Big news this week about the state of solar power in Cairns, QLD. As the Australian Federal Government announces the new means test for household solar panel installations, jobs are being lost left, right and center.
Cairns Solar Equipment has so far made one worker redundant due to the loss of five jobs installing solar panels in Cairns worth over $25,000 each.
Households earning more than $100,000 are no longer eligible for the $8000 solar panel grant.
Cairns solar companies are concerned with the announcement as the reality sets in for Far North Queensland solar businesses.
“In these harsh financial times, most households have dual incomes just to make ends meet after they pay their school fees, mortgages, kid’s sports,” he said.
“The middle income bracket has now been left out of an environmental solution to their energy usage and once more has been abandoned by the Government.”
The rebate made solar panels affordable for ordinary Australians said Senator Macdonald. He also states that the opportunity for Queensland residents has been removed.
“It also means that the businesses they have been building up over six or seven years are destroyed and their former staff will be thrown on the unemployment heap,” he said.
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Environmental Minister Peter Garret stated that the Australian Government is committed to the solar industry and the budget includes generous incentives to encourage the industry.
“Demand for solar rebates through the Solar Homes and Communities Plan has grown significantly and we’ve doubled the number of rebates per year from 3000 to 6000 and brought forward $25 million in this Budget to achieve in three years what the previous government set out to achieve in five,” he said.
Cairns solar installers may face further loss of business over the introduction of the new means test’s criteria. For those who make their entire living installing solar panels in Cairns this is a big problem.