Thursday, 15 September 2016
Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016; In Committee
The government does not support these amendments. At the request of the Labor Party, and in the context of the agreement on this bill, the government has agreed to restore $800 million worth of funding for the purpose of providing direct grants to ARENA. This $800 million is funded through savings in other parts of the bill, in particular, the changes to family tax benefit A supplement arrangements.
For the benefit of the chamber and to deal with some of the issues that the Greens have also raised during the debate, separately and off budget, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Clean Energy Innovation Fund receive a capital allocation of $10 billion. The overall allocation is unaffected by the agreement that has been reached on this bill, and, unlike ARENA grants, these investments need to be commercially viable. So the agreement between the opposition and the government on the omnibus savings bill has no impact on the overall capital allocation for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, which remains unchanged at $10 billion. In relation to the decision to restore $800 million in funding for ARENA, and to avoid an unintended increase in public resources available to ARENA beyond this $800 million allocation, a commensurate adjustment has been made to the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, but without impacting the overall capital allocation to both the CEFC and the CIF.