Survey says big solar welcome in Bendigo

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EIGHTY-five per cent of Bendigo residents want the government to bring big solar projects into the region according to a survey recently carried out by 100 per cent Renewables volunteers.

Volunteers from Castlemaine and Bendigo spoke to more than 1300 people in March and April as part of a national campaign to support the building of solar power stations across Australia.

Yesterday the group met with federal MP Steve Gibbons and Victorian senator Bridget McKenzie at the Bendigo Solar Park to enlist their support.

The volunteers asked both politicians to attend a parliamentary briefing on renewable energy, publicly call for the renewable energy target to be increased to 40 per cent by 2020 and write to the energy and climate change ministers on points of policy.

Mr Gibbons said he was happy to agree to the requests and believed the newly introduced carbon price would be a step forward in bringing renewable energy projects to the Bendigo region.

“They will be able to draw from the $10 billion renewable energy fund,” he said.

“But that’s a competitive fund so they will need to have a slick submission and it will be judged against all the others.” Mr Gibbons said the 100 per cent Renewables survey showed most central Victorians were keen to see the benefits of carbon pricing.

Campaign organiser Amy Sattler said her team of volunteers had gone out on weekends to swap meets, markets, shopping centres and street stalls to ask local people about big solar.

“The north of Victoria has a world-class solar resource that could easily power our homes, industries, businesses and communities and provide local jobs,” she said.

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