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Australia could have been the Silicon Valley of solar energy.



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MEDIA RELEASE Anthony Albanese MP Shadow Minister for the Environment and Heritage Shadow Minister for Water Federal Member for Grayndler Australia could have been the Silicon Valley of solar energy More evidence has emerged that the Howard Government is turning its back on renewable energy, forcing innovative and potentially job creating solar energy technology overseas. Reports today that solar turbine technology developed by the CSIRO’s Queensland Centre for Advanced Technology could not attract Australian investment are very disappointing. Without national leadership, opportunities to capitalise on fast growing greenhouse friendly industries will be lost to Australia. Australia was well-placed to be the Silicon Valley of solar energy 10 years ago. After nearly a decade of being starved of Government backing, it is hard to imagine Australia being able to recover the position we once held as a world leader in solar energy. The Howard Government’s decision to slash solar energy rebates for solar panels to community organisations from 1 January and phase out rebates to residential homes was a severe blow to Australia’s solar industry. To make matters worse, to fit in with Government policy the CSIRO is cutting renewable energy research at the very time it’s most needed. The Government must do more to encourage renewable energy. Australia must seize opportunities to compete internationally in the growing market for greenhouse-friendly technologies being stimulated by the Kyoto Protocol and emissions trading. Sadly, the Howard Government is all hot air when it comes to supporting innovation and clean energy. Thursday, 2 February 2006 For further information/comment: Antony Sachs 0417 493 485