BLOG: Wind farm official blown away by Inverell support

Lisa Stiebel (left) and Sandy McNaughton, Community Project Manager of Sapphire Wind Farm
Lisa Stiebel (left) and Sandy McNaughton, Community Project Manager of Sapphire Wind Farm

With the growth rate between city and country continuing to widen across many parts of our country, many regional towns and communities are fighting for survival.  Many have done it tough for years with drought, and people moving away to find work. 

In saying this, the fighting spirit of regional Australia lives on with many communities reinventing themselves, and local businesses and residents on the look-out for alternative sources of income, employment and ways to best use their land.

That’s what makes me so proud to be working on Sapphire Wind Farm. Renewable energy projects such as large-scale wind and solar projects, if done right, can create enormous value and opportunity for regional, rural and remote areas. And with the global transition to clean energy, the industry is in a key position to support the revival of regional Australia.

It is this opportunity that excites me and has been brought home by many comments I’ve received over the last few months, and more recently at our Community Day Out, from people in Inverell and Glenn Innes.

Having previously worked in health and drought support across rural and remote NSW, I’m really enjoying that unique, passionate and heart-warming vibe that comes from working with and in a regional community.

I was blown away by the number of people that turned out recently for our Community Day Out on June 3. This is testament to the community’s spirit and drive to embrace every positive opportunity offered. 

Creating tangible opportunities for the community to share in the long-term benefits of our project is a key part of my job. 

As NSW’s largest wind farm, we’re leading the way by collaboratively developing a series of planned ‘legacy’ projects with the community to ensure the benefits extend far beyond the construction phase and our host landholders.  There are lots of ideas bubbling up – it’s great to hear so much interest and enthusiasm from within the community.

One project is Construction in the Community whereby we’re asking community groups to submit small scale construction activities that they need practical help with.  Don’t forget, applications can be submitted online at www.sapphirewindfarm.com.au and close this Sunday 25 June.

I’m looking forward to reviewing the submissions and getting started with this, the first of our community legacy projects.