NSW Government’s Broken Solar Promises Detailed


The Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSeS) has released details of what it says are promises broken by the NSW O’Farrell government in relation to the state’s Solar Bonus Scheme.
Ahead of a major solar rally to be held in Sydney on Wednesday, Chief Executive of AuSES, John Grimes, says based on commitments made by the NSW Government when it was in Opposition, Premier O’Farrell must keep his promises and immediately reverse his decision to retrospectively slash the solar feed in tariff for those who originally signed contracts to receive 60c per kilowatt hour for electricity generated by their solar power systems.
Mr. Grimes provided several examples of the O’Farrell Opposition being on record promising to honour commitments already in place.
A recently removed statement on Barry O’Farrell’s web site, still available via Google’s cache feature read, “The NSW Liberal & Nationals policy will ensure that NSW leads Australia in establishing a decentralised energy sector, by honouring the State Government’s current commitments”.  
In a statement to the NSW Legislative Assembly on October 27, 2010, current NSW Minister for Family and Community Services, Pru Goward stated, “[The Opposition] understand that all existing participants must have their existing agreements honoured. This side of politics particularly understands the importance of retrospectivity. I want to be very clear on this point: A future O’Farrell-Stoner Government, a Liberal-Nationals Government, will also honour those agreements.”
AuSES also says in the days leading up to the election, current Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner, made the following statement in a letter to a constituent: “I state for the record that a future O’Farrell Government will honour all accepted applications as a matter of faith. The Opposition’s longstanding opposition to retrospective change will mean that all applications accepted by the Government will be honoured by a future O’Farrell Government.”
As anger mounts over the handling of the Solar Bonus Scheme, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has announced it has engaged Piper Alderman Lawyers to investigate the legality of the State Government’s retrospective legislation and peremptory closure of the program. The SEIA is inviting affected parties to register their details for a potential class action.
The AuSES-organised Solar’s Last Chance Rally, of which national solar solutions provider Energy Matters is a primary sponsor, will be held at 11:30am. Wednesday 18 May in the Barnet Long Room at Customs House; 31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay, Sydney