Queensland councils say solar rule change will kill regional jobs

A new Queensland regulation that will restrict the installation of solar panels on projects of 100kW and over to licensed electricians only, has come under fire from local governments.

The change to the electrical safety rules for solar farms in the state – starting Monday – excludes general labourers from basic installation tasks on solar projects, including lifting, mounting and fixing PV panels.

As we reported here, shocked and confused business owners – who have had only a month to grapple with the massive implications of the rule change – attended an emergency roundtable meeting in Brisbane on Thursday, hosted by the Clean Energy Council.

The Darling Downs and South West Queensland Council of Mayors is also calling on state government to defer the changes and review the regulations – not just in consultation with industry, but with councils of affected communities, too.

“The proposed changes would force the solar farm industry to, in many cases, bring in electricians from outside the area to undertake manual and mechanical tasks associated with erecting solar panels,” said Paul Antonio, who is the Mayor of Toowoomba, and chair of the DDSWQC.

“With limited numbers of licenced electricians in rural communities, these changes have the potential to rob local workers of manual labour jobs, increase costs of construction as well as causing potential delays in project completion,” he told local paper Queensland Country Life on Wednesday.

“Solar projects will form a major platform for future jobs growth in these regional and remote centres and this amendment will take away jobs and could jeopardise the viability of projects.”


Comments are closed.