RET CHOICE IS EASY, SO WHY IS ABBOTT GETTING IT WRONG?

Date:  26 August 2014

The Abbott Government is faced with a very easy choice on renewable energy, but it seems to have fallen for its own scare campaign.

The Australian Financial Review reports this morning that the Abbott Government is preparing to break its election promise and put billions of dollars of investment at risk by dramatically cutting the Renewable Energy Target.

“There is billions of dollars of investment sitting in limbo and thousands of jobs are hanging in the balance while Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt bicker about the renewable energy target,” Shadow Minister for Climate Change Mark Butler said.  

“While the Government’s own research shows the current RET will lead to a fall in household power bills in the long term, the Abbott Government is still going to cut the RET and kill of investment in clean energy.

“The renewable energy target is a political no-brainer. The real question is, why can’t the Coalition see this?”

Under Labor, $18 billion was invested in clean energy projects, jobs in the industry tripled and Australian households with solar roofs increased from 7500 to 1.2 million. The Government’s infighting and public slamming of renewable energy puts these at risk jobs and stalls any expansion of the industry.

“Australians expected this policy would be left alone, after Tony Abbott repeatedly committed to the RET before the election,” Mr Butler said.

“It’s a policy success story and the Government’s anti-clean energy scare campaign isn’t working on anyone except the climate change deniers inside their own party room.”

The clean energy industry has more reason to be concerned when it’s clear that Environment Minister Greg Hunt has been hopelessly inadequate at protecting the renewable energy target.

“Greg Hunt has had his Solar Roofs scheme scrapped, his Solar Towns and Community program decimated and has engaged in public spats with clean energy advocates,” Mr Butler said.

“And today the Government will begin a debate on their bill to abolish the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, despite Greg Hunt and Ian Macfarlane committing to ARENA before the election.

“Clean energy workers, homeowners with solar panels and investors have every reason to doubt Greg Hunt’s ability to defend them.

“When it comes to the environment, Tony Abbott listens to the advice of Maurice Newman and Dick Warburton instead of his own environment minister.

“The only thing Greg Hunt has delivered for the clean energy sector is fear and uncertainty. If he can’t do the job, he should get out of the way for someone who can.”

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© Mark Butler. Authorised by Mark Butler 15 Semaphore Road, Semaphore SA 5019