A BALLARAT renewable energy advocate has hailed the one-year anniversary of the carbon tax as a step in the right direction.
On Monday, the carbon price turned one. VicWind state co-ordinator Andrew Bray said the controversial price managed to reduce people’s dependence on fossil fuel.
“Our emissions dropped 7.4 per cent in the year, which is a huge decrease for that period,” Mr Bray said.
“We are now getting much more of power from wind and solar, and much less from coal.”
Mr Bray said the evidence of the past year had shown that the Clean Energy Future package was a success. But he said more needed to be done.
“The world is embarking on a massive boom in renewable energy, and unless Australia can get its ducks in a row, we’re going to miss out.
“We need strong leadership to keep these kinds of policies in place.”
Mr Bray said governments needed to encourage investment in renewable energy, including wind energy.
“Wind energy offers income protection for farmers, investment for regional communities and jobs in manufacturing and construction.
“Sadly however, uninformed opposition to climate science has morphed into an attack on renewable energy technologies,” Mr Bray said.
Commerce Ballarat chair Andrew Rowan said the tax had hurt local businesses.
“To a degree it has put prices up,” Mr Rowan said. “Business can do without the additional cost.”
Mr Rowan said although the effect of the carbon price would vary between businesses, it was another layer of red tape.
“What I would like to see is the government reduce the unnecessary costs and red tape to business,” he said.
“I want the carbon price to go.”