Victoria’s Minister for Energy and Resources Lilly D’Ambrosio announced on February 19 that the community of Newstead would receive $200,000 to help create a model for small town, renewable energy generation.

Ms D’Ambrosio made the grant announcement at the Newstead Primary School before a crowd of locals and interested onlookers from surrounding towns and communities.

“The Andrews Labor Government is working with the Newstead community to help them achieve their goal of moving to renewable energy,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“By reducing reliance on coal-fired power and cutting their carbon footprint Newstead residents will help to inspire others in regional Victoria and beyond to move to renewables.”

Labor MP for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards, accompanied the Minister and spoke highly of the project and our community’s ability to see it carried out.


From left: David Stratton, Gen Barlow, Maree Edwards, Lily D’Ambrosio, Don Culvenor, Geoff Park and Andrew Skeoch.


Since then many people have been asking what this Renewable Newstead Project is all about…

The Renewable Newstead Project continues the work the Newstead community commenced in 2011 to encourage households to understand their usage and use their energy more efficiently by completing household energy audits. Many households have since installed solar power panels.

The current project aims to introduce a commercially viable and socially acceptable renewable energy source that can supply our town with continuous reliable power. It is hoped it may become a model for small communities everywhere.

The project is in its very early stages and an agreement between the Victorian Government and the local team overseeing the project is being finalised. The project is being auspiced by Newstead 2021 Inc.

The power source, as yet, is undecided although, most likely, it will include solar. It will be a staged project. with the first stage set to examine the constraints in our current power grid system of setting up community-wide energy generation.

Those working on the project include Newstead 2021 Inc president Andrew Skeoch, and members Genevieve Barlow, David Stratton, Don Culvenor and Geoff Park.

“We expect to formalise the project by establishing a committee to ensure good governance and warmly welcome anyone interested in energy and community development to join us,” said Geoff Park.

“We will establish a website soon to share updates about the project.

“We thank the school and principal Andrew Frawley for hosting the announcement.”

Newstead Primary School Grade Fivers Zali Lau and Caitlin Richardson met the Minister during her visit.

To join the project team or for more information, please phone Geoff Park on 0418 138 632 or David Stratton on 0428 310 825.