Energy Forum set to Regenerate Rural Australia

July 7, 2008

The Regenerative Energy for Rural Communities Forum to be held in Bingara, NSW on July 17 and 18, has stimulated much interest in Future Energy and the prospects for rural communities.

A cross section of presenters, several of them internationally recognised in their fields, will consider the way forward for rural communities to survive and thrive in the challenging years to come. After the official opening by Gwydir Shire Mayor, Cr  Peter Caskey, Futurist, Professor Stuart White, will lead off the Forum on the Thursday, with a look into the Australian and global energy scene of the next few decades. Expect some surprises and some real challenges. 

President of Bingara and District VISION 20/20, Garry McDouall, will consider the local sphere and ask what small communities can do to be better prepared for change. An urban contrast will then be given by Cr Barry Thompson from Willoughby City Council. Barry has a long background in the petro-chemical industry and is also a leading Permaculturalist in Sydney. 

Nigel Morris from BP Solar was recently involved in fitting out the NSW Parliament with Solar Power and will bring his broad knowledge to bear on the rural situation. Paul Watson from Country Energy will outline the local distributor’s role and the "green" changes in local energy supply, before Wes Stein from the CSIRO’s research centre in Newcastle, considers the opportunitiies for a clean, secure future. 

The State and Federal Government’s stance on future energy will be outlined by Darren Keegan from the NSW Department of State and Regional Development and Tim Cotter from AusIndustry. The Thursday program will conclude with an open panel discussion involving all of the day’s presenters.

On Thursday evening a dinner is being held with the special guest speaker, Mr David Fewchuk, the Chairman of the Aurora Vehicle Association. Hear the Aurora story and the lessons learned from designing and building a vehicle to run thousands of kilometers on energy drawn directly from the sun, and using less power than that required by a kitchen toaster.

The Friday session will commence with a breakfast at the Bingara RSL Club, followed by a "breakout session" where all of the presenters and those attending the session will bring together what has been learnt, and combine it with the current and projected circumstances facing a rural community. After a wrap up by Pieter Verasdonck, the Community Economic Development Manager for DSRD, Max Eastcott, the General Manager of Gwydir Shire Council will conclude the Forum.

People are invited to attend any one of the sessions, or stay for the whole program. Bookings, and more information is available through the Bingara Tourist Information Office by phoning 6724 0066.

Click here for further details.
Rick Hutton
Bingara and District VISION 20/20
Ph:0428 255 380