Coalition divided while Australians are united in support for renewable energy

MEDIA RELEASE - Tuesday June 18



Coalition divided while Australians are united in support for renewable energy



People representing the 73 percent of Australians who support the Renewable Energy Target and 76 percent who support more wind energy, will rally at Garema Place in Canberra, midday today. They will call on the Coalition to end the uncertainty about the Renewable Energy Target.



“Australians have made up their mind. They want more wind energy and a strong Renewable Energy Target,” said Friends of the Earth spokesperson Leigh Ewbank. “It’s time for the Coalition to make up theirs.”



The Coalition is divided on renewable energy. The party’s leadership remains quiet as several rogue Coalition MPs and Senators present at a competing  anti-wind farm rally at Parliament House. They are calling for the Howard government’s signature renewable energy policy to be scrapped.



“Politicians who buy into the misinformation spruiked by anti-wind farm campaigners are putting jobs, investment and all the other benefits of wind energy at risk,” said Ewbank. “Uncertainty surrounding the RET has already cost jobs in the wind energy sector. The Portland-based wind-turbine tower manufacturer Keppel Prince has laid off 45 wind workers.”


 

“If the Liberal Party intends to continue to support the RET and development of wind energy after the September election, then the leadership of the party must come out and distance themselves from those MPs who are joining the ‘wind farm fraud’ rally,” said Ewbank.



The positive Rally 4 Renewables, organised by Friends of the Earth and GetUp!, will call on the Coalition to end the uncertainty surrounding its energy policies. It calls on the Coalition to commit to an increased Renewable Energy Target for wind and solar projects.



The Rally 4 Renewables will feature Green Leader Senator Christine Milne, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change Yvette D’Ath, and independent MP Tony Windsor.



Coalition MPs Greg Hunt (Shadow Minister for Climate Change) and Senator Birmingham (Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change) declined invitations to speak at the event.



“Given that 64 percent of Coalition voters support the RET and 71 percent want more wind energy, Mr Hunt and Senator Birmingham have missed an opportunity to speak to their pro-renewables supporters,” said Ewbank.



“Now is the time for the Coalition to end the uncertainty and commit to an increased Renewable Energy Target for Australia,” stated Ewbank. “That way, more of Australia’s regions can benefit from wind farms.”



Contact:



Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's Yes 2 Renewables spokesperson - 0406 316 176