First Nations guidelines for major energy projects released
The NSW Government has released its First Nations guidelines to help support local Aboriginal communities as new energy infrastructure projects are rolled out across the state.
The guidelines were developed in collaboration with key First Nations stakeholders and communities and will provide a basis for Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap projects to create long-term economic and income opportunities for local Aboriginal communities.
New energy projects will need to demonstrate they are delivering real and lasting economic opportunities for local Aboriginal communities.
The First Nations guidelines recommend that proponents submit an Aboriginal Participation Plan, demonstrating meaningful engagement with local Aboriginal communities and that commitments are in line with community expectations and State priorities.
The Aboriginal Participation Plan would outline how the project will meet targets for Aboriginal employment, procurement, training and capability building.
The guidelines will go a long way to creating opportunities to support local Aboriginal businesses, education, training and inclusion in the growing renewable energy workforce.
This is an exciting step for the Roadmap and demonstrates that the NSW Government is working with local Aboriginal communities and the energy sector to ensure that the energy transition brings genuine, lasting benefits to Aboriginal people across New South Wales.
Kristy Masella, CEO Aboriginal Employment Strategy, said the Aboriginal Employment Strategy has been proud to get behind and contribute to the design of these landmark guidelines. They provide a rigorous framework with local decision-making, self-determination, economic empowerment, and respectful partnerships at its core.
The Office of Energy and Climate Change will continue working with First Nations consultants on community consultation, including engaging local First Nations stakeholders in each Renewable Energy Zone region to ensure that the region-specific guidelines include the engagement, consultation and long-term economic opportunities important to those Aboriginal communities.
You can read more about the guidelines here: First Nations guidelines.