Government needs to ‘pull its finger out’ on RET

Etu National

Thousands of Australian jobs in the renewable energy sector are at risk due to the ongoing failure of the Federal Government to adopt a reasonable renewable energy target, Electrical Trades Union national assistant secretary Dave Mier has warned.

“The Abbott Government has already destroyed jobs, trashed Australia’s renewable energy sector, destabilised the industry and damaged its international reputation with its ideological crusade against renewable energy,” Mr Mier said.

“It is time for the Federal Government to pull its finger out and come to the negotiating table on this vitally important matter, before further damage is done.

 “We’ve waited for well over 12 months for Abbott and co to get it together on renewable energy, and they’re still quibbling over a matter of 1000 gigawatt-hours. In the interests of industry, workers and the country, they need to make a deal.”

Mr Mier said that the Labor Opposition had led the way on the target, maintaining their pre-election promise of a decent renewable energy target and working with industry to form a plan for the future.

“This morning on ABC radio we saw Mr Shorten indicate the ALP was willing to consider accepting 33000 gigawatt-hours if that’s what it takes to resolve the impasse, 500 less than what was offered for bi-partisan support last month.”  

“Labor’s offer to take a bipartisan approach to the renewable energy target, in line with the recommendations of the industry, puts the ball firmly in the Federal Government’s court.

“The Government can’t blame the Senate cross-bench for causing uncertainty, because there is now a clear offer on the table that could pass through the parliament that also  comes with industry backing.”

Mr Mier said that it was vital for Australia to adopt a progressive and ambitious renewable energy target, in order to take its place among the world’s leaders in the sector.

“Let me be clear –the original RET target was appropriate and it has only been the Government’s intransigence and incompetence that has led to this point. We need to forge ahead on this issue.

“A deal needs to be done, and it needs to be done now. But then it needs to be improved on, and quickly.

“Our jobs, our businesses, and our nation’s energy future depends on it.”

Media contact: Lachlan Williams – 0447 682 027 

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