Greens NSW MP John Kaye is calling for a state-based clean energy scheme to secure a strong future for the industry following what he described as a ‘shameful deal’ between Federal Labor and the Abbott government to slash the Renewable Energy Target.
The Greens are drafting legislation to create a reverse auction to fill the gaps in the NSW clean energy sector left by the cut from 41,000 GWh to 33,000 GWh by 2020.
Dr Kaye also called for a ban on the burning of native forest biomass in NSW after the Abbott government indicated they will not be backing down on their campaign to have it included in the RET.
Dr Kaye said, ‘NSW’s clean energy sector has been shafted.’
‘Federal Labor has colluded with the Abbott government to gut 8,000 GWh from the Renewable Energy Target,’ he said.
‘While the investment environment now has a chance to recover from more than a year of uncertainty, NSW still stands to lose opportunities that would bring more than $2 billion in investment and create more than 600 new jobs,’ he added
‘If Labor had demonstrated some courage, the state’s greenhouse gas emissions could have been eight million tonnes smaller.
‘Communities across the state will be denied a clean energy boost to their local economy.
‘The sharp edge of these cuts can be blunted by a state-based mechanism that provides additional support to the industry.
‘The ACT government has used reverse auctions to deliver large scale clean energy projects despite the crippling effects of policy uncertainty out of Canberra.
‘If Premier Baird has any interest in regional jobs and new investment, he will support our move to a reverse auction scheme for NSW.
‘The Abbott government is also pushing ahead with its plans to inflict yet further damage on the state’s native forests by allowing generators using so-called waste to be eligible under the RET scheme.
‘This is a direct subsidy for the destruction of the forests and the creation of yet more greenhouse gases.
‘Native forest biomass is neither clean nor climate friendly.
‘The Greens are calling on Premier Mike Baird to ban native forest biomass in NSW to protect the state’s remaining forests from loggers keen to cash in on the RET ,’ Dr Kaye said.