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Labor urges urgent action on renewable energy



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THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

THE HON MARK BUTLER MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND WATER MEMBER FOR PORT ADELAIDE

THE HON GARY GRAY AO MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR RESOURCES MEMBER FOR BRAND

MEDIA RELEASE

LABOR URGES URGENT ACTION ON RENEWABLE ENERGY

Labor today called on the Liberal Government to urgently resolve the future of the renewable energy industry in Australia.

Since Tony Abbott launched his ambush on renewable energy early last year, Australia’s renewable energy industry has been in crisis.

Something has to happen this fortnight otherwise jobs will go - and Labor is simply not prepared to see that happen. The future of this industry is too important to fall victim to the Government’s ongoing chaos.

Today Labor brought together representatives from industry - including clean energy and manufacturing - investors and unions to discuss the importance of protecting jobs and investment in the renewable energy industry.

This meeting agreed that it is crucial to resolve the future of renewable energy in the next two weeks, despite Minister Hunt refusing in his press conference today to put “a barrier or a time frame” on reaching an agreement.

The views from the meeting were clear, and reinforce Labor’s position to: • Declare that the Small-scale Renewable Scheme (SRES) must remain as it currently operates, with a commitment to no policy changes. • Provide a 100% exemption to all Emission Intensive, Trade

Exposed sectors currently attracting liabilities under the Renewable Energy Target (RET), with the exemption to take effect prior to April 2015. • Remove the current legislated review processes, with the next review to occur for post-2020 renewable future. • Ensure that certainty is returned via a commitment to a Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) that supports growth and expansion in the renewable energy sector through a target in the mid to high 30,000 gigawatt hours. Labor and the industry understand that time is fast running out.

The Government’s only position has been to drive investment out of the country and as a result, increase electricity prices and pollution.

Labor’s position is clear - we want to see strong renewable energy industry in Australia, one that is not undermined by the ideology of the Liberal Party.

Renewable energy is a critical part of the Australia’s future energy mix and key ingredient for economic growth. Labor’s position seeks to lay the foundation for a viable renewable energy industry not just to 2020 but beyond.

There is now a two week deadline for the Government to reach agreement on the RET. The sector needs certainty now - and Labor will do everything we can to ensure that happens.

In 2013 Australia was ranked in the top four most attractive places to invest in renewable energy. Australia is now ranked 10th on that list. While worldwide investment in renewable energy grew by approximately 16 per cent in 2014 - under the Liberal Government Australia’s investment has fallen by nearly 90 per cent in the large-scale sector.

MONDAY, 16 MARCH 2015

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