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Mr Garrett must rule out scrapping the $8,000 solar panel rebate.

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Media Release The Hon Greg Hunt MP Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Urban Water Wednesday, 3 September 2008 Mr Garrett Must Rule Out Scrapping the $8,000 Solar Panel Rebate Peter Garrett must confirm that he won’t scrap the $8,000 solar panel rebate in the wake of news today that a secret Government review is recommending against the scheme. A looming report by one of Kevin Rudd’s top bureaucrats now casts a shadow over the rebate. The Wilkins Review into climate change programs was completed back in July but has been kept under wraps by the Government ever since, until today’s newspaper leak. It is time Mr Garrett levelled with the Australian public about the future of the solar program. He’s been trying to convince people that his means test has somehow led to a growing of the program. But what Peter Garrett has not been saying is that in reality, the program has been propped up by a Queensland Government solar lottery. Under that program, people are being offered small solar units from one company for less than $200. No wonder there was a sudden spike in interest in the program. We have been told that more than 5,000 households swamped the ballot in only 48 hours. The solar industry is rightly complaining about a lack of certainty and consistency regarding the solar panel rebate scheme under this Government. Householders are rightly upset it will cost them an extra $8,000 if a couple each earn over $50,000. Mr Garrett must commit to retaining the solar panel rebate program. He must commit to future funding of the program. And he must reverse his unfair and ill-founded means test. It is also time the Government stopped hiding the findings of the Wilkins Review and revealed what other cuts they have in store for the solar sector. Media contact: John Deller on 02 6277 2276 or 0400 496 596