that] can be measured in communities — so there is a correlation,” he told reporters.
“We found there is significantly higher PM10 in the mining region compared to south-east Queensland or similar areas in New South Wales.” PM10 is a classification for particulate matter 10 micrometres or less in diameter.
“Unfortunately, we only have four [air-monitoring] sensors in the coal-mining region, we do need more data in order to better understand how increased coal production and increased production of pollutants eventually impacts the households in the communities,” Dr Paul said. “We also saw that from those environmental monitoring stations, significant time periods are missing which needed to be filled, so it’s very difficult to provide a coherent picture at this time, and we do need more measurements.”
The Hunter Valley in NSW is the largest producer of PM10 emissions from coal, according to the experts, which four postcodes in Queensland’s Central Highlands form the rest of the top five.
Stephen Smyth from the CFMEU says the exposure limit for miners — 2.5µg/m³ (per cubic metre of air) — should be reduce to 1.5µg/m³, in line with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. “If you’re increasing someone’s exposure to dust and the control measures are ineffective, then you increase that person’s risk of getting a mine-dust lung disease,” he said.
“A person goes to work, comes home and can be living close by, and they can continue to get some sort of level of dust exposure.” Dr Paul says there should be a change in legislation too.
“So there is some understanding that the occupational exposure limit may be too high in Australia and we would like to understand which other factors impact on this exposure limit,” he said. “If there is additional exposure of miners in the communities where they live, then that indicates the exposure limit will have to be corrected and will have to be set lower.
“It’s likely that we need to change regulations and possibly include environmental exposure to be one factor that contributes to the assessment of risk for workers and how much they are permitted to be exposed to coal dust. “The occupational exposure limit is based on an eight-hour work shift; if workers work more than 40 hours a week, then the occupational exposure limit is currently reduced to 2.35µg/m³.
“In a very similar way, we could make assumptions about where workers live and then consider the environmental exposure in order to further reduce the occupational exposure limit. “This would have to be considered in amended regulations and standards and would have to go through the legal processes.”
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane – who was federal industry minister in the Howard and Abbott governments – says the health of workers and communities is the industry’s top priority. “Exposure to particulates is continuously monitored and regularly reviewed by industry and the State Government,” he said.
“The resources sector in Queensland operates and monitors emissions within the strict conditions of each company’s environment authority and air quality legislation to protect the environment and human health.” Refer www.industrialcareers.com.au
“NSW to be Net Zero by 2050”, 17th March 2020, Industrial Careers article:
The NSW Government has announced its Net Zero by 2050 plan. The state says it wants to deliver a 35 per cent cut in emissions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, through initiatives targeting electricity and energy efficiency, electric vehicles, hydrogen, primary industries, coal innovation, organic waste and carbon financing.
Under the plan, businesses will be supported to modernise their plants and increase productivity, while farmers will have access to new markets and technologies. The plan also seeks to drive down the cost of living and provide consumers with more information to help them make more environmentally and financially sustainable choices.
The NSW Government claims implementation of the Net Zero Plan, together with the NSW Electricity Strategy, will result in more than $11.6 billion of new investment for NSW, including $7 billion in regional NSW. It says it can create almost 2,400 new jobs, including 1,700 jobs located in the regions.
The full plan is accessible in PDF form, here. Detailed analysis is available here.
‘Lack of Long-Term Planning in Australian Politics” Clean Energy Council, 20th March 2020 www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au A lack of long-term planning to create a 21st century grid and decades of political infighting are beginning to catch up with us. In the past 15 years Australian politics has too often been typified by short-termism and reactiveness, with policymakers distracted by political point scoring over considered long-term planning. While this haphazard approach has occasionally delivered positive outcomes, such as the Finkel Review following the 2016 blackout in South Australia, it more often than not, leads to half-baked policies and solutions.
The consequences of the failure to plan an orderly energy transition or an emissions reduction pathway were apparent in the electricity price spike seen after the closure of the Hazelwood coal-fired power station in 2017 and, more recently, in the public backlash against climate inaction in the wake of this summer’s catastrophic bushfires. This vicious cycle of distraction has resulted in a grid that is no longer fit-for-purpose for the clean energy transition, with a lack of reform in the market and regulatory settings and under-investment in infrastructure.
The failure to provide a long-term plan for the transition of Australia’s energy system to renewable energy and energy storage has affected every level of the energy market, from the construction of new projects to the build out of transmission infrastructure. This has been most keenly felt in the West Murray region of Victoria and NSW, where grid constraints are preventing the development of some of Australia’s best wind and solar resources.
Since September 2019, several operational solar farms have had their output severely curtailed to ensure grid stability in the region, while a number of other projects that are under construction or completed have been told they may face long delays before they are able to connect to the grid. This has resulted in considerable losses for existing project proponents and is threatening over $6 billion in new investment and more than 5,000 jobs in the region.
Challenges for rooftop solar
The rooftop solar sector has also begun to experience a related but different set of network problems. While these challenges are different to those being encountered by the large-scale sector, the causes are largely the same – a lack of planning combined with rapid uptake of new technology.
