Archive for December, 2011

Influencing the Australian Federal Government on Renewable Energy Policy

English: Greenchoice is a renewable-energy sup...

By David Holland

During the year 2006 the local federal member for Dobell NSW sent a letter to his constituents asking them to write to him outlining any issues that concern them.  Not to be deterred by never taking up such an opportunity before, I wrote back to the member detailing some of my concerns regarding the direction of policy, than currently being followed by the Howard government, and outlined some of the opportunities useful for Australia to follow in efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emission and create a more sustainable way to produce energy for domestic, industrial and automotive uses within Australia.

The member was a liberal party MP and impressed enough with the letter to pass it on to the then Minster for the Environment, however no letter was forthcoming from that the Minister in reply to the local member.

Not to be deterred in those troublesome times of ‘Work Choices’, a policy by the Howard government to reorganize the Australian workforce, a policy that was soon to topple that government, I wrote to the shadow minister for the environment, the Hon. Peter Garret, who responded to my letter.

Then on the eve of the 2007 election, a repackaged letter adding a considerable amount of new information was sent directly to the opposition leader, who was soon to sweep into power as the Prime Minister, The Hon. Kevin Rudd.

Due to the amount of work this new Labor PM was about to do, I was not expecting any response in the near future, however I was confident that this letter was at least read, if not influential on the new government’s policy direction.

During the next 12 months from November 2007, I noticed that policy was set in the right direction for renewable energy to become a major player in Australian Energy production, but somehow real on the ground actions and expenditures were not supporting the policy move towards renewable energy. The global financial crisis had caused a lot of money that I had hoped to be used to support the move to cleaner energy, to be spent on a range of other projects. Some quite important infrastructure projects, and other projects related to energy consumption that would have limited value in the long-term towards any real change to Australia’s mix of energy sources.

As a result, in 2009, I sent another, completely new letter to Prime Minister Rudd, encouraging action towards real change to Australia’s energy mix, this time high lighting transport applications for sustainable fuels and modifications to infrastructure to support change.

After the change to the Prime Minister ship in 2009, I resolved to refocus my effort by giving a full and detailed update on all the letters sent the government, and outline the level of achievement Australia had made up until 2010 as a way of demonstrating, the change already underway caused by the government’s policy settings.

The articles are referenced below:

Following these two articles being sent to Prime Minister Gillard, I received two letters from the government. The first was from the office of Prime Minister Gillard, the detail of which is available on the following link.

The second letter was from the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism. The article below was written around the contents of the letter from the Department, which outlines the direction of the actions expected by the Gillard government in the near future to encourage the implementation of renewable energy uptake within the Australian industry.

Reply Letter from the Office of the Hon. Martin Ferguson AM MP, Minister for Resources and Energy 20 Jul 2011

Following is a researched explanation of the above letter.

Read More ….