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Act now on solar rebate Mr Garrett: the evidence is in.



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Media Release The Hon Greg Hunt MP Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Urban Water 11 June 2008 ACT NOW ON SOLAR REBATE MR GARRETT: THE EVIDENCE IS IN The evidence is already in so Peter Garrett should not delay in reversing his disastrous decision to impose a means test on the solar panel rebate scheme. Mr Garrett today conceded: “Let’s monitor demand (so I can) consider what the right action ought to be.” Australians already know what the right action ought to be. The Environment Minister is not listening. We have been telling him for weeks that the decision to strip the Coalition’s $8000 rebate from households earning over $100,000 has sent the solar panel industry into free fall. The industry has reported that at least two-thirds of contracts have been cancelled since Budget night, with some firms reporting even higher losses. Last month a delegation of solar businesses went to see Mr Garrett to reinforce that message. I too met the delegation, and unlike Mr Garrett, accepted that the solar industry is in real trouble. On the day of the meetings, Rodger Meads from Conergy told journalists that Mr Garrett didn’t need to spend weeks or months ‘monitoring’ the impact of his means test. Mr Meads warned: “we don’t have to wait for the train wreck … our message is really a sense of urgency and a sense of priority.” * Mr Garrett, the evidence is out there. It is time to listen to the solar industry which you used to support. He should stop complaining about the solar rebate scheme “overheating.” Mr Garrett must reverse his disastrous decision which is devastating the solar panel industry. Otherwise we look forward to he and his colleagues trying to defend the collapse of the solar panel industry when I introduce a Private Member’s Bill on the coming fortnight. It is fine to spend $35 million on supporting a global auto giant but what about $8000 for Australian solar producers and Australian families that want to do the right thing? Media contact: John Deller on 03 5979 3188 or 0400 496 596 * Doorstop by solar panel delegation - see transcript at www.greghunt.org/news/default.asp?action=article&ID=929