The issues confronting rooftop solar relate to the distribution networks’ ability to integrate high levels of sophisticated rooftop solar and battery technology. These networks now confront challenges managing voltage control in areas with a high penetration of rooftop solar, establishing new requirements for smart inverters to be installed to help support the grid and the fundamental problem of managing a grid that was not designed to handle the dynamic two-way flow of power between rooftop solar systems and the grid.
These problems are reducing the benefits of rooftop solar for existing solar and battery system owners and slowing the market for new installations. With rooftop solar expected to serve more than 10% of Australia’s total electricity needs by 2030, it’s extremely important that we don’t put any limits on the industry’s growth. The Clean Energy Council has produced a roadmap, The Distributed Energy Resources Revolution: A Roadmap for Australia’s Enormous Rooftop Solar and Battery Potential, to address the challenges that distribution network service providers, regulators, governments and policymakers will face as we make the transition to more rooftop solar and household batteries. There is a lot to change. Change coming, but at what cost?
Many of these challenges stem from the two decades of irrational debate about the legitimacy of climate change. Meanwhile, the pace of change has accelerated due to the enormous success of our industry, resulting in huge cost reductions, technology innovation and development and improved capability in the Australian clean energy industry. Australia’s clean energy rollout has put us at the forefront of the global energy transition, meaning that we are regularly encountering new situations and unique challenges. This has often caught governments and regulators off guard, leaving them in situations where they must find innovative solutions to unfamiliar problems.
While there is no end in sight to the energy policy impasse at the federal level, regulatory and market reform is underway. Reforms such as the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated System Plan, the establishment and piloting of renewable energy zones and the Energy Security Board’s post-2025 market design project all provide potential solutions to the problems facing the renewable energy industry. These will all take time, while the challenges for new renewable energy projects will remain.
But one can’t help but wonder where we’d be today if we’d introduced a long-term, sensible energy and emissions reduction policy all those years ago rather than wasting our time debating the climate wars. As an essential service, the energy industry is taking the issue of the health and safety of workers and the public with the utmost seriousness. We recognise the immense risks that COVID-19 poses to the health of Australians and to the economy, and like other sectors, the clean energy industry has been working assiduously over recent weeks to prepare for the impacts of COVID-19. The safety of our workforce is paramount, and a wide variety of extensive measures have been taken and will continue to be put in place to identify, mitigate and minimise health risks to our workforce and to the public.
The clean energy sector provides an essential service
It is vitally important that the energy industry can continue maintaining, installing and connecting power generation assets. Energy provision is very clearly an essential service, and this includes the hundreds of renewable energy projects under construction and in operation across Australia as well as the millions of rooftop solar and household battery systems that are all essential to the operation of the Australian electricity system. Clean energy, which now accounts for over 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity, is both an essential service and a critical part of the economy, particularly in regional and rural areas of the country. It is vital that these projects and systems can continue to operate flexibly and safely during this crisis.
We therefore believe it is critical that any future restrictions placed on ‘non-essential’ business activity in response to COVID-19 clearly recognises the essential nature of the construction/installation, operation and maintenance of renewable energy and energy storage, as well as energy transmission and distribution.
In doing so, the clean energy industry recognises the duty of care that we have to our workers and the community. The industry is fully committed to following government health advice to protect its people as they carry out their work and to limit any risk to the communities in which they operate.
Movement of specialised workers and equipment is critical for maintaining plant
To enable us to maintain a reliable and secure electricity system at this time, it is also vital that industry can move specialised workers and equipment between regions and jurisdictions to service plant and systems as required. Unlike thermal generation plant, renewable energy generation plant does not typically locate specialist staff and spare parts on site 24/7, and we will require flexibility to respond to equipment failures or undertake maintenance during this time.
Some of our members have begun to explore informal measures that the industry might be able to take to pool resources in certain locations to enable rapid-response, business continuity and the minimisation of travel. However, we expect that such initiatives, at best, will allow us to reduce travel requirements, rather than eliminate them entirely. A solution will be required to enable essential service personnel and equipment to move lawfully and efficiently between jurisdictions at short notice.
Finally, we recognise that the National Cabinet will need to constantly review and update its advice to Australian businesses and communities over coming days and weeks as to the classification of essential and non-essential services. It will be immensely helpful to the energy industry, who are closely monitoring this advice, for information to be as detailed, clear and consistent (across jurisdictions) as possible, to maximise our ability as an industry to ensure that we can continue to comply with government advice and guidelines at all times.
Disclaimer The comments and details in the articles in this newsletter do not reflect the views, policies or position of the Association or its member Councils and are sourced and reproduced from public media outlets by the Executive Officer to provide information for members that they may not already be exposed to in their Local Government areas
Clr Peter Shinton (Chair) firstname.lastname@example.org 0268492000 or Greg Lamont (Executive Officer) 0407937636, email@example.com.