Australian Solar Council Says Tony Abbott’s Soul Is “Covered In Coal Dust”

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Originally published on RenewEconomy.

The head of the Australian Solar Council has hailed the apparent victory of the Labor party in Queensland, saying it would also target the NSW Coalition government if it chose to side with vested interests rather than consumers.

ASC chief executive John Grimes said the solar industry had run a fierce political campaign in Queensland, and would do so federally, given the virulent anti-renewable stance of Coalition leaders.

Deposed Queensland Premier Camblell Newman and his LNP government had backtracked on promises, branded solar households as “champagne and latte” sippers, and even proposed a $200 tax on solar households.

“This was a punishment tax on those who dared to use less energy from the grid,” Grimes told ABC Radio National’s Breakfast program on Thursday.

Prime Minister Abbott had also back-tracked on renewables, dumping his proposed “solar sunrise” policy of one million homes, and instead arguing how much he could cut the renewable energy target.

coal-is-good-243x300Little wonder, Grimes said, that both leaders were so unpopular, given more than 400,000 solar households in Queensland, and two million across the country.

“People have seen into the soul of our political leaders, and unfortunately they are covered in coal dust,” Grimes said. Both Newman and Abbott have said they “stand for coal.”

Grimes argued that the Queensland state electricity assets, which include networks and generators, would be better in state rather than private hands. And he was confident that Queensland would deliver on its promises, which included connecting one million houses to solar,

He said the government could look at the interests of consumers rather than that of the power sector, including encouraging more production in homes and business, battery storage, and peer to peer trading.

Grimes said it was clear that the energy sector was going through an “energy revolution”, but many utilities were locked into an out-dated model.

He was confident that the Labor government could deliver on its promises of connecting one million homes to solar, and to lift the share of renewable energy production in the state to 50 per cent by 2030.

“This is a battle between broken business model of electricity companies and new wave of technology being embraced by consumers. Any government that sides with the big power companies and against the community is doomed to failure. If the Labor government backtracks, we will call them out.”

Reprinted with permission.

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Giles Parkinson

is the founding editor of, an Australian-based website that provides news and analysis on cleantech, carbon, and climate issues. Giles is based in Sydney and is watching the (slow, but quickening) transformation of Australia's energy grid with great interest.

Giles Parkinson has 596 posts and counting. See all posts by Giles Parkinson

6 thoughts on “Australian Solar Council Says Tony Abbott’s Soul Is “Covered In Coal Dust”

  • Aussis vote for the government they have.
    if they have solar, and vote anti solar they must pay and burn.
    coal steam dust heating cooling transporting shipping burning
    digging polluting times are history.
    time for money making Solar on the Roof for all Austrlians.
    vote for it.

  • This is what happens to politicians and industrialists who oppose newer, better, more cost effective technology. They fail. History remembers them as fools.

    • The problem is politicians who say one thing and do another. From what I’ve been reading here, Tony Abbott broke a ton of campaign promises in order to ruin renewable energy. Tony will be remembered as a fool, but it’s likely the guy who replaces him will be just as foolish, and the next guy, and the next, until fossil finally loses its power and can’t pay politicians to shill for fossil interests. Meanwhile, each disgraced fool still fulfills the fossil industry objectives of keeping them in power as long as possible. It’s disgusting. I’m amazed Tony was even unseated. Out here in the US of A, our Scott Walkers and George Bushes seem to just keep getting re-elected on a tide of billionaire donations no matter how many people loathe them.

  • Watch out! Distributed solar is emerging as a powerful political force. First Germany, now Australia. US is next.

  • I would love it if one day there was a Big Solar, able to go head to head with Big Oil on bribe money. But then climate change would already be a solved problem if that kind of world existed.

    The problem lies in whether Labour or Malcolm Turnbull can be trusted to actually deliver on their solar promises. I say no. We would need the Greens to hold the balance of power.

    Vote 1 Green, 2 Labour.

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