Indigenous people will share their views on Australia’s clean energy transition at a First Nations Clean Energy Symposium in South Australia.

Hundreds of energy delegates and Indigenous community members from across the country are expected to attend at Tarttanya/Adelaide 8-9 May 2024.

Luritja man and co-Chair of First Nations Clean Energy Network Chris Croker says the event will give communities the opportunity to discuss their role in the country’s transition to net zero.

“We’ve got over 350 delegates from around the country coming to join us, on Kaurna country in Adelaide,
we’ll have over 200 community members from around the country from Torres Strait, from west from east and south from center coming together,” Mr Croker Says.

First Nations Clean Energy Network says Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been excluded in the country’s adoption of home solar panels, due to a lack of governmental support.

“A few people from government, industry, the union’s few of our research, friends and allies, but mainly from community mob there to actually talk about the work that’s already underway.

We need government to start listening to this, these requests and we need the industry to also start
listening to these requests as well.”

The event will also be handing out the “information for proponents toolkit” which Mr Croker says outlines how energy companies can appropriately work with First Nations communities.

“A lot of these companies are still at the beginning of their engagement process with local Traditional Owners.

They need guidance to hold them to account in making the right decision having the right knowledge, and also about thinking how do we bring the community into the decision making (process) rather than just seeing them as stakeholder.”

He says the event will also discuss how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have been excluded from the wave of home owners installing solar panels on their properties.

“A lot of cases we don’t own houses, or we live in public housing or Aboriginal Housing. And also we don’t have the financing necessary, sitting around in the bank is sometimes the, the capital costs.

So it’s really lucky enough out of actually contributing to these environmental benefits, but also cost savings for mums and dads, reducing the high costs of necessities of like eating, and maybe switching off gas, which means there’s bit of health benefits.

So one of the ways the government and industry can support that is turning around of this negative trend to actually say, ‘how do we get all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders housing not just in our cities across the country to have rooftop solar have solar hot water systems as a minimum’.”

Listen to the full interview with Chris Croker here:

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