Abbotts plan to axe RET
Source: AFR, 18 August 2014
The federal government is moving towards abolishing the Renewable Energy Target rather than scaling it back in a move that will cost almost $11 billion in proposed investment and which is at odds with the views of its own Environment Minister.
The Australian Financial Review understands Prime Minister Tony Abbott has asked businessman Dick Warburton, whom he handpicked after the election to review the RET, to do more work on the option of terminating the target altogether. This was after Mr Warburton’s review leant towards scaling back the RET.
Sources said Environment Minister Greg Hunt, who advocated scaling back the RET as a compromise, has been sidelined from the process and is understood to be unhappy. They said Mr Abbott, Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann are pushing the issue now.
A government source said when the government announced its decision, possibly before the end of this month, it was now “more likely’’ the RET will be abolished under a so-called “closed to new entrants scenario’’ in which existing contracts only would be honoured.
Given Clive Palmer has vowed to block any change to the RET until after the 2016 election, it remains unclear when the government could declare the RET terminated.
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