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Support for council to help community energy costs

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Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic is a senior journalist for the North Central Review primarily covering politics at all levels and sport with a particular interest in basketball. Since 2019 she has worked for several publications across Victoria including most recently at the Alexandra Standard and Yea Chronicle. She is always keen to hear from local community members about issues they face and has an interest in crime and court reporting.

Mitchell Shire Councillor Bill Chisholm has asked council staff to prepare a report to help community groups across the shire with solar assistance and battery backups.

The notice of motion, tabled at council’s June meeting, requests council officers prepare a report outlining the support currently available to community groups and organisations across the shire, to implement energy cost savings and environment sustainability initiatives.

Cr Chisholm also requested information on opportunities for council to advocate to the State Government to make subsidy schemes available to community groups.

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He said energy costs and assistance were critical to the community, and a lot of volunteer-run organisations across Mitchell Shire.

“Currently it’s my understanding that a lot of community groups can’t directly apply for solar assistance and battery backup, and many or most of these community groups are based on volunteers,” he said.

“Post-COVID, it’s very difficult for a lot of these community groups and volunteers to manage.

“Volunteers are very scarce on the ground and the less stress we can put on them with assistance with costs involved in the running of these organisations the better.

“Hopefully we can encourage the State Government to make these grants available to these community groups.”

Cr Rob Eldridge seconded the motion, and said council have initiatives, both current and in the future, that could assist community groups to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and save money.

He said several initiatives to further support community groups would also be incorporated in the Mitchell Shire Climate Emergency Action Plan, which is currently under development.

“I think where this motion is slightly different is it’s putting emphasis on the volunteers and there’s probably a bit of a blackhole there,” he said.

“I think whenever we can empower the community to step forward and help them to do that, I think it’s a great outcome.”

Council voted unanimously in favour of the motion.

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