By Desmond Elliott
Australians are caught up in Labor’s legacy of political indecision at all levels – enough is enough! Nothing achieved except a massive $250 billion in debt. Lets focus on the effectiveness of solar power programs, the schemes were a disaster at best. Liberal Policy to create a Green Revolution and encourage investment was developing public awareness and encouraged investment. Yes! Alternative energy is a must and a win, win for our sun drenched country. There are many tried and proven projects Labor could implement for successful outcomes – providing value for money. Unfortunately, Labor as normal paid zero attention to planning, typical and procedure – all policy on the run, spending like a mad man with twenty arms.
For policy to be effective the market must be motivated by government through tax incentives – not a brainless approach of un-vetted handouts resulting in $billions wasted on hair-brained schemes for future taxpayers to fund. Like good corporate management, good political policy takes specialist knowledge, professional planning and organised implementation. Labor throws taxpayer money in the air and hope it will find a good home. Their deluxe policy was to build a “warehouse” at every school – whether needed or not. We needed these like a hole in the head as we entered the Global Financial Crisis. The project went to their cronies providing zero local benefits and led to a $16 billion policy waste.
A clever government would develop policy in cooperation with industry to develop a program to reduce energy cost while providing incentives for participation and develop a culture for alternative energy. Tax incentives to invest in solar farms where the utility company would use their expertise to design large solar arrays, maximising outcomes providing better value for the taxpayers dollar. Collectively the country benefits, providing opportunities for the wage earner, corporate and investors to benefit, investing in shares in an array; energy providers could manage the inputs and create useful complimentary infrastructure. Tax benefits or superannuation programmes utilising this infrastructure for positive returns.
Unfortunately, the cost of energy affects the lowest denominator first with the poor and the elderly having the least resources and the greatest need for assistance. The only incentive offered to these people was a Christmas gift of $900. Not a long term strategy of any consequence. Unfortunately the Labor party have taken a pseudo-capitalistic attitude with this policy, seeking to satisfy the power brokers, the Greens, the pressure groups and their union cronies. No planning policy to meet the needs of their core constituency for long term gains. The retired, the elderly, the low income, and the disabled or the middle class – little or nothing for anyone.
Secondly, the depth of the policy is left wanting also, as soon as an incentive scheme is implemented they tear it down again. Counter productive, no forward planning to provide commercial momentum, they need time for incentive schemes to mature like tax breaks for ongoing development. The private sector should be rewarded for taking on the high risk and high costs in training to establish new businesses. Labor’s lack of knowledge is evident from the trail of failures we see as they roll in and out of one bad policy after another. The rate of government failure is horrific, all borne by the taxpayer, debt to be paid off for years to come. Leaving our children with a legacy of debt.
In the UK by comparison, alternative energy policy was engineered through tax incentives leading to an efficient and complimentary solar electric program, not cheaper than coal power but complimentary and sustainable. Considering that in the UK winter the sun goes down at three in the afternoon, the achievements have been a credit to them.
The most successful solar project in the world is in Spain. They successfully provided power to 6000 homes and have plans to double the number to 12,000 – a special suburb built – very expensive exercise and it was not cost effective – solar cannot replace coal until better solar efficiencies are apparent using current technology to run cities, however this approach better utilises tax payer resources. The project provides a working model for energy providers, academics and researchers alike; a valuable research project. When we speak of cost effective; economies of scale are better achieved providing value for money for tax payers.
This has been replicated many times, the insulate Australian homes debacle that cost four lives and millions of dollars is another typical example of Labors policy on the run…a rudderless ship at best. Companies taking insulation from one home and installing it down the street. The installer was paid many times for the same insulation – no planning, no audits and out of control. Ineffective policy at all levels. .
Investment in Solar energy is highly suspect – but the only way to give a technology a leg up is to throw some dollars at it. Unfortunately, jumping the gun, too much to quickly and quantities of scale were lost. Good science tells us we are several years away from convergence – where the cost of solar energy and the cost of coal power meet; 10 to 15 years hence. That said, we must continue to drive change, providing an incentive, allowing these two ponts to meet gracefully. If we do nothing, nothing will progress but we need good policy to drive it.
In Queensland solar situation gets worse – the current LNP government have their hands tied – much like Labor have done at a federal level in terms of NBN and the carbon tax – ensuring that it will be extremely (legally) hard for governments of the future to make change – in QLD the subsidies that the previous Labor state govt put in place cannot be changed until 2028, so the ‘tax’ on QLD folk will just get bigger each year as will the carbon tax.
Many countries have nuclear power but not allowed to use it due to emotional arguments over safety. Even the Tsunami in Japan has yet to kill anyone as a result of nuclear fall out. At the time people were saying that the skin would burn off people who lived nearby and a host of other horrific things. Germany closed its nuclear power stations as knee jerk reaction to the disaster only to invest billions of dollars in wind power. This too will never meet a break even point.
The smarter we become as a country and as people, the faster leaderless governments like Labor drive us into debit and oblivion. When will the smart people put their hand up and declare enough is enough!
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