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The Network’s submission in response to the First Nations Clean Energy Strategy Consultation Paper

A properly funded, ambitious First Nations Clean Energy Strategy and associated funding package through the Federal Budget 2024-25 and beyond will be an investment in Australiaʼs future economic prosperity. 

It will also have much potential to deliver social, economic and cultural justice for First Nations and the Australian community at large.

Indeed, these aspects of Australiaʼs national clean energy transition are mutually entwined - without First Nations participation and consent, the clean energy transition cannot occur at the pace and scale required, which will impact upon Australiaʼs future economic prosperity and emissions reduction targets.

The First Nations Clean Energy Network’s submission to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water's (DCCEEW) First Nations Clean Energy Strategy Consultation Paper was delivered in February 2024.

In our submission, we developed a list of potential actions that the Network would encourage the Commonwealth government to explicitly include in its First Nations Clean Energy Strategy to help deliver on the Goals and Principles identified in the Consultation Paper.

Our list of potential actions covers areas including (see Attachment 1):

  • Align existing clean energy special investment vehicles

  • Building First Nations business and supply chain opportunities

  • Building the First Nations clean energy workforce

  • Community / Climate Action Fund

  • Community energy projects (including diesel reduction)

  • Electrification

  • Embedding cultural and heritage protection

  • Energy efficiency

  • Energy supply, storage and energy security

  • Establish new financing initiatives to support First Nations access to capital and First Nations-led clean energy infrastructure projects

  • Financing and funding: special investment vehicles

  • First Nations Clean Energy Capacity Building Fund

  • First Nations Clean Energy Workforce Fund

  • First Nations development rights through project development / approvals processes (including through the Capacity Investment Scheme)

  • First Nations Project Finance and Grant Fund

  • First Nations-led research on clean energy

  • Free, Prior and Informed Consent

  • Household capacity and energy literacy

  • Household / families

  • Planning, energy rules and the energy system

  • Improved cultural safety of the private sector

  • Recognise First Nations peoplesʼ environmental values, management and expertise

  • Renewable Energy Country Planning

  • Representative entities

  • Residential Solar for households most impacted by climate change and lack of access to affordable, reliable, clean power

  • Resolve Outstanding New South Wales Land Claims

  • Supporting clean energy careers for First Nations youth

  • Strengthen land and sea tenure and rights

  • First Nations rights for new transmission assets

The list of actions identified by the Network for inclusion in a First Nations Clean Energy Strategy is set out in Attachment 1 in our submission. A summary of the identified actions that require funding is provided in Attachment 2.

Read our submission