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Ward off Climate Change

About the author

Gary Warden was raised in the Perth Hills. After graduating from the University of Western Australia with a degree in Geology, Gary joined BHP Billiton where he spent 18 years working in a variety of roles in a number of locations around the world. Prior to leaving BHP Billiton in December 2006, Gary was Global Manager for the company's US$1Billion business improvement program.

While he was originally sceptical about the claims relating to climate change, he became convinced of the urgency of the issue in early 2006. He left BHP Billiton primarily to spend more time with his young family, but also to dedicate himself to creating a more sustainable life for himself and his family and to support others in making that change.

In September 2007 he was trained by Al Gore and has delivered the "Inconvenient Truth" lectures to thousands of west australians since then. In November 2007 Gary ran for the senate in the Federal Election representing the Climate Change Coalition.

In addition to his climate change lectures, he has facilitated Living Smart workshops across Perth. Between 2008 and 2009 he was on the Executive Committee of the Conservation Council of Western Australia including one year as Vice President.

Gary co-founded and is Executive Director of the very exciting Days of Change program, one of the largest sustainability programs in Australia and is now General Manager WA for Eco-Kinetics, one of the largest Solar PV companies in Australia and subsidiary of ASX-listed CBD Energy.

Federal Government Decision Set to Destroy Solar Industry

by Gary 5/26/2008 11:29:00 AM

Toni and I were appalled when we heard about the Federal Government’s decision to means test the $8,000 rebate on photo-voltaic cells to those households earning less than $100,000 per annum.

While this may seem a reasonable thing to do at face value, the impact that this has had on the hard-won momentum in the solar industry has been catastrophic.

Local company Renewable Logic introduced their “1500 for 1500” initiative whereby people could purchase a 1kw PV system from Renewable Logic for $1,500 provided that 1,500 people applied.

This initiative brought PV cells within the reach of many households for the first time and Renewable Logic ended up getting more than 4,000 applications (including Toni and I).

However this number has dropped to less than 1,500 following the Federal Government’s announcement. Instead of paying just $1,500 for their panels, households earning more than $100,000pa would have to pay $9,500!! You can understand why so many have opted out.

The Federal Government should raise the means test threshold to $250,000—the same as that used for the Green Loans program. 

I urge you to write to the Prime Minister, with copy to Peter Garrett. Feel free to make use of the dot points below.

  • I write to request a review of the decision to introduce a $100,000pa household income means test for the solar PV rebate program.
  • In principle I have no opposition to the application of a means test, however I believe the current test is too restrictive.
  • I believe that this decision makes it harder for working families to take real and visible action to reduce their contribution to climate change.
  • I suggest the means test should be changed to be in line with that announced for the household energy and water efficiency “green loans” program announced last year - being $250,000pa
  • The ordinary Australians I talk to regularly want increased effort and assistance from Government – not cutbacks and restrictions.
  • A national solar feed-in tariff would be a great way to really give solar a big boost in Australia – and has already been hugely successful in Japan and Germany.

Mr Rudd's postal address is:

PO Box 476A

Mr Garrett's postal address is:

PO BOX 249


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5/26/2008 11:58:18 PM

Gill Westera

Gary - this is truly depressing. thanks for keeping everyone informed. I feel very sad as I truly thought Rudd had more to him re the environment.

Gill Westera au

5/27/2008 5:22:19 PM


Hi Gillian,

Don't get depressed. Get writing - to Kevin Rudd and Peter Garrett. Politicians are interested in votes, so if enough people write to them that start to worry about votes.

I truly hope that this was just a well-intentioned stuff up - that they didn't understand the impact that the decisions would have on the solar industry.

The reason I ran for the senate was that I wasn't convinced that any of the other parties were truly committed about fighting climate change and that when it came to the tough economic decisions, short-term dollars would always win over long term climate change impacts.

Anyway, don't forget to write - and pass on to your contacts.



Gary au