Coalition promises Castlemaine will be among the first to receive solar

A FEDERAL Coalition government will commit $300,000 to solar projects across the Mount Alexander Shire, says Liberal candidate for Bendigo Greg Bickley.

Mr Bickley and opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb visited Castlemaine on Monday to announce that Castlemaine’s Camp Reserve would be the first community facility to benefit from the Bendigo electorate’s Solar Town project.

“We’re announcing the rollout of the solar towns across Australia,” Mr Bickley said.

“And I’m very happy to announce that the Mount Alexander Shire is the first of our 25 town/precincts across Australia that will be a solar town with a pool of $300,000 to invest directly into solar.

“We intend to work with the Mount Alexander Shire to roll this out across their municipality and I’m very happy to announce that in Castlemaine.”

Camp Reserve is used by Castlemaine United Cricket Club, Castlemaine Table Tennis Association, Castlemaine Football and Netball junior Football League, Castlemaine and District Agricultural Society and Castlemaine Poultry and Pigeon Club.

“The entire Mount Alexander Shire community will benefit from Solar Town status under a Coaliton government, with funding expected to assist up to 15 community groups become more energy efficient and save on their power bills,” Mr Bickley said.

“Last year Camp Reserve’s electricity bill was more than $5000 and with prices rising by a staggering 94 per cent under Labor, this is a major cost burden on community groups and local government.

“It’s expected that switching to solar would more than halve the current electricity bill.”

Mr Robb praised the initiative.

“It’s a wonderful initiative and it’s quite appropriate that we’re here announcing it today on such a stunning day,” he said yesterday.

“This will be a big day for that generation of electricity.

“It’s something, as Greg Bickley has said, that if we do get the privilege of government at the weekend, we will roll this out in major centres across the country.

“And we will start in this area.

“So the seat of Bendigo is an important starting point for all of this.”

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