AMWU slams Federal Government over solar policy


The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has slammed the Federal Government for its lack of investment and support on renewable power after Solar Reserve — one of the world’s most advanced solar power companies — pulled the plug on the multimillion project to develop electricity plants for the public market in Australia due to the Government’s “hostile policy” towards renewable energy.

AMWU slams Federal Government over solar policy
Image credit: Flickr User: Richard Gifford

“Renewable energy manufacturing is one of the developed world’s great success stories when it comes to new industries and jobs growth, and Australia has traditionally led the way in the development of these technologies,” said AMWU National Secretary Paul Bastian in a media release.

“This government is continually talking about out with the old, in with the new  when it comes          to manufacturing — renewables are a perfect opportunity for Australia to invest in generating not only new industries but new economy jobs. But instead of supporting this growing new industry, the Government’s attitude is one of open hostility.

Mr Bastien also criticised the Government for the appointment of Dick Warburton — a recognized climate change skeptic — to lead a review of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET), and its intention to dismantle the Clean Energy Corporation, which had supported $2.2 billion of new investment in the sector.

“Imagine if the Government helped solar and other renewable energy manufacturing companies to locate in Adelaide or Geelong — the thousands of workers acing redundancy from the automotive industry’s closure could transition into solar production,” he said.

ABC’s ‘Four Corners’ program on Monday 7 July highlighted that the Federal Government’s lack of support for investment into solar had already deterred solar manufacturing companies from locating to Australia.

“The Government needs to see and act on the opportunities here — not just for power generation but for jobs. By supporting the RET and giving industry support for solar companies to locate here, the Federal Government could kill two birds with one stone: help Australia transition its power base and provide good manufacturing jobs in regions that need them,” said Mr Bastian.

“We hope the Government will re-consider their hostile attitude and support renewable energy companies moving to Australia.”