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Cosmos: Pilbara conference drives Indigenous leadership in clean energy boom

A round table discussion held last week has paved the way for a clear clean energy future for First Nations communities in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

In August 2022, the Federal Government and state and territory energy ministers committed to creating a First Nations’ Clean Energy Strategy, to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to play a role in the country’s energy transformation.

Ministers committed to resource community meetings to support the First Nations’ Clean Energy Network’s three pillars of “community, industry partnerships and policy reform”.

The First Nations’ Clean Energy Strategy is being created to review laws, regulation and policy, lift barriers and implement regulatory reform, and to facilitate greater government investment in innovation, technology and infrastructure.

Yorta Yorta woman and First Nations’ Clean Energy Network member, Karrina Nolan, says the two-day round table was “the first of many” that would help outline a clean energy and investment vision by communities in and around the Pilbara.

“The round tables bring people together to talk about what’s working and what’s not,” says Nolan.

Key topics included education and information, opportunity and co-benefits, capacity and resourcing, the need to have free, prior and informed consent and energy security.

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