THE KAP has successfully secured further opportunities for the private contractors in regional Queensland following a commitment to expand the solar sector by the state government.
During the debate on the Electricity and Other Legislation Bill the Minister for Energy spoke on his agreement with the KAP to further opportunities for solar energy and regional businesses.
“We have had numerous discussions with Katter’s Australian Party members about these issues. The government is committed to expanding opportunities for solar energy in rural areas,” Minister Bailey said.
Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter and Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth were unwilling to shift on their issues with the electricity merger without the guarantees there would be extended opportunities for electricians in rural and regional areas.
“Minister for Energy Mark Bailey said the Government is committed to expanding opportunities for solar energy in rural areas – this is a huge opportunity for cost-savings in the North West,” Mr Katter said.
“While we agree with the principals behind the merger we did not want private enterprise to feel they were disenfranchised.
“We have pushed the Minister to create further opportunities for advancing the take up of solar energy in rural areas that are mostly off the grid,” he said
Initiatives following this commitment will go on to assist primary producers in the transition to solar power, which will also benefit local electricians to expand in this sector, and facilitate a more efficient and solar driven agricultural industry.
Mr Katter has seen first hand the efficiency of solar powered bores for producers in his area.
“Regional businesses have already been making substantial benefits through cost savings for on-farm costs.”
“The scheme could be limited to local vendors and local electricians and suppliers only, so regional businesses get the benefit as well.”
Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth said he was happy to support the main aim of the bill to enhance public ownership.
“It is better to facilitate the merger of two government owned corporations than selling them full stop,” Mr Knuth said.
“Instead of selling assets, I would prefer to see efficiencies and profits from the merger go into our schools, our hospitals, not multinational corporations.”
Mr Knuth was also pleased to have the government confirm their position on solar energy for those currently relying on diesel generators.
“This bill provides an opportunity for everyone in regard to the expansion of solar energy throughout rural and regional Queensland,” Mr Knuth said.
“The KAP has been pushing very hard for these opportunities to assist people in rural and regional Queensland to get access to solar power.”
“Bringing the main headquarters to Townsville will also benefit the people of North Queensland greatly.”