The Australian Solar Council has joined forces with the Queensland Council of Unions and Queensland Conservation to back the nation’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) and to push for strong solar policies in the Sunshine State.
The three peak bodies intend to run a highly visible state-wide campaign – piggy-backing the ASC’s nation-wide Save Solar campaign – that will target key marginal seats in Brisbane and regional Queensland over the next five months.
As new analysis from the Clean Energy Council has shown Australian investment and jobs are at risk from the Abbott government’s planned slashing of the RET, with Queensland and NSW tipped as the “the states with the most to lose.”
“Solar saves money, creates jobs, helps our climate and shifts votes,” said John Grimes, CEO of the Australian Solar Council. “It makes sense for the solar industry, trade unions and environment groups to back good solar policies.”
The launch of the Queensland campaign follows the ASC’s success in targeting federal seats on the issue of the national renewable energy target.
Thousands of workers and community members joined rallies around Australia last Friday to picket the offices of Cabinet ministers and their local federal MPs across Australia, demanding support for the the renewables community.
“Queenslanders love solar and will support political parties that back good solar policies,” said Grimes. “That must begin with strong support for he maintenance of the existing Renewable Energy Target.”
“The Renewable Energy Target is doing what it was designed to do, providing clean energy to Australians and delivering tens of thousands of jobs,” said Ron Monaghan, General Secretary of the Queensland Council of Unions.
“Since Campbell Newman’s LNP was elected two and a half years ago, unemployment has hit its highest point in more than a decade, rising to 6.8 per cent. Newman has supported the Abbott Government’s push to dismantle the RET, and if this is allowed to happen thousands more Queenslanders will be unemployed.”
(Polling shows that Campbell Newman is in danger of losing his seat of Ashgrove in the next election campaign).
Toby Hutcheon, from Queensland Conservation, said Queensland was the solar capital of Australia, with over 330,000 homes with solar on their rooftops, nearly 25 per cent of all homes. “Solar means a clean environment and safe climate,” he said.
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