Hepburn Z-NET Community Transition Plan

Donna Luckman • 11 June 2020

Z-NET is Zero-Net Emission Transition, an open-source pathway for a local community to set targets and achieve zero-net emissions. In February 2017 an ambitious target was requested by the Hepburn Shire community to be the first Shire in Australia to achieve 100% electricity generation from renewable sources.

This declaration sets out the aspiration to be a ‘lighthouse community’ for community-owned energy facilities, demonstrating the economic, social and environmental benefits of locally community owned, local renewable generation infrastructure. Further, it lays out a target of zero-net energy by 2025 for the Hepburn Shire, with an aspirational target of 100% renewable by 2021.

Hepburn Shire was successful in being selected to be the Z-NET pilot for Victoria under the Sustainability Victoria Take2 Community Transitions Pilot Program. In particular, because of its demonstrated track record in community energy with the Hepburn Wind project and the strong support shown by the Hepburn Shire Council, local community and business to pursue 100% renewable energy.

This project was a strategic initiative of the Coalition for Community Energy with the Renew and Little Sketches leading it, with help from many other collaborating groups and individuals including Starfish Initiatives.

The Community Transition Pilot was funded by Sustainability VictoriaHepburn Shire CouncilHepburn WindSamsø Energy Academy (Denmark) and Diversicon Environmental Foundation. The project ran throughout 2018.

The project team worked closely with Hepburn Shire Council, Hepburn Wind and the five local sustainability groups: SHARE, Hepburn Relocalisation Network, Trentham Sustainability Group, Transition Creswick and the Clunes Sustainability Group.

Hepburn Shire has greatly expanded the Z-NET Blueprint – going beyond zero net energy to zero net emissions –  by encompassing the full emissions spectrum and the associated opportunities of:

  • Stationary Energy
  • Transportation
  • Agriculture
  • Waste & waste water
  • Land use change

The Hepburn Community Transition Plan (CTP) is a holistic masterplan and is the most in-depth, place-based carbon emissions profile yet created in Australia. It is also the first local government area CTP for zero-net energy and zero-net emissions.

This CTP has been co-developed with the local community and is written for them, as well as stakeholders from important sectors to engage on the journey, all levels of government, technical experts and industry. 

For more information go to: https://z-net.org.au/hepburn/