Solar jobs could be slashed by government

CLEAN Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said the Federal Government's refusal to keep the Renewable Energy Target could jeapordise 21,000 jobs and Australia's reputation as a safe place to invest.

"The Federal Government's proposal to slash the RET is a clear broken promise that would result in a reduction of the future target by more than 60 per cent, decimating the renewable energy industry and risking the $10 billion worth of investment already made in good faith under the policy," Mr Thornton said.

"The industry has previously stated its support for increased exemptions for aluminium smelting as a way to be constructive and help resolve the current impasse.

"But if the government's proposal to slash the legislated target by over 60% is adopted, it's worse than no deal at all."

Mr Thornton said Australia already made $10 billion worth of investment based on the Government's long standing commitment to the current scheme.

"Many of the world's major economies, such as the United States, China, Germany and Britain, are leaving Australia behind on renewable energy investment," he said.

Solar Citizens national director Claire O'Rourke said she welcomed Labor's decision to walk away from the Renewable Energy Target negotiations with the Abbott Government.

"Before the last election the target had bipartisan support, with all parties promising to protect Australia's renewable energy industry. The government has broken a key election promise by trying to destroy a growing, innovative industry." Ms O'Rourke said.

"The target will bring down power prices for all Australians and create at least another 15,000 jobs by 2020.

"Australians want to see more investment in renewable energy, not less."

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