Thursday, 15 September 2016
Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016; In Committee
Thank you, Senator. I was getting to that, of course. You know that the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, as it was set up by the parliament under the period of the previous government, was set up to provide financing for commercially viable projects, by way of either debt or equity financing. ARENA was set up for the purpose of providing grants funding for relevant renewable energy projects. Our government has established within the CEFC a jointly administered Clean Energy Innovation Fund, which was aimed at bringing ARENA and the CEFC together in the context of, in particular, as it says, clean energy innovation related projects but providing support through debt and equity financing as well. What has been put to us is: instead of doing it this way, leave all of the capital that was previously allocated within the CEFC fund—not touch that at all; not reduce that at all. We have decided to restore $800 million worth of funding for ARENA, which they will be able to deploy for their pre-existing purposes, as per usual.