The Rudd Labor government last week introduced a means test for the government rebate toward the cost of rooftop solar panels for domestic use. THe implication of the rebate is that households earning more than $100,000 each year will not get any financial assistance if they want to go solar. The move has infuriated climate change activists, enviromentalists and the solar industry. The Greens leader, Bob Brown, described the move as “an exocet missile into an industry at the forefront of fighting climate change.” In the same media conference he described Brendan Nelson’s move to subsidise petrol consumption as “perverse”.Â
Other budget items that attracted widespread criticism include the funding of major roadworks and a slow response to the return of water from irrigators to the Murray Darling. It is projected that the nation’s transport will be forced to move increasingly to rail because of spiralling oil prices. France has announced it will commit no new money to roads and infrastructure development will be primarily rail.