ETU calls for RET to protect renewables

Wednesday, 30 August, 2017

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) has called for the Prime Minister to demonstrate leadership and implement a long-term renewable energy target following Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg’s claims there was “no rush” to commit to energy policy certainty.

ETU National Secretary Allen Hicks urged the Turnbull government to follow the leads of South Australia and Victoria and introduce an ambitious renewable energy target to protect Australia’s burgeoning renewables industry. “Renewable energy is a growth industry in Australia, but that growth is vulnerable because of a failure of leadership at a federal level. Emerging industries need policy certainty and this deeply divided federal government appears incapable of delivering that.” 

Hicks said the government should immediately follow the primary recommendation of the Finkel Review and implement a renewable energy target that stretches beyond 2020. Many of the construction jobs on large-scale renewables projects are providing people with work in areas of record-high unemployment, he said.

“We’ve seen South Australia devastated by one federal government decision after another,” he said.

Hicks said Frydenberg’s statement that there was “no rush” to supply policy certainty because the current RET extended to 2020 was misguided. 

“Large-scale renewables projects take years of careful planning and construction before they are brought online. They need policy certainty and this government isn’t delivering that.

“If investors can’t be confident that the goalposts won’t move, they simply won’t progress past the blueprint stage.”

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