Repower Port Augusta's plea to Rowan Ramsey

Repower Port Augusta has called for Rowan Ramsey to stand up for the people of Grey as the federal government moves to scrap the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

The Liberal Party voted to abolish the CEFC in the House of Representatives last Thursday.

Repower Port Augusta chairperson Lisa Lumsden wants the CEFC to stay.

“Rowan was elected to represent the interests of our community,” she said.

“That his party is trying to scrap funding for clean energy is extremely disappointing and we need Rowan to stand up.”

Mr Ramsey defended his party’s policies and said it was all part of a pre-election commitment.

“This is a clear pre-election commitment,” he said.

“We are getting rid of the carbon tax, we are getting rid of the mining tax and the CEFC was directly funded from that.

“You’ve got a $10 billion fund with no money to fund it.”

Ms Lumsden said now more than ever was an important time for clean energy funding to remain.

“At this critical time when Alinta is conducting a feasibility study we need our politicians to be standing up and making sure funding for clean energy projects like those proposed in our region is readily available,” she said.

“Put bluntly, if we get a positive outcome from Alinta’s feasibility study but there is no government support available, it is very unlikely to happen.

“Our community can’t afford this attack on renewable energy funding and the CEFC that we are seeing from Canberra right now.”

Mr Ramsey said he was supportive of developing a solar thermal power station in Port Augusta, but would wait until Alinta Energy finish its feasibility study before acting.

“ARENA have provided $1 million to Alinta, the best chance of getting solar thermal facility in Port Augusta lies with Alinta because of the fixed investment they already have there,” he said.

“I speak to Alinta regularly, I am very supportive of helping them find a way forward.”

The CEFC is a clean energy bank established to provide low interest loans to kickstart renewable energy projects and it could be the determining factor in bringing solar thermal to Port Augusta. 

The CEFC has already committed to contributing up to $40 million to the region by providing funding for the expansion of Sundrop Farms using solar thermal which is expected to create 200 new jobs and puts Port Augusta on the world stage for technological innovation.

The bill to abolish the CEFC will now go to the Senate to decide its fate.

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