House debates

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Constituency Statements

Robertson Electorate: Energy

11:28 am

Photo of Lucy WicksLucy Wicks (Robertson, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Energy bills are one of the largest overheads for volunteer and community organisations, so the Morrison government is committed to easing some of these financial pressures through the Energy Efficient Communities Program to help ensure these groups can get on with the important work that they do in our communities. The grants are designed to help organisations by upgrading equipment that reduces energy consumption by investing in emissions monitoring or completing energy systems assessments, or for energy generation and storage projects. The program will deliver $40 million in grants to help businesses and community groups lower their energy bills and reduce emissions across Australia.

I'd like to commend several groups in my electorate for having grants awarded of up to $12,500 for some energy-saving projects locally. These include the Green Point Community Centre, Copacabana Surf Life Saving Club, Breakers Indoor Sports Stadium, Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre, Kincumber Bensville Scout Group and Kariong Scouts Group.

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Green Point Community Centre to see some of the wonderful programs that they are running to help local residents, including counselling, computer lessons and tax assistance for seniors. Marie James from the centre explained that the Energy Efficient Communities Program meant they were able to improve their environmental footprint while also offsetting energy costs. She said that the money the centre was saving on their electricity bill was going straight to the programs and services they offer that are so vital for Green Point community residents.

John Asquith, from the Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre, said that, for the first time in history, he was looking forward to receiving their quarterly power bill to see what impact the recently installed solar panels would have. These solar panels have enabled the centre to add 10 kilowatts of energy to their premises. John said, 'Half of the energy is now being used to offset the power consumption of the fish tanks that we have, and the other half is being used to offset the energy in our cafe, so that we can continue to provide our services to tourists and local families.' He added that the volunteers at the centre were also thrilled that they were able to do their bit to reduce carbon emissions—an issue that so many of their volunteers are particularly passionate about.

Amanda, from the Breakers indoor basketball stadium, said that she was appreciative of the initiative because energy was one of the largest running costs for the stadium. The savings they generate will allow for more competitions, training and support for local athletes.

The Energy Efficient Communities Program has benefited so many people in my electorate of Robertson. I commend these local grants and these local community groups for what they are doing in contributing to building a better community across the Central Coast.