Increased Funding for Community Benefit Sharing
We are increasing the total sum committed under the project’s annual community benefit-sharing program from $100,000 to $160,000. This amount now represents approximately 1.88% of the total cost for building our project and will be indexed to CPI.
The $160,000 will be available to the community every year across the project’s operations phase. This means a total investment of over $4.8 million can be expected to occur across the wind farm’s life. This funding is in addition to the Neighbour Benefit Fund of approximately $220,000 per annum.
This outcome has emerged from consultations relating to a possible Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) with both the Tamworth Regional Council and the Uralla Shire Council. Neoen accepted and improved on the councils’ request to increase the funding dedicated to community benefit-sharing to an amount equivalent to 1.5% of the project’s development costs.
Neoen has also agreed to split the total amount equally with both Councils, i.e., $80,000 per annum each. Tamworth Regional Council has agreed to their portion being administered as a ‘Community Benefit Fund’, while Uralla Shire Council has elected for their portion to be paid to them as a VPA.
A Community Benefit Fund is an open & competitive grants process to which local charities and community organisations will be able to apply. The governance and administration of the Fund is proposed to be with the Community Enterprise Foundation, a philanthropic arm of Adelaide & Bendigo Bank as well as a specialist in this area of work.
Applications can be submitted annually for funding and will be reviewed by an advisory committee. This committee would consist of representatives from the local council, Neoen and local community members. A Terms of Reference will set out eligibility criteria for the funding. Updates on the Fund will be shared closer to the time of commencing operations !
To learn more about Neoen’s industry-leading and generous community benefit-sharing program, visit our Benefits page.