Confusion reigns over the Labor/Liberal deal on clean energy cuts contained in the omnibus bill, according to Greens climate and energy spokesperson Adam Bandt, who says the government and Labor must ‘immediately clarify’ the cuts.
During the lower house debate on the omnibus bill, which contains half a billion dollars in cuts to the threatened Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), neither the treasurer nor the shadow treasurer would explain whether their deal included cuts to other clean energy programs, Mr Bandt said.
He also moved to amend the omnibus bill to protect the full $1.3 billion of funding for ARENA but both Labor and the Liberals voted it down.
‘Labor and the Liberals have done a dirty deal to gut clean energy, but the public are no clearer on just how much clean energy funding will be cut and from where,’ Mr Bandt said.
‘Neither the treasurer nor the shadow treasurer would answer questions on whether the Clean Energy Innovation Fund will be cut by $800m to apparently pay for the deal.’
‘An early explanatory memorandum circulated by the government said Malcolm Turnbull’s signature project, the CEIF, will be cut as part of the deal.’
‘Meanwhile, Labor was publicly saying that cutting CEIF wasn’t part of the deal.’
‘The government then removed references to cutting the CEIF from a new explanatory memorandum, but wouldn’t rule out making the cuts.’
‘It seems the government wants to rob Peter to pay Paul.’
‘Labor has either been outplayed or they’re misleading the public.’
‘Liberal and Labor must explain what was included in their dirty deal.’
‘The government must explain why, halfway through debate, it removed references to the Clean Energy Innovation Fund from its own document explaining its own bill.’
‘Malcolm Turnbull made a big deal about the Clean Energy Investment Fund before the election, but now it seems it will be gutted as part of the deal with Labor,’ Mr Bandt said.