Chairs Report

Last year’s Chair’s Report remarked on the devastating Black Summer bushfires. This year, Gippsland has been afflicted by extreme weather events causing widespread damage.

At the 2019 AGM, Ross Garnaut outlined a vision for a low-carbon future in his book Super-Power. Little did we know we were on the cusp of that future. Gippsland is now a designated Renewable Energy Zone with multiple land and sea based renewable energy projects in the planning stage with large scale wind, solar, hydrogen and batteries all in the mix. GCCN has expanded its partnerships and built strong relationships with these new industry players and we have found a new home in the Gippsland Innovation Centre in Morwell. We appreciate the continued support from Wellington Shire and Latrobe City, the Latrobe Valley Authority, DELWP and Sustainability Victoria.

Thanks to successful funding applications GCCN has expanded its programs, restructured the organisation and employed a CEO. Darren McCubbin commenced the position midyear and has been meeting regularly with various stakeholders with the aim to work together on targeted advocacy, capacity building activities and regional partnership projects. Darren’s years of experience as Chair of GCCN has been fundamental to the success of his new position. He is also the Project Co-ordinator for the Gippsland Community Power Hub. Other GCCN Team members are Chris Barfoot Project Officer, Gippsland Community Power Hub and SV Small Business Energy Saver Program (SBESP), Ian Southall SBESP Engagement Officer, Sherryn Vardy Communications and Esther Lloyd Project Manager LVA Gippsland Smart Specialisation-Community Energy. A great committed team to work with.

I would like to extend my thanks to the executive Team; Tony Wolfe Vice Chair, Loraine Bull Secretary, Alison Edgar Treasurer, and all the volunteer board members for their contributions to the organisation. We are in the shadow of the disappointment of COP26, not only facing
a climate crisis but a moral one. We have an obligation to make changes now for the sake of future generations. GCCN is working towards making a difference and effecting change.

Carolyn Crossley