9 February 2016, Renew Economy, Coalition restates wish to axe CEFC, then unveils its largest program. The Jekyll-and-Hyde nature of the Coalition’s clean energy policies were underlined again on Monday, with the Federal government trumpeting one of the biggest ever programs by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, just hours after it repeated its wish to close the agency down. On Monday, Coalition MP Jane Ruston, appearing before a Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee hearing, had confirmed that it remained the Coalition’s intention to dismantle the CEFC, if it could get enough votes in the Senate. Greens Senator Scott Ludlam: Is it still government policy to abolish the CEFC? Ruston: …Yes. Ludlam: …Why? Ruston: …I think the government made it pretty clear when we were elected that we didn’t believe we should be in the job of being a bank. (Ruston apparently forgot that the Coalition has proposed the $5 billion northern Australia infrastructure fund, which is to operate on the same principles as the CEFC, just in a different area). Hours later, federal environment minister Greg Hunt trumpeted the launch of one of the green bank’s biggest investments yet, claiming credit for a $250 million energy efficiency program targeting community housing in Australian cities.
Hunt – in a media release sent while he was in Dubai, where he is attending the World Government Summit, and is thought to be a finalist in the “world’s best minister” award – said the CEFC-led program would drive the construction of market-leading energy efficient community housing project in 2016. He said this would contribute to the greening of Australia’s cities and built environment. It will provide as many as 1,000 new energy efficient dwellings Australia wide. Interestingly, Hunt said his department “had directed the CEFC to focus on cities and the built environment under its new Investment Mandate, which also included financing emerging and innovative renewable energy technologies as well as energy efficiency.” Read more here