The state’s peak environment body, Conservation SA, is deeply disappointed the Federal Parliament has passed legislation to slash the renewable energy target last night.
“This is such a crazy, short-sighted step from our political leaders,” said Conservation SA Chief Executive Craig Wilkins.
“When we could be moving to the front of the global renewables revolution, here we are going backwards.
“Particularly disturbing is the inclusion of native wood waste as a possible fuel source. Choosing to burn native forests, which releases more emissions than coal, and badging it as renewable energy is just plain wrong. The SA MPs who voted for this should be made to justify why this is in any way a good decision - particularly as SA wood from our plantations was specifically excluded and wouldn't have been affected.
"And the idea of 'Wind Farm Commissioner' is frankly laughable when coal fired power stations like the one at Port Augusta have been damaging the health of their local communities for decades.
“It’s bizarre that politicians who are supposed to be representing South Australia can vote to hurt such a jobs-rich growth industry in their state. The potential of renewables to create investment and jobs is just not being seen, or wilfully ignored.
“We released a report last week by leading energy expert Dr Mark Diesendorf that shows that South Australia could get to 100% renewable energy in 15 years. It’s possible, reliable, affordable and hugely beneficial for our state.
“It is essential that all levels of government support this clean energy transition.
“If the Federal Government keeps punishing renewables, it is up to the State Government to step up," Mr Wilkins said.
Media Contact: Meg Sobey, Communications, 0411 028 930