A RALLY will be held in Hamilton today as the national campaign to retain the federal renewable energy target (RET) gathers momentum.
Portland wind turbine tower manufacturer Keppel Prince believes the campaign is making headway and the RET will be retained in some form.
Keppel Prince general manager Steve Garner said he had taken heart from media reports that federal industry minister Ian Farlane was willing to negotiate with Labor for a RET but at a lower target.
“I am cautiously optimistic based on minister McFarlane’s comments so far,” Mr Garner said.
He said between 100-130 jobs at Keppel Prince were at risk if the RET was scrapped. Concerns about the future of the RET escalated last month after a report to the federal government recommended the target be abolished. Keppel Prince workers will be among those at today’s midday rally in front of the Hamilton Performing Arts Centre.
Also taking part will be Merino electrician Ricky Lane, who said scrapping the RET would force him to drastically reduce the hours of an employee who works in renewable energy.
Mr Lane said solar energy had brought jobs and investment to the south-west and “the government should be getting behind it, not trying to shut it down”.
Today’s rally has been organised by an alliance involving Solar Citizens, the Clean Energy Council, Australian Solar Council, the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Australian Wind Alliance.
The alliance believes key federal cabinet ministers will soon decide the fate of the RET and is holding a series of rallies and “community pickets” outside the offices of cabinet ministers and Federal MPs across Australia.