25 May 2021

Labor will move to disallow the Government’s cynical attempt to push the Australian Renewable Energy Agency into non-renewable technologies.
Labor created ARENA and has defended it against constant Government attempts to abolish and undermine the independent Agency.
In his latest attack, the embattled Energy Minister has made regulations to expand ARENA’s remit to include non-renewable technologies that the Government regards as ‘low emissions’. 
The idea of giving Fantastic Angus a blank cheque to decide what is and isn’t ‘low emissions’ technology is a joke.
Labor supports any new energy technologies that stack up scientifically and commercially. But deserving non-renewable technologies should be supported in other ways and not allowed to dilute ARENA’s funding and expertise.
For example, if the Government had wanted to support CCS technologies, it shouldn’t have abolished the CCS Flagships program and cut half a billion dollars of funding.
In addition, experts have questioned whether the new Regulations are even consistent with the Act under which they’re supposedly made.
The object of the ARENA Act 2011 is to ‘improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies and increase the supply of renewable energy in Australia’.
Even the Minister’s Explanatory Statement on the new Regulations admits that ‘ARENA’s legislated functions are currently limited to supporting renewable energy technologies’.
Changing those functions would require legislation – not a cynical attempt to circumvent the Parliament via regulations following the failure of similar legislation on the Clean Energy Finance Corporation amid internal Coalition divisions.
Labor will therefore also ask the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation to consider the validity of the Regulations. 
Labor urges the Greens Party and the crossbench to support our motion of disallowance against the Government’s latest attack on ARENA.