Changes To RET Should Be Staged To Protect Jobs, Electricians Say

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13 May 2014

Any changes to the renewable energy target in tomorrow night’s Federal Budget should be implemented gradually in order to give businesses time to adjust to the new rules, Master Electricians Australia said today.

MEA Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Richards said the pre-Budget speculation of changes to the RET was creating uncertainty for those businesses that had developed product and service offerings to cater for the existing system.

However, he said business owners accepted the Government had a mandate to change policy settings around carbon management and renewably energy.

“Master Electricians Australia is keen to see any changes rolled out in stages, so businesses have time to adjust to the new arrangements,” Mr Richards said.

“The Government needs to understand that industry has responded to previous policy settings by investing heavily in products and services to help Australia reach the existing target.

“And now there are many thousands of businesses around Australia offering products such as on-site power generation through solar and wind, and energy storage solutions such as batteries.

“Those business people have shown they are able to adapt to new business conditions, and we are confident they will do so in relation to any change in the RET.

“However, it takes time to successfully revise your product offering and adjust your business for a new set of rules.

“So we are calling on the Abbott Government to be respectful to those business owners and mindful of the challenge that changes to the RET will create for them, and roll out any changes gradually to a clear and fixed timetable.

“That will be the best way to achieve the policy outcome, but also prevent a sudden industry collapse with the loss of thousands of jobs.”