(North Sydney) (16:02): Community organisations in my electorate are embracing the future and the potential of solar energy. This is both because of the benefits for our climate and the savings in energy costs that can be achieved from solar panels. This was brought home to me recently when I visited the Willoughby Park Bowling Club. Apart from an opportunity to embarrass myself with non-existent building skills, I was able to discuss with the club their own solar panel project. With a grant from the federal government, the club has installed solar panels, which have reduced its energy bills by around a third. It was a similar story when I visited the 1st Sailors Bay Sea Scouts, which is inspiring younger residents with a solar panel project which received $12,500 from the government’s Solar Communities Program.
They join many community groups I’ve worked with to support solar projects in my electorate. For example, I’m really pleased that through the most recent round of the Stronger Communities Program we’ve been able to provide grants to both the Wollstonecraft bowling club and St Mark’s Anglican Church in Northbridge for solar projects. They join organisations like the Ensemble Theatre, the KU Castlecrag Preschool, the Willoughby Community Preschool, the Hunters Hill Preschool, the 1st North Sydney Scout Group and the Hunters Hill Club, which have all received federal support for similar projects. We know that Australians have been enthusiastic adopters of the potential of solar in their own homes. I am grateful that, with the government’s support, this is being extended to so many community organisations across my electorate.