It seems we now have two, four letter “F” words to worry about… Food and Fuel

June 29, 2008

The rising price of oil is just one part of the expected, ongoing increase in energy costs. Expect to see electricity, also rise in price, by more than double the official inflation rate this year.

The usual cry is, “What is the Government doing about it?”, but in our Bingara community, many of us believe that the solutions may well lie, in looking forward, to new technologies, looking back to a bygone methods, and blending these with the attributes of community organization and spirit. We call this process, REGENERATION.

On July 17 and 18,  Gwydir Shire Council, and Bingara and District Vision 20/20, with support from, the NSW Department of State and Regional Development, AusIndustry, Country Energy and Willoughby City Council, will host the Regenerative Energy for Rural Communities Forum and investigate the prospects for Rural Communities to help solve the energy crisis.

An eminent list of presenters and speakers has been assembled to provide information and opinion on all aspects of Regenerative Energy. They include leading “futurist” Professor Stuart White, CSIRO head solar researcher, Wes Stein, BP Solar’s Nigel Morris, Country Energy’s Paul Watson, David Fewchuk, Head of the Aurora Solar Car Project, and Cr Barry Thompson from Willoughby City Council, who has many years experience in the petro-chemical industry and is a leading Permaculturist.

Big fixes have been the method of big governments and big business, and many have failed, even to get off the drawing board. On the other end of the scale, the Federal and State Governments support the installation of solar electricity and hot water systems, by providing rebates and subsidies, but these are aimed at the individual household and mainly at the new home builder. In the wake of the income threshold, from the last Federal Budget, the adoption of these technologies, are unlikely to see much expansion.

The solution, we believe, lies at the local community level. The prospect of empowering a community to develop collective projects, to provide electricity systems, we believe, is real, achievable, and necessary.

From the ability to generate and feed electricity into a true grid system, we believe, that small communities, can be at the forefront of adapting to change, and achieving growth. Once achieved, the systems, and the stimulus, thus established, can be expanded into transportation methods and food production.

We invite, and recommend, that all Rural Communities, large and small, send delegates to this Forum.

Tickets, and program details, are available through the Gwydir Shire Tourist Information Centre, Roxy Theatre, Bingara, phone 6724 0066.

Submitted by: Rick Hutton – Secretary. Ph: 0428 255 380