MEA Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Richards said the while the Government had spoken with industry about the changes, the final regulation was vastly different to what industry had been told would be implemented.
“These new regulations add nothing but red tape to solar farm installations. They don’t enhance safety, they don’t improve performance and they don’t boost clean energy production,” Mr Richards said.
“What they will do is drive up the cost of building a new solar farm, and tie up electrical businesses in unnecessary regulation.
“And by requiring electricians to perform work that has traditionally been done by trades assistants – lifting solar panels into place – they are already leading to job losses in some sectors off the industry.”
Mr Richards said although it was in the short-term commercial interests of electricians to have exclusive rights to lift solar panels, it was not in the long-term interest of the wider industry.
“Our members didn’t do a four-year electrical apprenticeship so they could lift heavy solar panels. They want to be part of an efficient and productive solar industry in Queensland.
“The Government promised to consult with the industry, and paid lip service to that idea. But the devil is always in the detail, and now we can see the detail is no good.
Master Electricians Australia supports the disallowance motion. Parliament should scrap this regulation and start again.”