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The New South Wales state government has awarded a $155,000 grant to nine regional local government joint organisations (JO). This funding is intended to cover one year’s employment for an in-house specialist to drive net zero initiatives such as power purchasing agreements and EV plans.

Called the Joint Organisation Net Zero Acceleration (JONZA) program, this initiative is designed to help regional councils in cutting their carbon emissions and in helping the state in achieving 50 per cent reduction by 2030 and net zero by 2050.

According to the NSW Office of Energy and Climate Change, 70 percent of regional councils are now covered by the program. This will allow them to deliver net zero outcomes while building net zero capability within the organisations.

“Projects will include developing a regional Electric Vehicle (EV) plan, emissions reduction plans and establishing Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) for renewable energy purchase for member councils,” said Emily Yip, Director for Sustainability and Circular Economy Partnerships, NSW Office of Energy and Climate Change.

Among the nine JOs who received the grant are Mid North Coast, Canberra Region, Illawarra Shoalhaven, Hunter, Northern Rivers, Riverina Eastern Region, Riverina Murray, Central NSW JO, and Far North West. They represent 65 regional councils in the state. Currently, there are 13 regional JOs in NSW covering 87 councils.

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