The Clean Energy Council says that tonight’s Federal Budget has missed the critical opportunity to leverage Australia’s renewable energy sector to kick-start the economy and create tens of thousands of sustainable jobs in rural Australia. Investing in clean, sustainable infrastructure not only produces an immediate economic boost but also creates long term jobs and industry for regional Australia.
There was enormous support for Australia to follow the many countries in prioritising a clean recovery from right across the spectrum - big business, community groups, energy experts and economists. It’s disappointing the Australian Government has largely ignored the unparalleled opportunity to create regional jobs, while reducing emissions and setting Australia on a path to become a global clean energy superpower.
The budget locked in previous commitments to extend the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and support important transmission investments. New initiatives such as the instant asset write-off available for business will likely boost the uptake of commercial-scale solar, and a range of programs to develop skills and workforce capability will likely help develop the clean energy workers of the future.
As proud stewards of the Women in Renewables program, the Clean Energy Council is also encouraged by the allocation towards Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and the potential to develop a more inclusive clean energy workforce.
Unfortunately, the budget commitment for the previously announced feasibility study into a new coal-fired power station in Collinsville and funding for an expansion of Vales Point – one of Australia’s oldest and dirtiest power stations – will only add to investor confusion and uncertainty about the Australian Government’s energy policy priorities.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said, “We owe it to the next generation to ensure a strong economy.” Tonight’s Federal Budget didn’t deliver on the next generation’s expectations of a renewable energy future.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Clean Energy Council Media Manager
+61 409 470 683