Tuesday, June 23, 2009

CLEAN ENERGY JOBS UNDER PRESSURE

The decision by the Senate to defer the government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) bill places the jobs of hundreds of employees in the solar photovoltaic industry under pressure.

The chief executive of the Clean Energy Council, Matthew Warren commented that the decision will only further delay the clean energy projects across the country that are poised to create thousands of new jobs and stimulate multi-billion dollars investments in regional Australia. He also said that Australia’s emerging solar PV industry will become the victim of political posturing, with dynamic new companies halted in their tracks and now making forced job cuts in the wake of the decision.

“Clean energy companies around Australia will now put hiring plans on hold and in some cases be forced to start shedding staff,” he said. “Investing in large scale clean energy projects should be the front line response to climate change. This RET legislation should have been passed a year ago. Instead we saw it introduced late into the Parliament and linked to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme by the government, and now it has been deferred by the coalition,”

The Clean Energy Council provided detailed amendments to all sides of politics to remove any impediments to the passage of the RET bill.

“Industry representatives have met with senior advisers from the Prime Minister’s office. We have met with Minister Wong and her staff. We have met with senior advisers to Malcolm Turnbull. We have met the Shadow Minister Greg Hunt. And we have met with the Greens and the Independents. All have said that they support the introduction of the 20 percent Renewable Energy Target.

“Our question to the Parliament is then 'Why is this so difficult'. It’stime for all sides of politics
to stop treating renewable energy as a political football and get on with the clean energy revolution demanded by the clear majority of Australians.”

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