Updated guidelines to boost Aboriginal opportunities in Central-West Orana REZ
Aboriginal people living in the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) will be better supported to find a job or grow a business, under updated First Nations Guidelines announced today by the NSW Government.
The update streamlines the engagement process for renewable energy generators seeking to consult with First Nations stakeholders on NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap projects.
The Central-West Orana guidelines are the first of five region-specific guidelines for each REZ in NSW. They have been co-designed with a working group consisting of local Aboriginal community representatives to reflect the economic aspirations of the region. They provide detailed socio-demographic information about the REZ, outlines approaches to engaging with the local Aboriginal communities, and identify priority areas of employment and income opportunities.
They also inform procurement targets for project developers, aligned with targets in the NSW Government’s Aboriginal Procurement Policy. These requirements include opportunities for Aboriginal people and businesses to be involved in Roadmap projects, as well as funding for education and community projects.
The guidelines also outline EnergyCo’s new First Nations Outcome team, which will support the Central-West Orana First Nations Working Group to engage with project developers and set out aspirational employment and training goals.
The Central-West Orana guidelines will be shared with Aboriginal communities, landowners, industry, councils and government agencies and will be reviewed every two years.
Tim Stevenson, Chair of CWO First Nations Working Group said:
“The opportunity for local Aboriginal participation in the renewable energy zone projects has the potential to enhance skills and build capacity for local mob.
“The relationships established through the Aboriginal Participation Plans with project developers and Aboriginal community organisations will deliver great outcomes for First Nations people.”
Minister for Energy Penny Sharpe said:
“I asked for these guidelines to be updated after receiving feedback from a Central West Orana workshop with local Aboriginal stakeholders in June.
“The overall framework and implementation have been strengthened to make the consultation process clearer and support jobs and economic opportunities.
“The NSW Government wants consultation with the Aboriginal community to be genuine, and for Aboriginal people to benefit from the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone.”
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty David Harris said:
“Closing the Gap is a top priority for the NSW Labor Government.
“In NSW we have developed our own unique Closing the Gap priority focused on better employment, business growth and economic prosperity outcomes, which these new guidelines help deliver.
“Our government will continue to work in partnership, because we know that Aboriginal people having a say on issues that affect them, delivers better outcomes for all.”