Today’s Day of Action for the solar panel industry should send a clear message to Daniel Andrews that he has got this one wrong.
Daniel Andrews’ solar panel rebate policy has led to hundreds of job losses in the industry, with a number of businesses having to close their doors as work almost completely dries up once the monthly rebate limit is reached.
Business owners spoke on the steps of Parliament today, speaking of their livelihoods having been destroyed, and of the significant emotional and mental toll which has come as a result of this botched policy.
The industry made it clear, as far back as last April, that the government’s manipulation of the market would have negative effects on the sector. These concerns were raised with the Minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, in Parliament in May.
In a manner that has become typical of this arrogant government, it has turned a deaf ear to these legitimate concerns, with 400 jobs now lost in the sector, and up to 800 more under threat.
The Smart Energy Council, in representing the sector, has proposed some changes to help remove the boom and bust shock from the government’s policy. However, in recent discussions with the Council, the Minister insisted there would be no changes to this damaging program.
The Minister has conceitedly blamed the industry themselves for the problems the sector is now facing, citing “poor business practices” and insisting it was up to the sector to “adapt.”
Comment attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Michael O’Brien:
“Today’s rally should be a wake-up call for Daniel Andrews – acknowledge the damage that has been caused, listen to the concerns of the sector and immediately make the essential changes before more businesses close and more jobs are lost.”