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12 Dec 2022

Community Advisory Group established for G-REZ project

AusNet Services (AusNet) has established a community advisory group to help inform its Gippsland Renewable Energy Zone™ project (G-REZ™).

The G-REZ Community Advisory Group (GCAG), which met for the first time last month, is a key part of AusNet’s commitment to involve the community in the development of the project.

A diverse range of individuals have been appointed to the group representing landowners proposed to host infrastructure, local communities, community groups, agriculture, local government, environmental, business and industry groups.

Experienced senior executive and Gippsland local, Mary Aldred, was elected by members to serve as the GCAG’s inaugural Chairperson. Ms Aldred brings to the role significant experience as a board director and chairperson of community advisory committees coupled with strong facilitation skills and extensive networks throughout the Gippsland region. She has most recently served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Franchise Council of Australia and prior to that was the CEO of the Committee for Gippsland.

Ms Aldred said she looked forward to working with members of the group and AusNet representatives to ensure the local community is involved in the G-REZ project.

"It was very clear from the first meeting that the group’s membership represents a wide range of interests and there is a really diverse range of views, skills and expertise amongst the group,” she said.

“Everyone is really passionate about ensuring a sustainable future for the region and there was a real commitment amongst members to work constructively to get the best outcome for all stakeholders involved in the G-REZ project."

"The GCAG provides members with the opportunity to work directly with AusNet to help shape the G-REZ project and I’m looking forward to having some really robust discussions amongst the group in the months ahead."

Members also elected Wendy Bezzina to the role of Deputy Chairperson.

Wendy has a keen interest in projects that benefit the community and leave a positive legacy for the next generation. She brings to the GCAG more than 25 years’ experience across a range of sectors including health, government, manufacturing, waste, social enterprise management and social procurement.

The GCAG will assist the team by providing local input and feedback about key elements of the project, supporting the development of the project’s community benefits scheme and creating an effective forum for discussion and exchange of ideas and views regarding the G-REZ project.

The group will meet every two months.

View the media release here.