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LNP's solar tariff cuts will cost 'thousands of jobs': CEC
26/06/2012 - The Queensland government has been slammed over its decision to slash its solar feed-in tariff, with one lobby group claiming it will cost thousands of jobs.
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Energy Minister Mark McArdle announced on Monday night a raft of changes to the Solar Bonus Scheme.
The biggest change will see the solar feed-in tariff cut from 44 cents per kilowatt hour to eight.
But those who have already installed solar panels and provide power back to the grid will keep the 44 cents rate when the changes come into effect on July 9.
"Rising future costs associated with delivering the scheme means change is essential to protect Queenslanders from significant power bill increases," McArdle said in a statement.
"The commonwealth government's energy white paper found solar schemes were increasing energy costs for energy consumers who could not afford to install solar PV panels."
But Clean Energy Council acting CEO Kane Thornton says an analysis commissioned by the industry body suggested the decision would cost 4500 jobs.
Thornton said the solar industry employed 11,000 Queenslanders and the bonus scheme had stimulated $2.37 billion in private investment.
"It is appropriate that the Queensland government reduces the level of its support scheme ... (but) this kind of sudden drop could have a serious negative impact on an industry that has been delivering major economic benefits to the state," he said in a statement.
Opposition environment spokeswoman Jackie Trad said the announcement was another broken election promise by the government.
"Only now would voters realise that when the LNP says one thing it usually means it will do exactly the opposite," she said in a statement.
Queensland Greens spokeswoman Libby Connors described the announcement as an "on-the-run decision" that would hurt family budgets and create uncertainty for small businesses installing solar panels.
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