THE people of Murray Plains have been refused access to the Andrews Labor Government’s rebate scheme for solar power batteries.
The government scheme is based on postcodes; but not one of the 28 postcodes across the region is on the list Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh said.
A decision Mr Walsh said simply added to the litany of neglect inflicted on all regional people by the Melbourne-centric Andrews Government.
“There is outrage in my electorate from people who have contacted me about every single person in an Opposition held seat being excluded from a 10-year rebate program,” Mr Walsh said.
“They want to know why, again, this is the case,” he said.
“Northern Victorians – along with Murray Plains – have embraced solar and why wouldn’t they; this is one of the best areas in the state for solar power.”
Mr Walsh said you can drive down virtually any street in any town in Murray Plains; and on farms too; and see just how many properties have solar installations.
He said his constituents believe it is unfair no postcodes in northern Victoria are actually part of this program.
“I don’t just believe it is unfair now; the government’s own information about this says it is going to be unfair for a decade, that’s how long the current program is running – at which point there may be a review to expand the program and include all Victorians,” he added.
“Victorians who want to be part of these significant battery rebates and believe the government should include their postcodes alongside the ones already qualified for the rebate program.”
In launching its solar rebate program; the Andrews Labor Government said it was for “eligible Victorian households to install a solar battery”.
The properties judged eligible will have access to as much as $4838.
“The Andrews Labor Government said the battery program targeted designated postcodes with high photovoltaic penetration and population growth,” Mr Walsh said.
“What they meant to say was the battery program targeted designated postcodes with high photovoltaic penetration and population growth – except for regional Victorians,” he said.
“We certainly exceed the benchmark for solar panel uptake; I have no doubt.
“Whether we also fit the population growth is another matter; but our population would have more chance of growth if we had access to the same opportunities as the people in Melbourne and surrounds.
“Such as rebates for solar batteries.”