A system of discounts for domestic solar water heater systems has been abruptly dismissed by the Gillard Government, which led to warnings that will cost jobs in the clean energy manufacturing.
Climate change Parliamentary Secretary Mark Dreyfus published a press release at 5 pm yesterday announcing the bonus renewable energy Plan is shutting down.
More than 250,000 homes have used the discount to help replace old with solar water heaters.
The program offers a discount of $1000 for a system of solar water heaters and $600 for a heat pump.
Mr. Dreyfus said households should have installed, bought or ordered and paid a deposit on a system prior to the close of yesterday to qualify. Refund applications must be submitted by June 30.
Industry representatives acknowledged that they had been warned of the scheme it was shutting down this year, but I had hoped that it would extend once the Government allocated $ 24.5million in the budget forecast estimates for 2012-13.
Gareth Jennings, director of government relations manufacturer Rheem, said that losing the bonus would leave the industry into chaos and tens of millions "" $ of the solar systems that sit in warehouses.
He said the industry had been wounded by the high Australian dollar, which affected exports and left her struggling to compete with imports of gas water heating systems. Up to a third of 1200 personal Rheem worked in the manufacture of solar water.
"We have to work on what we are going to do with these people tomorrow," he said. "With this we can see the market halved overnight - that will be a cottage industry. All that means jobs ".
Mr. Dreyfus said that the scheme had helped $ 320million households reduce carbon dioxide emissions and reduce energy bills.
Coalition for action by climate spokesman Greg Hunt said that the announcement was a blow to the solar industry and cost jobs.
"They had to give a reasonable notice to the industry. Instead, has reached a stalemate crashing ", said. "The Government simply manages to do enormous damage to the solar sector repeatedly".
Green deputy leader Christine Milne, said: "this scheme should have been extended, not cancelled early, especially not as ridiculously short notice and without reason".
This afternoon, Mr. Dreyfus told reporters in Canberra that the decision of the Government to put an end to the regime was "responsible for economic management".