Oct 15, 2006

Campbell opens wind farms in China but closes them here

Campbell opens wind farms in China but closes them here

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

15 October 2006

Howard Government policies are killing jobs and investment in Australia’s renewable energy industry and sending them to China.

Next Tuesday 17 October, the Minister for Environment Senator Campbell will officially open an Australian company’s wind farm in China worth $300m.

For Australia’s renewable energy industry, Senator Campbell’s trip to China adds insult to injury.

It is rank hypocrisy for Senator Campbell to celebrate investment and jobs in China after his damaging actions in Australia against the renewable energy industry.

Senator Campbell is more concerned about one theoretical parrot being killed every 1000 years than he is about sending Australian jobs to China.

Government policies have lost 100’s of jobs and stalled the development of the renewable energy industry in Australia.

In July 2006, the Australian wind energy company Roaring 40s announced they would not proceed with wind power projects in Tasmania and South Australia because of a lack of Federal Government support.

Roaring 40s wind farms at Heemskirk in Tasmania and Waterloo in South Australia were worth $550 million and would have created over 200 fulltime construction jobs.

Recently, leading renewable energy company Pacific Hydro announced it may scrap plans for wind farms in Portland, Ararat and Yaloak in Victoria.

Last month, the Vestas Nacelle wind turbine assembly plant in northern Tasmania announced it would be closing and 100 jobs would be lost as a direct result of Howard Government policies against clean, renewable energy.

Australia’s fourth richest man, Mr Zhengrong Shi, made his wealth from developing solar energy technology in China and he stated on 27 August “if Australia had a similar type of incentive program (to China’s), we definitely would have set up a manufacturing facility in Sydney or Australia”.

Renewable energy companies are investing in China because China has a renewable energy target of 15%, compared to Australia’s pathetic 2% renewable energy target.