The Greens have expressed dismay that their Senate motion in support of the Solar Energy eXchange Initiative in western New South Wales was voted down by the Coalition and Labor after a similar motion was passed by the NSW Upper House.
Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon said: "Federal Coalition and Labor have failed to back their own colleagues in the NSW Upper House who voted for a motion in favour of the Solar Energy eXchange Initiative, which is supported by 31 regional councils.
"The failure of Labor and the Coalition to back the NSW Upper House and the western NSW councils support for this project is insulting.
"Western NSW is the ideal place to harness the power of the sun to benefit local residents, the economy and the environment. The backers of this project know they are on a winner here.
"This project, known locally as "the SEXI Proposal", would boost local economies, create local jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the need for investment in transmission and distribution infrastructure and, in the long run, reduce power bills.
"Labor and Coalition Senators from NSW owe the councils and people of western NSW an explanation on why they did not support this motion.
Matt Parmeter, co-ordinator of the Solar Energy eXchange Initiative, said: I am very surprised and disappointed that the Senate did not back the SEXI Proposal.
"We will try for Senate support again in the future. A fuller explanation of the benefits to our regional communities, and Australia more generally, could see the major parties in the Senate give in principle support to the SEXI proposal".
"With the price of solar technologies falling, now is the time for Australia to move to a low-carbon, jobs-rich future.
"The Solar Energy eXchange Initiative will be a win-win for councils and their communities. Local economies will receive a boost and household bills will stabilise and reduce in the long term.
"The SEXI Proposal aims to help kickstart a future multi - billion dollar industry for inland NSW; supplying solar electricity (day and night) to Sydney and Melbourne.
"If NSW can win the State of Origin, then we can get this proposal up."
Contact Lee Rhiannon: 0487 350 880
Matt Parmeter: 0405 270 801
MOTION 25 June 2014
Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Milne): To move-That the Senate-
(a) acknowledges the proposal to build community-scale solar thermal plants and install solar photovoltaic panels in western New South Wales, known as the Solar Energy eXchange Initiative (the Initiative), has received in-principle support from 22 councils in the target area, including the unincorporated area;
(b) notes the Initiative would boost local economies, create local jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the need for investment in transmission and distribution infrastructure and, in the long run, reduce power bills;
(c) supports those councils involved in the Initiative and the value that such projects can bring to long-term energy security and the economy in New South Wales; and
(d) encourages all levels of government to work cooperatively to see plans such as the Initiative harness the power of the sun in inland New South Wales to