Labor Government Solar Scheme Mismanaged
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton has put forward a private members motion calling on the Government to acknowledge key failings in the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).
Mr Coulton said that the scheme initially designed to create a financial incentive for individuals to install a small scale renewable energy system, including solar panels, has resulted in significant financial losses for individuals and small business across the Parkes Electorate.
Solar installation companies WellBeingGreen and Solar and Bamboo Installations were both placed into administration in 2011, leaving many creditors in the Parkes Electorate unpaid for their Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and with incomplete or non-compliant solar systems.
“I have made quite a few representations to the government. I have had a less-than-adequate response on behalf of my constituents.”
Mr Coulton’s private members motion highlighted the Government’s failure to properly screen disreputable operators in the industry, as well as failure to warn the public about risks associated with RECs.
“I find it very disturbing that this Government is about to bring in the world’s biggest carbon tax when it has already failed in so many other areas” Mr Coulton stated.
“One individual is still owed $11,800 by non-payment of some renewable energy certificates that were purchased by Well Being Green. One installer who was working in conjunction with Well Being Green is out of pocket by $98,000. For a small business operator, that is a nearly insurmountable loss.”
Mr Coulton did not wish to criticise the entire solar industry, commenting that the Parkes Electorate is an ideal place for the generation of solar energy.
“A good number of my constituents have taken to the concept of solar energy and renewable energy with a great amount of enthusiasm. However, I have found that there is an assumption that a program like this has some form of government oversight and government protection and that it should be relatively safe”
Mr Coulton also raised concerns that the Government’s poorly designed SRES has created a glut of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) which will unfortunately languish in a clearing house for some time.
“This has been a very expensive and long nightmare. The Government is yet again sending the message that they do not care about regional Australia.”
Mr Coulton has previously made representation to the Prime Minister asking her to address the problems with the SRES, and has requested an investigation by the Auditor General.