The ACT Labor Government has joined calls for the Rudd Government to abolish its means test on rebates for solar panels, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.
ACT Chief Minister John Stanhope has urged the means test’s removal in a strongly worded submission to a Senate committee inquiry into its impact:
“No consultation occurred with the ACT Government prior to the announcement of the budget decision to means test the Solar PV Rebate Program. The sudden nature of the introduction of the means test sends a poor signal to our emerging solar industry, an industry that should in fact be receiving long-term security for investment in our clean energy future…
“Due to general costs of living … a combined household income of $100,000 does not signify that they [families] are wealthy … The ACT Government would strongly urge the removal of the means test on the Solar PV Rebate Program.”
The Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts has so far held two hearings, in Canberra on Friday and Melbourne yesterday, into the impact of the household means test of $100,000 on the solar rebate of up to $8000.
“Installers, environmental organisations, unions are all telling us Mr Garrett’s means test was ill considered and is causing a dramatic downturn in solar panel installations,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“Mr Stanhope’s condemnation of this policy adds further weight to calls for Mr Garrett to perform a much needed back flip and abandon the means test, which is costing both jobs and reductions in carbon emissions.
“Mr Garrett needs to stop dodging this issue and simply fix it.”
An email sent to the Senate committee at 6.13pm last Thursday by a departmental official, and tabled on Friday, confirmed Mr Garrett is procrastinating and avoiding taking action:
“The Minister is giving further consideration to the nature and scope of the Department’s submission to the inquiry.
“While that consideration is taking place, the Minister has asked that the Department defer its submission and appearance before the inquiry.”
“The Department’s evidence to the committee might well be embarrassing for Mr Garrett, but surely not as embarrassing as his refusal to reverse this failed policy decision.”
Further details of the inquiry, including submissions, can be found at