Renewable energy target supporters march on Cowper MP office
THE SECOND stage of last weekend's Coffs Coast march for climate action took place outside the office of The Nationals Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, on Friday.
Renewable energy workers, businesses, solar owners and climate action supporters came together to protest the Federal Government's faltering support for the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
Spokesperson Marnie Cotton said the Coalition is likely on Tuesday to make changes to the RET as recommended by the Warburton Review.
"With the decision probably just a few days away it is absolutely critical that voices in support of the RET are heard and people really understand what changes could mean," she said.
The Coalition has indicated it will make cuts and possibly abolish the small-scale targets, affecting the cost of putting solar panels on residences or businesses.
Phasing out small scale targets or carrying out the other recommendation of reducing the size of eligible installations from 100kW to 10kW could mean an increase of 30-50% in the cost of a installing solar.
"With Coffs Harbour home to approximately nine solar businesses, the impact on them and the wider impact on the local area cannot be underestimated," Ms Cotton said.
"An estimated 9000 jobs in the Australian solar industry are under threat by changes to the RET and as Assistant Minister for Employment, Mr Hartsuyker should support the industry which provides local employment to our region."
Coffs Harbour residents have demonstrated support for solar with some of the highest number of panels installed per head of population.
Large scale projects are increasing with the installation of a 65kW system at a local golf club now underway.
"We are determined to keep campaigning until full bipartisan support for the Renewable Energy Target is restored by our politicians so jobs, growth and investment can continue for the good of our nation and the climate," Ms Cotton added.