JOHN Kaye says most of the 7000 new jobs created when the rooftop solar industry took off a few years ago will be gone by Christmas.
The NSW Greens MP was on the Coffs Coast at the weekend talking to communities about the carbon price package and he cited the solar industry as a good example of the potential for real jobs in renewable energy.
"Sadly with this particular industry, the loss of the feed-in tariff and the O'Farrell Government's terrible decision to refer the matter to an inquiry (due to release their findings in April next year) has decimated what was a booming industry," Mr Kaye said.
"It didn't need to be that way.
"It has been estimated that if we had 100% clean energy in NSW then more than 73,000 jobs would be generated - think design, installation, maintenance and manufacturing."
He said with the introduction of the carbon tax, Australia had an important role globally and could reap many economic benefits, not to mention "help in saving the planet".
Mr Kaye said families were starting to understand the introduction of the carbon tax would only have a minor impact on household budgets.
"Many low income families will actually be better off when the changes to the tax system are introduced. The introduction of the carbon tax represents the greatest economic reform seen in Australia for decades," he said.
"Real jobs in clean energy and rural and regional areas like the Coffs Coast will receive a massive boost from reducing fossil fuels generation as quickly as possible."