Opposition Slams Renewable Energy Fund

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While many in the construction industry see the latest federal renewable energy support fund as a positive step, the opposition is trashing it as a ‘mess’.

Opposition climate action spokesperson Greg Hunt has said that the billion dollar monetary injection, highlighted by the start-up of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), is too high in this pre-election period. Set to open in July, the CEFC has found support in the wider industry, especially during a time in which many have lacked confidence in the future of the green building sector with the departure of former Greens leader Bob Brown.

The CEFC will be a government-run body that will allot $2 billion per year over five years to struggling renewable energy companies as a way to boost the sector.

Hunt has however labelled the body ‘unthinkable’, calling on the federal government to scrap the initiative.

“It would be almost unthinkable for a body that is opposed by the opposition to be spending up to $2 billion in the weeks before the election or during the caretaker period,” says Hunt. ”Yet this is precisely what the government is proposing.”

Hunt goes on to further predict the downfall of the CEFC, stating that the opposition will have to “clean up the mess after the fact.”

Despite his conviction, he may have a difficult time finding support in the federal government and industry arenas, with treasurer Wayne Swan pushing forward with the scheme due to its long-term investment return potential.

The opposition has become even more vocal in their views against governmental environmental schemes in the lead-up to the July 1 implementation of the widely-opposed carbon tax. As that date draws nearer, it seems certain they will only continue to voice their disputes louder.

By Tim Moore
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