WA Business, Bob Brown and the Greens stand up for the clean energy economy
Greens Senator for WA Scott Ludlam, former Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown and NZ Greens spokesperson for Energy Gareth Hughes MP united with key members of the WA renewable energy industry today to warn against an attack on renewable energy policy following Saturday's Federal election.
"Every time Tony Abbott opens his mouth he is costing WA jobs and investment," Scott Ludlam, Greens Senator for Western Australia said at a joint press conference.
"Mr Abbott plans to scrap the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the investment fund that will ensure WA can develop large-scale solar thermal plants and other big renewable energy projects like those being built overseas.
"Mr Abbott will almost certainly sabotage the Renewable Energy Target, making it cheaper to pollute and devaluing renewable energy certificates - the mechanism that supports small and mid-tier renewable energy developers.
"Mr Abbott does not care that there are more jobs in renewable energy construction and operation than in coal, gas and diesel combined.
"He doesn't care that if we switched to 100% renewable energy for WA's South West grid by 2029 we would create between 22,000 and 27,000 highly-skilled, local jobs in growth industries.
"The Greens are standing up for Western Australian businesses that have boomed since the introduction of the Clean Energy Act, but are hampered by the ongoing political uncertainty.
"Mr Abbott doesn't seem to care about the severe consequences Western Australia - our coastal cities and towns, our agriculture and our environment - will face if we do not act on climate change," said Senator Ludlam.
"Like New Zealand, WA has a wealth of renewable energy resources waiting to be harnessed. Scott's comprehensive plan for delivering 100 per cent renewable energy on WA's electricity grid is ground breaking - a visionary plan that Mr Abbott would dismiss," said Gareth Hughes MP, Greens spokesperson for Energy in New Zealand.
"Government funding through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) are providing the economic tools to progress renewable projects while policy mechanisms such as the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET), greenhouse gas reduction targets, and carbon trading schemes garner a market and support the deployment of solar energy in Australia." Tom Georgis, Senior Vice President at Solar Reserve, a US company working to establish a multi-billion dollar, base load solar thermal power plant in WA.
Former Greens Leader Bob Brown, who is in Perth supporting Senator Ludlam's campaign, believes Western Australia needs Scott Ludlam in the Senate in order to retain a strong voice on renewable energy, public transport, affordable homes and a decent internet connection through a publicly-owned high speed broadband.