29 March 2022

The Senate has again disallowed Angus Taylor’s dodgy efforts to circumvent the Parliament and undermine the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

This is just the latest addition to the climate and energy policy bonfire that started with this Government’s election nine years ago.

Labor created ARENA in 2012 and has defended it against constant Government attempts to abolish and undermine the independent Agency. 

By Angus Taylor’s own admission, ‘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.

This disallowance was moved by Scott Morrison and Angus Taylor’s own colleague, Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, off the back of a Government-led committee’s wide-ranging findings against the dodgy regulation.

The Government wouldn’t bring it on for a vote because they knew their chaos on energy would be on full display again with party members crossing the floor against the Government. 

It vindicates Labor’s efforts to protect ARENA from becoming another Angus Taylor slush fund.

And the move by the Government-led committee to disallow the regulation proves that the dodgy regulation was made solely to avoid the chaos of energy legislation in the Parliament. 

This follows Angus Taylor abandoning the Grid Reliability Fund bill after Barnaby Joyce and Nationals Senators ambushed the Government.

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’.

It’s not a narrow remit – there’s been hundreds of millions of dollars in grid integration investment, biogas, storage technologies and hydrogen in addition to solar and wind all across Australia’s regions.

And ARENA has delivered $8 billion of value to the Australian economy because of commitment to its mandate.

In fact it has been so effective, Scott Morrison is spending over $30 million in advertising to claim credit for its work (despite voting numerous times to abolish and undermine it).