Thousands of workers in Australia's solar power industry are joining together to tell Prime Minister Tony Abbott 'Don't mess with our jobs' in a new campaign by the Clean Energy Council, launched today.

This week sees the campaign’s first wave of newspaper ads featuring ‘selfies’ by hundreds of Australians employed in the solar industry across all parts of the country.

The ads proclaim: “Hey Mr Abbott, 13,000 solar workers say don’t mess with our jobs.” The aim is to convince the Prime Minister to reject recommendations to slash Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) and Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme.

“The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme has seen the solar industry grow massively over barely more than a decade. From a base of just a few household solar power systems, now more than two million Australian homes and businesses generate at least some of their own power through the sun,” Clean Energy Council Acting Chief Executive Kane Thornton said.

“As a result of this growth, the solar industry supports 13,000 direct jobs – most of them in small and medium-sized businesses in locations all round Australia including rural and regional areas. The jobs range from solar installers, to office administration, to managers, to marketing and sales and more.

“But all these jobs are under threat if the Federal Government accepts the recommendations of the recent Warburton Review of the Renewable Energy Target to severely reduce or completely drop the small-scale scheme along with the RET.”

To support the campaign, members of the public are encouraged to print the Save Jobs in Solar poster (see below) from the Clean Energy Council website and display it wherever they can.

“Surveys have repeatedly shown that Australians want more renewable energy, not less. The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme in its current form is the best way to ensure families and businesses can continue to access solar power systems and support thousands of jobs,” Mr Thornton said.

Please contact Laura Szekfy at the Clean Energy Council on 0410 277 393 for more information or to arrange an interview.