Posted by Andrew Bray

 

Last Sunday the plan to build Australia's first solar thermal power plant moved from being a local community issue in Port Augusta to one that’s ready to play out on the national stage.

Channel 9 News covering Walk for Solar

The two-week, 325km Walk for Solar concluded in Adelaide with an inspiring 1500 person rally in front of South Australian Parliament. With the help of Australian Youth Climate Coalition’s Ellen Sandell and team, the event blitzed the media that night with coverage on every TV channel and follow up interviews the next day.

You can see some of the media coverage here:

The 20 local SOLARdarity walks added an important national angle to the story, gathering media themselves and demonstrating the breadth of support for solar thermal. Over 700 people walked (some even skied!) in different locations around Australia. Check out the infectious smiles on the faces of the walkers (and some of their dogs) here.

Together community advocates had a big impact:

  • Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet and Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek sent messages of support to the walkers;
  • People gathered outside the offices of Treasurer Wayne Swan, Energy Minister Martin Ferguson, Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and Defence Minister Stephen Smith;
  • The campaign made it to the highest point in the country with a picture taken at the top of Mount Kosciusko;
  • Member for Eden Monaro, Mike Kelly joined his local event on Tathra Pier;
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Jan McLucas met with walkers in Cairns to learn about the plan;
  • Canberra MP, Andrew Leigh has since met with his local group in his electorate office;
  • SA energy minister Koutsantonis met with Repower Port Augusta campaigners on Tuesday and is now lining up a meeting for them with Greg Combet next week;
  • 30 people learnt new yoga skills in Marrickville!

So a huge round of applause from all of us to the groups who staged the events, raised the crowds, invited their politicians, gained local media and had fun along the way.

The Repower Port Augusta alliance will be travelling to Canberra next week to lobby federal MPs and ask our federal leaders to use existing renewable funding to build this project. 

100% Renewable will continue to support this important campaign, while in coming weeks we'll also be ramping up our campaign to expand the Renewable Energy Target. More on that soon...

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