Parkes Shire Council recently hosted the Activating the Low Carbon Economy in Regional Australia forum with over 150 attendees joining online.

"We were delighted to be able to proceed with an online delivery of the Activating the Low Carbon Economy in Regional Australia Forum. Whilst we would have loved to host the exceptional speakers and delegates face to face and gotten the opportunity to show them what Parkes has to offer, the COVID-19 restrictions in place meant that it wasn't to be," said Parkes Shire Mayor Cr Ken Keith OAM.

Over 20 esteemed speakers and more than 150 delegates joined in for the full day forum, which included presentations from The Hon. Matthew Kean NSW Minister for Energy & Environment, Professor Will Steffen of ANU, Professor Veena Sahajwalla of UNSW, NSW Regional Growth Development Corporation, Beyond Zero Emissions, NSW Circular, the University of Sydney, Institute for Sustainable Futures (UTS), CSIRO and more.


Parkes Shire Councillor Neil Westcott said, "The purpose of the forum was to build a platform for knowledge sharing and innovation. There were many fantastic ideas shared that could be relevant to not only Parkes and regional New South Wales, but all of regional Australia.


"The key drivers for the day were urgency, empathy and opportunity. It is a very unique time in our history as there are some enormous problems, however a fantastic opportunity to make better use of the resources we have available to us and to set a mode of operation built around the circular economy," Cr Westcott said.

Topics covered included the role and impact of renewable energy in the regions, the nature and benefits of a circular economy and what this means for business and government, the importance of a low carbon economy to regional and rural Australia, and how all of these will combine to embrace new industries and create local employment in Parkes, accelerating our transition to a prosperous low carbon future.

Multiple speakers applauded Parkes Shire Council for its strategic vision in hosting the forum and the work that Council is doing to champion a low carbon and circular economy to boost regional productivity and opportunities.

Beyond the forum, Council plans to develop a white paper to guide future projects, opportunities and embrace new industries and create local employment in the Parkes Special Activation Precinct and accelerate our transition to a prosperous low carbon future.

"Council is committed to support the development of a low carbon economy in Regional NSW and is excited by the opportunities arising for local businesses and our regional community from the Special Activation Precinct. Collaboration is key. We need to collaborate and connect between public and private as well as between industries to address the big picture of a low carbon economy," added Cr Westcott.