Solar industry launches campaign against LNP in Queensland poll | RenewEconomy

Solar industry launches campaign against LNP in Queensland poll

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Australian Solar Council launches massive campaign against LNP in Queensland poll, saying there is too much at stake to ignore.

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The Australian Solar Council – the peak body for the country’s solar industry – has announced a major advertising campaign against the Liberal National Party coalition in the Queensland election campaign, saying the future of the industry is at stake.


The ASC says it is spending “hundreds of thousands” of dollars in the first stage of its campaign, which will include TV, designed to highlight the implications for the solar industry if the LNP win power.

“It is a huge step for the Australian Solar Council to do political advertising, but solar companies are concerned,” says John Grimes, the chief executive of the ASC.

Liberal National Party policies present a direct threat to profits in Queensland’s renewables industry.”

Grimes told Reneweconomy that campaign was launched because it was felt that the issue – essentially one of solar versus coal – had not got the prominence it deserved.

“The reality of what’s at stake is not well understood, we have got to shake people up,” Grimes said.

“The implications of a Queensland LNP government that abolishes the renewable target, abolishes the RET in Queensland and signs up to new coal fired power station is completely untenable. That’s why we are taking this action.”

The LNP has made clear it will remove all subsidies for renewable energy in the state, and focus instead on building a new coal fired power station in north Queensland – an idea that even other coal generation companies say is ridiculous.

Labor, on the other hand, has promised to reach “at least” 50 per cent renewable energy by 2020, and promised more funding for a first solar thermal plant with storage, more solar for schools, initiatives for renters and low income households, and a 400MW tender for solar and storage.

The result, however, is in the balance, with One Nation polling strongly enough to possibly win some seats, and provide the numbers to support the LNP in a minority government.

Grimes noted that there were more than 24 large scale solar projects under development, or committed, in Queensland, and a pipeline of at least double that.


“We right on the cusp of an energy transformation,” he said. “There is a whole lot of investment that will fall by the wayside if we get a change in government.

The ASC is also concerned about the LNP’s declared support for the proposed National Energy Guarantee, which critics say will end up supporting existing fossil fuel generators and effectively penalise and put a halt to renewable energy development.

“The National Energy Guarantee is really a guarantee for coal,” Grimes says. “It means delay, inaction and confusion for renewable energy. That’s untenable for Queensland’s solar industry.

“When the National Energy Guarantee was announced, the Australian Solar Council promised a pointed political campaign against it. We are making good on that promise through newspaper, radio and digital advertising in key marginal seats in Queensland.

“Thousands of regional jobs have been created by the solar boom, and billions of dollars are being invested in regional communities but the solar boom could turn to bust in the Sunshine State,” said Mr Grimes.

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  1. mick 3 years ago

    too right hook in

  2. Robert Comerford 3 years ago

    Good Luck

  3. Alastair Leith 3 years ago

    “Labor, on the other hand, has promised to reach “at least” 50 per cent renewable energy by 2020”

    I think thats 50% by 2030… but hey, it’s technically possible.

    • Joe 3 years ago

      I think it is called…coming home with a very, very wet sail…by 2020. Anyway SA and ACT with their big RE levels show what can be done in a relatively short time frame. Where there is a will there is a way…50% by 2020? / 2030…go well QLD Labor.

      • Ken Dyer 3 years ago

        They don’t call us the Sunshine State for nothing!

  4. SA_Jack 3 years ago

    Industry standing up against the LNP’s ridiculous energy and climate stance is very significant. It is much more effective to swing fence sitting LNP voters by demonstrating how they will trash our economy rather than trash our environment, the second point is a given but usually doesn’t resonate all that powerfully with your average LNP voter.

  5. Joe 3 years ago

    I am loving this effort from The ASC. It is about time we saw the ‘boot on the other foot’. I am sick and tired of seeing the Coal Industry, the Banking Industry, Rupert’s newsrags, etc, campaigning against the Progressive side of politik whether that be Labor or The Greens. The ASC has the ethical and economic argument on its side…1.7 million Aussie households have already voted…and more are voting everyday!

    • Lightfoot 3 years ago

      Don’t waste your time with the NEG, the NATIONAL ENERGY GUARANTEE, support instead those sensible organisations like the Australian Solar Council working on the POS – The PHOTOVOLTAIC OMNIPRESENT SYNERGY!!

  6. George Darroch 3 years ago

    Good on you ASC!

  7. baljeetd 3 years ago

    Well done ASC – go for it!!

  8. Malcolm M 3 years ago

    They should be targeting feed-in tariffs more than solar jobs, because it would swing more voters ? Lots of marginal electors in Queensland have roof-top solar. The LNP history in both Queensland and Victoria is voting for low solar feed-in tariffs to support the coal industry. Didn’t Queensland Labour increase the solar feed-in tariff over the low value of Campbell Newman ?

    Some clubs have lots of solar panels. For example the Maroochydore Bowls Club is covered with them, presumably as a way of bringing in cash. They would be dudded by a reduction in the solar feed-in tariff, so it is in the interests of their members to lobby both the LNP and One Nation for a continuation of current feed-in tariffs.

    • John Elliott 3 years ago

      I agree with Malcolm M that it would be powerful lobbying for the ASC, and the ALP for that matter, to warn the hundreds of thousands of Queensland households on the original generous early-adopter (44c-52c/kWh) feed-in tariffs that their subsidy is threatened by an LNP government.
      On the clubs side of things, I can count 220 panels on the roof of the local bowls club in Brisbane. These were presumably installed with either an up-front STC discount or an ongoing LGC annual payment, both of which are threatened by LNP governments at any level. I am sure there are many LNP voters in the club.

  9. PacoBella 3 years ago

    Great start for renewables lobbying. There is a long way to go, however. Michael West recently found they have an almost bottomless pit of money – “The analysis covered the financial statements of 20 business peak bodies. Together, their revenue surpassed $1.94 billion over the past three years”.

    The main problem is getting it back from the Cayman Islands and back out of the CBA automatic teller machines. He also has a great story on renewables in Mexico, including this honourable mention for Adani- “If governments, either state or federal, proceed to use taxpayer money to subsidise an Indian coal magnate whose profits end up in Caribbean tax havens, it can only be put down to corruption.”

    Next election, i’m voting Giles Parkinson and Michael West for the Senate!

  10. Ron Horgan 3 years ago

    Aah, the tipping point, tipping out the old vested interests and their puppets and tipping out the reactionary LNP.

  11. DoRightThing 3 years ago

    “There are no jobs on a dead planet”.
    Wouldn’t be any LNP either, so it’s not all bad!

  12. Patrick Comerford 3 years ago

    At last the crack appears in the dam. Let’s hope it turns into a flood.

  13. Marc Talloen 3 years ago

    Great initiative ASC, love it!

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