Today’s editorial in The Australian (24 October) claims:
No sector has the right to be artificially insulated from uncertainty.…[the renewable energy sector has] always known that the RET has been opposed by Coalition and Labor MPs concerned to preserve jobs.
The push for a cut in the Renewable Energy Target (RET) amongst Coalition MPs is inconsistent with previous bipartisan support for the RET.
In the 2013 election campaign a media release from Mr Greg Hunt and Mr Ian Macfarlane stated:
The Coalition is very much aware of the importance of providing certainty for the renewable energy sector and that any significant change would create sovereign risk.
The RET was introduced by the Howard Government and we have been consistent in our support for the scheme which assists in reducing Australia’s CO2 emissions.
In 2012, Mr Hunt, the current Minister for Environment said in opposition:
I have supported, believed in, committed to and engaged in helping to push through—I even negotiated with the current minister, and I thank him for that—the 20 per cent renewable energy target . There are those who are critical of it; I am guilty as sin of supporting it.
As far back as 2009 Mr Hunt was advocating the Coalition’s support for the RET.
We support this objective of a 20 per cent renewable energy target for Australia.
The government has long been a supporter of the RET and has made repeated suggestions that changes to it would create uncertainty for the industry. It is the now the government that is creating uncertainty for the renewable energy sector by rescinding its previously bipartisan support.
Tanya Martin Office Manager
Jake Wishart Senior Media Adviser