Environment and Water Grants and awards | May 22, 2019

Labor’s solar panel rebate mess

The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy says Daniel Andrews’ surprise cap on solar panel rebates has sent shockwaves through the industry and left local businesses looking at the possibility of having to downsize their operations and reduce staff numbers.

Across Victoria, customers are cancelling their solar panel orders and demanding refunds on deposits paid, placing even more jobs at risk.

“Local solar retailers and installers have been left in limbo after panel rebate applications were closed unexpectedly by Labor,” Ms Kealy said.

“Solar Homes was launched by Labor in August last year and promised that rebates for solar panels for eligible households would be available until June 2019.

“They also promised this would boost jobs and businesses, which it did, until Labor realised they didn’t have the means to keep their revolution alive.”

Daniel Andrews has cited “safety” and “giving the industry time to prepare” as reasons for the rebate cap but embarrassingly, the Minister has directly contradicted him, denying there were safety concerns.

“The stark reality is that the government has simply run out of money in a precursor to what is expected to be a horror state budget,” Ms Kealy said.

“When a policy results in jobs being lost and businesses potentially having to shut their doors, it is a clear sign that this government has simply not thought through its policy.

“I am deeply concerned that Victorians may be facing a situation reminiscent of the Pink Batts debacle, which resulted in disastrous consequences.

“If Labor really cared about boosting jobs and businesses they would find the funds and re-open solar panel rebate applications.

“Meanwhile there are local solar businesses out there grappling with the prospect of having to let valued employees go.”

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