AEMO held the first meeting of its newly formed Advisory Council on Social Licence, with 11 members appointed to represent a diverse range of perspectives including those of landholders, agriculture, rural and regional communities, First Nations, consumer and environmental groups.
In September, AEMO published the terms of reference for a new advisory council to enhance its understanding of social licence challenges, issues, risks and possible solutions for consideration in energy system planning and shaping the energy transition.
AEMO Executive General Manager – Government & Stakeholder, Nevenka Codevelle, said the rapid pace and scale of Australia’s energy transition underscores the importance of transparent and collaborative engagement with stakeholders.
“Securing social licence through transparent and collaborative engagement with stakeholders is critical to maintaining reliable, secure and affordable energy as Australia undergoes a once in a century energy transition,” said Ms Codevelle.
“Social licence is critical for the energy transition. The inability to secure community acceptance for new infrastructure risks increased costs and project delays that could threaten the delivery of infrastructure vital for Australia’s transition to net zero emissions by 2050.
“AEMO has established the Advisory Council to further understand and consider social licence challenges as part of our network planning role, including developing the Integrated System Plan, as well as contributing to energy policy and actions to support the transition,” she said.
After calling for expressions of interest, 11 highly experienced individuals bringing perspectives and insights from diverse stakeholder networks were appointed to the Advisory Council.
“The engagement was very positive at our inagural meeting, where everyone brought a distinct perspective on social, cultural and environmental matters given the scale of the transition ahead,” said Ms Codevelle.
The Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner, Andrew Dyer also attended the meeting.
The members appointed were:
- Andrew Bray - National Director, RE-Alliance
- Andrew Richards - CEO, Energy Users Association of Australia
- Darren Edwards - Director, Energy Grid Alliance
- Dr Amanda Cahill - CEO, The Next Economy
- Gavin Dufty - Executive Manager, Policy and Research, St Vincent de Paul Society of Victoria
- Joy Thomas - Chair, Agricultural Energy Social Licence Roundtable
- Karrina Nolan - Executive Director, Original Power
- Lucy Graham - Director, Cairns & Far North Environment Centre
- Professor Peta Ashworth - Director, Andrew N. Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership, University of Queensland
- Russell Dunn - Native Title and Heritage Consultant, Indigenous Agreement Solutions and Specialised Native Title Consultants
- Warrick Jordan - Coordinator, Hunter Jobs Alliance
The Advisory Council will meet again early in the new year, when it will consider inputs, assumptions and scenarios for the 2024 Integrated Systems Plan.