What does the Rudd return mean for solar power?

The big news in Australian politics during the week was of course the return of the Queensland kid, aka The Ruddster, The Nerdy One etc. The Machiavellian machinations of the Australian Labor Party which allowed the regurgitation of Kevin Rudd has done wonders to kick start a moribund election campaign, but what effect will this have on the party’s solar power policy?

At the time of writing Heavy Kevvy had just announced his new front bench.

Shouldn’t we just relax though solar power fans? After all didn’t Kevvy say in 2007 that climate change was the “greatest environmental, moral and economic challenge of our time”? At least this was true when he famously unseated Johnny Howard in the knock ‘em down, drag ‘em out election campaign of that year. Surely then he’d back solar power as the future of the country in this year’s election stoush with The Mad Monk?

These of course were words that came back to haunt the Ruddster when he failed to deliver on climate change in the Copenhagen climate talks of 2009, a failure that the Milky Bar Kid paid dearly for as his previously sky-rocketing popularity plummeted. This allowed Julia “Remember Her” Gillard an opening to unseat the king.

This is now ancient political history, to be referred to only in passing only by sad, political junkies like this correspondent. It is the present and future of climate initiatives and the related policies on solar power that must concern us.

Does Ruddy still consider climate change (and presumably renewable energy) as the chief moral challenge of our time? Or as a politician will his policies be ah…moulded by the necessity of the challenge to park his butt on the government side of the Treasury benches after the next election? Or at least limit the electoral damage?

Early signs aren’t that great solar power fans. The chief architects of the carbon price Julia Gillard and Greg Combet have both announced their retirement from politics at the next election. While the carbon tax they crafted had more holes in it than the Wallabies rugby union front row (or a Swiss cheese factory for the non sporting types amongst us) it was at least something in the battle to reduce the effects of pollution.

A step (a baby step granted) towards taxing the real polluters of the nation, the tax may yet go down in history as one of the great achievements of the Gillard government.

So who’s to be the driving force to replace the Gillard/Combet team on climate change and related solar power?

Thankfully a nightmare your correspondent had last night where recently-retired Martin “Fossil Fuel” Ferguson was parachuted in as Minister for Climate Change has not come to pass. Phew! It appears that some bloke called Mark Butler has the post. Google tells us he used to be Minister for Housing and Homelessness, where he was mainly responsible for feeding homeless solar installers who had lost everything in the “great solar rebate cuts” of the Gillard Years.

Apparently he is also the Federal Member for Port Radelaide, so perhaps we can send fellow Radelaidean Finn round to discuss the finer points of solar policy with him?

Watch this space!

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