A report is being launched today in the New South Wales North West town of Narrabri that offers hope that renewable energy development could deliver hundreds of lasting jobs in the district.
Narrabri is the proposed location of a highly controversial coal seam gas proposal by Santos, but the research released today by the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney reveals that in comparison to Santos’ gasfield, renewable energy could deliver more numerous and more lasting jobs.
Narrabri Shire is part of the New England Renewable Energy Precinct, set up by the NSW Government in 2010 to attract new investment. Two current solar energy projects are proposed in the area and Narrabri Shire Council Economic Social Plan 2000-2015 cited the potential for the region to develop a “green economy” and listed solar and wind power as potential new industries.
Narrabri local, Rohan Boehm is hosting the launch and said, “We are very excited at the vision of Narrabri exporting affordable and reliable renewable energy to the rest of New South Wales. This is development that would invest in our region for the long term and we’re keen to make it a reality.
Report author and Research Director at the UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures Dr Sven Teske is a the launch today to outline the findings of the report.
Dr Teske said, “I have modelled renewable energy scenarios all around the world and the potential in Narrabri is exciting. Renewable energy markets are leaping ahead and if this district chooses to use its natural advantages, it could generate 500 permanent skilled local jobs by 2030, on a fraction of the land area that the proposed coal seam gasfield would occupy.”
Mr Boehm concluded, “When we listen to what’s on offer from Santos we have to ask, are the jobs you’re talking about going to last longer than a mortgage? And what will be the legacy you leave us? We’d rather choose durable stable jobs in an industry that doesn't compromise the natural resources that make Narrabri Shire what it is.”
The report is available for download from the North West Alliance.