The efforts by AuSES of being involved and in fact co leading a protest to highlight the hypocrisy and silliness of the NSW Government of feed in tariff policy in NSW and also to heighten awareness of Federal politicians is admirable in this case.
However, a word of caution is appropriate here. AuSES has the high ground as far as serving the public interest and credibility in dealing with governments over the last 50 years. That is not to say that they always listen. On the contrary they often don’t – but they do not see us as the enemy. Protesting all the time is a bit like ‘crying wolf ‘ in the perceptual mentality of politicians.
To retain this status of getting a respected hearing with governments it should not be a habit that the Society is continually involved in this sort of activity. There are organizations that have protest as their mode of operation, Green Peace for example. There is a hazard for the society to become too closely associated with this function, as it will undermine the privileged position AuSES has at the high ground level with governments of the day.
I believe that AuSES needs to retain the intellectual high ground as its prime function of promoting Solar Energy in all its forms in this 21st Century.
From my experience the treachery of governments in the past has been unbearable and although the Society has always made its point, we could have taken to the streets on numerous occasions. We did not. This has kept us out of the ‘hate’ limelight shone on detractors of government policy, by politicians. Staying apolitical and be open for professional quality consultation is most of the time if asked by government, is the best long term strategy in my opinion. Discretion is the key.
This time well done John Grimes, because ”never say never”!
Garry Baverstock AM
[Current President of AuSES Western Australia]
Director : solar-e.com.
Read the story of the rally: AuSES Solar Crisis Rally a Success