Media release: Rudd tells UN “to make bold decisions” on climate, while solar shuts at home.

11 10 2009


For immediate release.

Rudd tells UN “to make bold decisions” on climate, while solar shuts at home.

Get Up!, Unions, Green Groups, back fight for Abbotsford solar factory.

The campaign to save Solar Systems is building momentum. Campaign group Get Up! Will launch their Re-energise Australia campaign at the protest – 2pm Sunday October 11 at the Solar Systems factory 45 Grosvenor St, Abbotsford.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has backed the rally & state secretary Steve Dargavel will speak at it.

The protest is demanding government guarantee the construction of Australia’s first large scale solar power station in Mildura and green jobs in Abbotsford.

Simon Sheik, National Director of Get Up! said “If Australia doesn’t want to be left behind in the renewable resources boom, we must act quickly to build a clean energy economy. That should start with an immediate commitment from the Federal Government to support the reinstatement of those workers who’ve already lost their jobs and funding to secure those still working on this important project”.

Adam Bandt, The Greens’ National Convenor and candidate for Melbourne said “Despite plenty of hype, the Rudd Government has not spent one cent on baseload solar power since its election. While billions of dollars are available to support the banks and their executives in times of crisis, the amazing knowledge and skill of the Solar Systems workers are lost to Melbourne and the factory stands idle. If we can save the banks, why can’t we support projects that are saving the planet?”

Carole Wilkinson from Yarra Climate Action Now said “The government didn’t leave building our coal-fired electricity system to the private sector; if they had it would never have been built. We are facing a climate emergency and the need for an urgent transition to 100% renewable energy has never been greater. The government must lead in this transition, just as they led in the transition to coal-fired electricity a century ago.”

David Turner, ex-Solar Systems worker said “Current and former Solar Systems employees demand all Australian Governments provide consistent, effective and binding direction through policy that enables renewable energy to emerge and curb our dependence on fossil fuels. Feed in tariffs, loan guarantees and the commitment to develop renewable technology and capability provide regulatory framework for investor confidence to flourish. European Governments, the US Government, and most recently the Chinese Government have enacted these mechanisms to their nations’ advantage. Australian Governments must immediately endorse their renewable rhetoric with visionary policy”

Chris Breen from the Save Solar Systems campaign said “While Rudd was strutting the world stage talking about climate change – at home, one of the top solar power factories was being closed and Rudd had nothing to say & nothing to offer. Labor’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is a farce if it allows major investment in coal to continue while renewable energy is shut down. Renewable energy has become an essential service. When the private sector fails, government must step in. If government can build schools, it can and should build solar power stations”





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