In Environment

Queensland Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, Mines & Energy Jeff Seeney

Bligh’s Solar Promise In Tatters

Victor P Taffa

Premier Anna Bligh’s election promise of discounted solar hot water systems for 200,000 Queenslanders was in tatters following the scrapping of the Federal rebate program, the State Opposition said today.

Shadow Natural Resources Minister Jeff Seeney said Anna Bligh’s solar hot water election promise had already been in doubt with major suppliers shunning the scheme and very few systems actually installed.

“This scheme was a dud from day one.” Mr. Seeney said.

“Anna Bligh’s promise to supply solar hot water systems for $500, or $100 for pensioners, was empty and meaningless from the start.”

“It was made in the heat of an election campaign by a Premier desperate to get re-elected and they have struggled to deliver it ever since.” Mr. Seeney said.

“The scheme was supposed to start in July last year … thousands of Queenslanders have applied, yet in eight months only 1,600 units have been installed.”

“No one should hold their breath waiting for one of Anna Bligh’s cheap systems.” Mr. Seeney said.

“The promise she made today is as empty and meaningless as the original promise made one year ago.”

“She’s now blaming the collapse of her scheme on the Federal Government to avoid responsibility for her own failure to deliver.” Mr. Seeney said.

Mr. Seeney said Queenslanders were sick and tired of Bligh and Labor’s lies, excuses and broken promises.

“This is another failure from a failing Government …another election lie exposed.”

“Bligh and Labor lied about their plans for privatisation, lied about their plans for a fuel tax and now it seems they lied about their plans to provide discounted solar hot water systems too.” Mr. Seeney said.

“Access to the Queensland Government’s Solar Hot Water Program relies on applicants being eligible for the Australian Government’s Solar Hot Water Rebate.”

  • “Over the next three years, we’ll provide 200,000 solar systems to families at a fraction of the retail price of electric ones.” – Anna Bligh, Labor election campaigns launch speech, 15 March 2009.

Given the controversy surrounding Federal Minister for Environment Peter Garrett over the Roof insulation scheme perhaps the Federal Government should consider a moment to reflect on the processes and implementation of programs that at face value are very good but as always it is ‘The devil in the detail.’

The Roof Insulation scheme was a great idea. However now that the program has been scrapped this has led to hardship for many business operators and employees on top of the four workers who lost their lives while installing the batts.

Federal Minister for Environment Peter Garrett is paid a good Ministerial salary and has bureaucrats also on good salaries and did not read a report for many months that could have quite easily prevented the deaths of the four workers and also kept the scheme in operation.

When the New South Wales railways are expanded there are regulations and work place procedures that are enforced and thus new railway lines commence operations in a safe manner.

Mr. Garrett is a nice person however perhaps the Prime Minister should consider a Cabinet reshuffle and restore confidence to the Roof insulation market.

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