JULIE OWENS MUST BREAK HER SILENCE
Yesterday the Labor Government shocked Rheem Australia, manufacturers of solar hot water systems at Rydalmere, by informing them only half an hour before the close of business that solar rebates would not be available after 5pm that day.
This is yet another example of the Government changing the goalposts without any consultation and without warning.
Businesses will close down and jobs will be lost.
This is eerily similar to the pink batts disaster, which saw warehouses around Australia, stocked to the ceiling with unwanted pink batts.
Rheem are in complete shock. They have made business decisions on the basis that this scheme would run until at least June 30, as the Government promised it would. The Government has cancelled the scheme without any warning and pulled the rug out from under the industry.
This is yet another example that you can’t trust what the Government says.
Rheem now faces difficult decisions about the future of 400 workers who manufacture solar hot water units at Rydalmere, with a further 800 jobs in the balance as it grapples over whether it continues to manufacture in Australia at all.
Reckless decisions like this shatter business confidence and raise the spectre of sovereign risk. Not consistent with dismissively telling industry to “lift its game”, the Gillard Government has betrayed manufacturers, retailers and workers.
The company yet again has previously said that the carbon tax will have a significant impact on its operations due to the increasing cost of inputs that is driving it.
The local Labor Member for Parramatta, Julie Owens, needs to break her silence. She must now make her first priority to lobby Julia Gillard to reconsider the Government’s decision to axe the solar rebate scheme prior to its previously announced June 30 closing date, and to axe the carbon tax which will make it more difficult for local businesses to make things in Australia.