The future of energy supply in NSW will be the subject of a parliamentary inquiry which will examine the state’s transition from coal to renewable energy.
The lower house inquiry will look at the economic opportunities of renewable energy and how regional communities can be supported as resource and energy markets change.
The capacity of renewable energy and the effects of the changing energy market on water security and the environment will also be considered by the inquiry, which will be chaired by Independent MP Alex Greenwich.
“Planning for NSW’s energy future is critical,” Mr Greenwich said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We must take a holistic approach to energy. This includes supporting the regions to adapt and thrive as more sustainable economies for the long term”.
The independent MP hopes the inquiry will shed light on what the state’s energy market will look like in the future and how to minimise disruption to communities.
Job creation through renewable energy will be a key part of the inquiry which will also consider how government policies can be implemented to support the state’s sustainable energy future.
The inquiry will be conducted by the Environment and Planning Committee, which includes Liberal MPs Felicity Wilson, James Griffin and Nathaniel Smith and Labor MP Anoulack Chanthivong.
The closing date for submissions is September 15.
Community group Hunter Renewal believes the inquiry will give people in regional coal communities a chance to talk about how they want to prepare for the future.
“Almost everyone in the Hunter agrees that we need a plan for a future that is less dependent on coal mining and that sets us up with new jobs and industries for the long-term,” coordinator Danielle Coleman said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Experience from elsewhere in Australia and overseas tells us that we need to start preparing for change now, and that strong government support and targeted investment in our regions will be crucial to success.”