Solar Industry Future Remains in Doubt - Leichhardt Public Meeting to Proceed

Greens MP for Balmain Jamie Parker has welcomed NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell's back down on retrospective changes to the Solar Bonus Scheme but warned that the future of the solar industry remains in grave doubt.

The public meeting he has organised for this Thursday evening at Leichhardt Town Hall from 6:30 pm will proceed to keep the pressure on the O'Farrell government to promote the shift to renewable energy.

"The government's back-down on the retrospective cuts to the solar tariff is good news for the many households in the seat of Balmain who were going to be punished for doing the right thing by the environment," Mr Parker said.

"The Premier's back-down is welcome but it leaves the future of the industry in grave doubt. 830 solar installing businesses and the 5,400 people they employ are still without a secure future, because the Premier has not committed to a viable ongoing tariff. Without an on-going tariff for rooftop solar, people will not buy new units and the industry will fail." Mr Parker said.

"There is a very strong feeling about this in the community. We collected hundreds of signatures on petitions at street stalls around the electorate last weekend."

"The public meeting will look at what is needed to maintain a viable solar industry, to create new renewable energy sources and to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. It's an opportunity for people to show their support for a cap on carbon emissions and a shift to a cleaner energy future," Mr Parker said.

The Greens are calling for a new 1:1 solar tariff system that will pay for the energy generated by solar panels at the retail rate that is charged for household electricity.

"This system requires retailers to pay the resale value of the power that they get from household solar panels. It will create a stable future for the solar industry without increasing household bills," Mr Parker concluded.

Further information: Chris Holley 0450 340 435

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