Calls to keep energy target

Protesters outside the federal member for Stirling Michael Keenan's electorate office [NAMES OK]
Protesters outside the federal member for Stirling Michael Keenan's electorate office [NAMES OK]

Tom Webster, of the Stirling Climate Action Group, said the recent Government commissioned-Warburton Review of the RET was an attack on the solar and wind energy industries.

‘We’d like the Liberal party to not cut back the RET because it’s providing 18,000 jobs and investment of $14 billion up to 2010 and it’s dramatically reducing CO2 emissions,’ Mr Webster said.

‘We’re all doing our own electorate, our own MPs and we’re saying ‘hey, we need to get action taken on this, don’t destroy the RET, we need it, Australia needs it and we need the investment in jobs’.’

Protester Mary O’Byrne said it would be a contradiction for the government to scrap the RET and the industries it supports.

‘This is supposed to be an entrepreneurial government, it’s supposed to be looking after industry, they shouldn’t be destroying them,’ Ms O’Byrne said.

The group demonstrated at Cowan MHR Luke Simpkin’s office in Kingsley last Thursday and Moore MHR Ian Goodenough’s Joondalup office on Friday.

Mr Simpkins said the Coalition introduced the RET in 2001 and supported renewable energy through programs such as the solar panels rebate.

‘The cost of a 4.5 kilowatt rooftop solar system has fallen from more than $35,000 ten years ago to about $7000 today,’ he said.

Mr Simpkins said he recently raised the RET issue in the party room, and Prime Minister Tony Abbott said no-one was talking about scrapping it.

‘The Warburton Report to the government is being considered to ensure the RET is working efficiently and effectively, bearing in mind the impact on the renewables industry, Australian businesses and households and Australia’s energy market,’ Mr Simpkins said.

‘We are supporting $1 billion of investment in the research and development of new renewable energy technology concepts under the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.’