Oct 16, 2006

Our future lies in renewables, Mr Howard

Our future lies in renewables, Mr Howard

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

16 October 2006

John Howard’s policies are closing renewable energy projects in Australia, but the Prime Minister arrogantly dismissed this fact.

Today in Parliament the Prime Minister could not identify any other country in the planet where renewable energy companies are closing.

Renewable energy companies are investing in China and not Australia because China has a renewable energy target of 15%, compared to Australia’s pathetic 2% target.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, additional investment in clean and renewable energy projects in developing countries, such as China, will be $133 billion by 2012.

Contrary to misleading statements by the Environment Minister, the only way Australian companies can access investment under Kyoto is by setting up offices in countries that have ratified Kyoto, such as Fiji or New Zealand.

It is shameful that Australian companies have to fly another country’s flag to take advantage of the emerging trillion dollar renewable energy industry being created by the Kyoto Protocol.

Australia’s future is in renewables, not reactors.

The Government has slashed solar electricity rebates and will close the program in June 2007. More than 40,000 Australians have signed the on-line petition for Channel Seven Sunrise’s Cool the Globe campaign, but the Prime Minister reiterated today in Parliament that the program would close.

Lack of Federal Government support for renewable energy meant that, in July 2006, the Australian company Roaring 40s withdrew from projects in Tasmania and South Australia worth $550 million, employing over 200 fulltime construction workers.

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 the Howard Government’s policies against clean, renewable energy.

Closing the solar rebate program and freezing the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target is killing jobs and investment in Australia and sending them off-shore.