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Thursday, 25 June 2009
Page: 7267


Dr JENSEN (9:42 AM) —Remember what Labor said prior to the 2007 election:

A Rudd Labor Government will help all Australians play their part in the fight against climate change by making it easier to take practical action in their own homes, their schools and their local communities.

That was an ALP election commitment for 2007—the very words of the current minister. How they have come back to haunt him! With almost every new sunrise we are seeing another government broken promise on solar rebates. The shadow minister has relentlessly pursued the gaffe-prone minister on this issue, highlighting the utter untrustworthiness of the government.

Only this week the member for Flinders exposed yet another broken promise. This time it is the rural and remote areas which bear the brunt of the axing of the Renewable Remote Power Generation Program. The title of that axed program is quite prophetic because there is not the remotest chance that the people in remote areas will ever trust this minister or this government again. Minister, people’s trust is not renewable and although you are in power now it will be a generation before this disgraceful treatment of businesses and residents will be forgotten.

The announcement of this axing was even worse than the prior axing as it was made after the scheme had been closed. The scheme was unilaterally ended at 8.30 am on 22 June and businesses began to receive notices at 8.33 am. Yet again, the solar industry was thrown into crisis. The shadow minister has said that his office has been inundated with calls from desperate workers who will be laid off and despairing homeowners seeing their solar hopes evaporating. One company indicated to the shadow minister that his company alone would lose around $1 million a month.

These actions have shown that: (a) the government is incapable of managing the country’s finances; (b) the government’s promises are not worth a thing; (c) the government’s commitment to the environment is a joke; and (d) the government does not care about people—either business people, workers or homeowners. Where is your concern about working families, now, Prime Minister?

As for the minister, maybe he did not ‘wanna be the one’ to do this but he has sold himself ‘one too many times’. There is ‘no-one else to blame’, Minister, and while you have a ‘comfortable place on the couch’ the rest of the country is ‘used and abused’.