Date:  23 July 2014

A few days after demolishing Australia’s clean energy package, the Abbott Government has the opportunity to reconsider its attack on Australia’s renewable energy industry.

Despite making assurances before the election campaign that both the Renewable Energy Target (RET) and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) enjoyed bipartisan support, Tony Abbott has gone back on both promises by completely scrapping ARENA and making strong indications he plans to wind back the RET.

“With Australia’s emissions reductions efforts now limited to a half-baked policy that hasn’t passed the Senate yet, the Abbott Government needs to bolster support for the renewable energy sector in order to reach its emissions reduction targets,” Shadow Climate Change Minister Mark Butler said.

“Scientists and economists around the country have repeatedly said the renewable energy industry is imperative to Australia achieving any reduction in its carbon pollution.”

“This ignorant disregard for a growing global industry – of which Australia should definitely be a frontrunner – needs to end now. Tony Abbott cannot keep ignoring the need for Australia to move towards a clean energy future.”

Before the election, Australia was in the top four most attractive places to invest in renewable energy projects. Since Tony Abbott’s attack on the industry began after the election, Australia has fallen to ninth on the list.

“Investment in the industry is being routinely undermined by the Prime Minister’s negative and untrue rhetoric around renewable energy. It’s risking more than 20,000 jobs and $18 billion worth of investment,” Mr Butler said.

“Investors in the energy sector want clarity, certainty and consistency in public policy. The Government and Palmer United Party created chaos in the Senate over the carbon price, this shouldn’t be repeated with the RET, further uncertainty would be disastrous for the sector.”

“As experts have been saying for many years, the Government’s ridiculous Direct Action plan will do nothing to achieve Australia’s emissions reduction targets. With the destruction of Labor’s clean energy package, the only hope Australia has now is strong support for renewable energy and a shift towards clean energy sources.”



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