Rudd could save Musselroe wind farm jobs by fixing renewables target
Hobart, Sunday 7 February 2010
The Rudd government’s bungling of the renewable energy target legislation is jeopardising hundreds of jobs around Australia, including those about to be lost at the stalled Musselroe Bay wind farm.
The Greens have proposed a Private Member’s Bill to fix the legislation, based on amendments rejected by both Labor and Liberals when the bill was being debated. The government could save the Musselroe jobs by working with the Greens to fix the target scheme.
“Mr Rudd and Minister Wong could save these people’s jobs at Musselroe Bay if they fixed the bungled renewable energy target,” Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne said.
“We can fix this problem so easily and I challenge Mr Rudd and Senator Wong to look at our proposal and work with us to make sure the renewables sector survives and flourishes.
“$20 billion of investment in wind power alone that is waiting to be unleashed by solid policy is being undermined by Rudd government mismanagement.
“It’s not just jobs at Musselroe Bay and other industrial scale renewable energy developments across the country, but the Rudd government’s climate credibility is on the line here if the renewable energy target is not urgently fixed.
“The gross mismanagement of the Green Loans Scheme is also jeopardising jobs and small businesses across the country as we speak.”
The Greens repeatedly warned that including solar hot water, heat pumps and multiplied rooftop solar credits in the renewable energy target would crash the price of renewable energy certificates (RECs), stopping commercial-scale renewable energy developments from getting off the ground. This would not have come to pass if Greens amendments moved at the time had been accepted.
“It was obvious that this would happen, but both the government and opposition refused to heed the warnings and rejected my amendments that would have prevented it,” Senator Milne said.
“This is typical of Mr Rudd and Senator Wong’s spin-over-substance approach to climate and clean energy.”
Senator Milne’s Private Member’s Bill would add RECs from solar hot water, heat pumps and the solar multiplier to the top of the target. This would ensure that the technologies are supported but do not crowd out large-scale renewable energy.
“This is not the perfect policy, but it is an achievable way to fix this problem quickly.
“Ideally, the Greens would like to see an energy efficiency target and a gross feed-in tariff running alongside the renewable energy target, supporting solar water heating, rooftop solar and much more. That would be the best way to drive a boom in zero emissions energy.”
Senator Christine Milne
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