A GROUP demanding "clean energy now, clean energy for the future" protested outside Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie's office in Bendigo today.
Organised by the Bendigo Sustainability Group, the Bendigo rally was timed to coincide with other National Rally for Renewables day rallies around the country.
The rally attracted about 30 people from solar industry businesses and other interest groups upset about the federal government's proposed changes to the Renewable Energy Target.
Bendigo Sustainability Group representative Colin Lambie was one of the speakers at the protest and said the group was upset that Senator McKenzie had not yet made time to hear their concerns.
"We want to express that a lot of jobs around here are at risk if that target gets cut back," he said.
He said the nationwide rallies were a combination of the Solar Citizens, the Solar Energy Council and a number of other main industry groups standing up together.
"The Bendigo Sustainability Group is one of many that are helping to organise and express the view that 80 per cent of the public support renewable energy," he said.
Greens candidate for Bendigo East Jennifer Alden said the community was unhappy with the proposal to wind back the RET, which she said could also wind back jobs and the industry's future as a whole.
"Any efforts to wind it back are really raising questions in the community about who’s interest it is in (to wind it back). We know it's in the interests of the fossil fuel industry essentially," she said.
Senator Bridget McKenzie apologised for not being able to attend the rally but thanked those who attended "for showing their support for renewable energy and the business opportunities it has created in regional Victoria".
"The Abbott Government is committed to lower electricity prices and the review took this into consideration," she said.
"The Renewable Energy Target is very much an open discussion at parliament at the moment and I look forward to reading the report and the hearing the government’s response."