TSBE calls for collaborative action on renewable energy in regions

Following a sell-out event at this week’s National Renewables in Ag Conference, Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) is calling on the State Government to put communities first when it comes to the energy transition. This initiative aligns with TSBE’s mission to enable businesses that positively impacts our communities.

The conference brought together farmers, agriculture and energy consultants, peak bodies, and government representatives to share best practice of on-farm renewables, their business case, and discuss the driving forces behind the transformation and potential of energy use in agriculture.

Keynote speaker Cathy McGowan AO issued the challenge "If not us, who? If not now, when?".

From her first job as an Agriculture Consultant in Toowoomba, to Federal Parliament where she worked with Hon John McVeigh, now TSBE Chairman, on place-based policy work for regional Australia. Cathy McGowan understands the power of Toowoomba and surrounding regions, and the importance of regional economic development groups, like TSBE.

TSBE hosted a Boardroom Briefing this week, where McGowan emphasised the necessity for a nationally driven, but locally coordinated decarbonisation pathway, highlighting that regional success hinges on collaborative efforts between industries and regions.

She urged participants to find common ground, engage in debates with kindness, and ensure that solutions are locally owned. Empowering local communities to take charge of the renewable energy transition, with local leadership an essential driver for ensuring benefits are widely felt in the community.

"Don't be the victim, be the beneficiary," she asserted, “we need to ask for big things, not just little things, and TSBE is the group that can do that”.  

In the lead up to the State election, TSBE is advocating for mandatory local content reporting; mandatory local community and council engagement by proponents, social license contributions in line with the community masterplan; and Government prioritisation of investment in enabling infrastructure including roads, Inland rail, and bridges, including the Bremer Bridge and Dogwood Creek at Miles.