Yesterday the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) made an announcement on its large-scale solar projects and Environment Minister Greg Hunt praised the Agency’s great work in a media release. However, he failed to mention that the Turnbull Government wants to shut down ARENA.
The same media release also notes that a number of projects short-listed by ARENA are seeking project finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which also remains on the Turnbull Governments’ chopping block.
Changing the Liberal Leader has not changed the Liberals’ determination to attack clean energy investment in Australia. Malcolm Turnbull is still beholden to the extreme right-wing of the Coalition.
As recently as MYEFO, the Turnbull Government confirmed its attacks on renewable energy.
Mr Hunt has maintained the Turnbull Government’s intention to scrap ARENA and the CEFC:
FRAN KELLY: Under the Government of Tony Abbott, there were moves to try to abolish the CEFC and ARENA. That was blocked in the Senate. Now that the new Prime Minister has moved these bodies into your Department, is their future secure?
GREG HUNT: Well there's been no change in the long-term position. However we realise that the Senate has a very clear view.
[FRAN KELLY - 29 SEPTEMBER 2015]
In Senate Estimate on 19 October it was confirmed that there had been no change in the Liberals’ policy on ARENA.
Labor established ARENA and continues to support the Agency’s great work. We welcome their recent success in supporting large-scale solar projects.
The Turnbull Government has consistently praised ARENA’s work. It should now back up those words with action by reinstating ARENA’s funding and taking if off the chopping block.