The Andrew’s Labor Government’s self-proclaimed ‘solar revolution’ has become Victoria’s solar disillusion.
The Solar Homes Program is plagued with negative reviews, business closures, job losses and major industry dissatisfaction.
Daniel Andrews’ solar rebate scheme has more than halved the number of household solar installations in Victoria, while household solar installations in NSW and Queensland continue to grow.
Ms Bath said the Victorian solar industry is a mess with installers contacting her electoral office distressed due to the enormous financial and administrative pressure placed upon them by the program.
“Solar installers are facing financial ruin which is effecting their mental health.
“When business owners are telling my office Labor’s ‘solar homes program is destructive’ and ‘has left them broken’, there is a very serious problem.”
Solar business today rallied outside the Premier’s office today and sent a strong message to Daniel Andrews – “your solar panel rebate scheme is destroying our industry.”
Ms Bath said Labor previously boasted its Solar Homes Program ‘was designed to give consumers and industry certainty’.
“Daniel Andrews must acknowledged the opposite is in fact true, with the Victorian solar industry on its knees,” said Ms Bath.
“It is dumbfounding that Labor’s Minister for Solar Homes said last week, ‘we make no apologies for making it cheaper and easier for families to install solar’.
“Labor showed no care for Victorian solar installers when it interfered with an industry that was operating well.”
Ms Bath said Solar Victoria’s facebook page paints a picture of a State Government program in dire trouble.
“Between the anger and frustration there are worrying comments about declining mental health, said Ms Bath.
Ms Bath said that the government’s mishandling of the program had prompted the chief executive of the Smart Energy Council John Grimes to launch a stinging attack, saying that “the Solar Homes Program has been a catastrophe for the Victoria solar industry” and called on the Premier make urgent changes to the program.
The Smart Energy Council surveyed 60 Victoria solar businesses last week and found that 80 per cent of those retailers have either closed or are concerned they will close soon as a result of the government’s flawed program.
“77 per cent of those businesses said staff had been made redundant or were expected to be made redundant,” Mr Grimes said.
Ms Bath said enough is enough, Daniel Andrews is toying with the livelihood of real people.
“The Premier must sideline his Minister for Solar Homes and fix his Solar Homes Program mess.”