Stawell Climate Action Group call to build big solar

STAWELL - Stawell Climate Action Group, got to work this week building a huge sign spelling out the words 'big solar', to show their support for the development of large scale solar power in Australia.

Although the weather was grim, 14 members and supporters of Stawell Climate Action Group were undeterred in their conviction to support big solar power generation.

They gathered at Central Park, Stawell with overalls, hardhats and tools to build the big solar sign.

They are calling on John Forrest to get behind a new $10 billion fund for renewable energy.

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"Australia is the sunniest country on earth, so it just makes sense that we started using this vast resource to provide us with large amounts of safe, clean electricity," said Julie Andrew, spokesperson for Stawell Climate Action Group.

"Solar energy can bring lots of new jobs and investment to the Mallee electorate.

"With the cost of coal and gas going up each year - and renewable energy just getting cheaper - investing in solar will help manage rising energy prices".

"We are asking our MP today, why are people in Stawell paying more and more for polluting fossil fuels when we could power ourselves with the sun, which is a free source of fuel that will never run out"

The group is calling on their member John Forrest to support the formation of a new $10 billion clean energy fund, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, that could build big solar projects across Australia.

This fund was established by the Government and the Greens in 2011, however Tony Abbott and the Coalition have said they will not support it.

"The Nationals have a chance to get behind big solar generally best located in regional electorates, by supporting the new $10 billion big solar fund. We're calling on John Forrest to put aside party politics and get behind this nation-building opportunity for Australia.

Stawell Climate Action Group formed in response to Al Gore's visit to Australia and a local Halls Gap woman calling locals to act. The group has facilitated group bulk purchase of residential solar photovoltaic units to reduce transition costs for local residents.

SCAG members in 2011 doorknocked more than 300 homes in Stawell surveying local residents views on renewable energy.

Ninety one percent of those surveyed believed the government should be implementing policy to support new jobs and investment in renewable energy.

Eighty six percent of those surveyed thought we should be introducing more renewable energy to help manage rising energy prices.

Ninety percent wanted Australia to develop a plan to move to 100 percent renewable energy, even if it would take some time to implement.

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