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Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Page: 5641


Mr COMBET (Minister for Defence Materiel and Science and Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency) (12:37 PM) —Before the Committee are the climate change and energy efficiency portfolio appropriation bills for consideration. In summary, the department will receive appropriation funding of $1.557 billion in the financial year 2010-11. That is a significant increase from financial year 2009-10, due to the addition of energy efficiency policy and programs from that area to the portfolio. By comparison, funding for the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency in 2009-10 in fact totalled $828.65 million. The 2010-11 budget reflects the government’s ongoing commitment to acting on climate change. Through this budget the government will boost existing investments in clean and renewable energy and support greater energy efficiency measures. We are giving Australians the tools to do their bit to conserve energy and create new, clean industries and jobs.

The $1.557 billion total funding comprises a number of key elements: firstly, departmental funding of $95.3 million; secondly, departmental capital funding of $7 million; and, thirdly, administered funding for programs of $1.455 billion. In addition to that, the portfolio will receive funding for the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator of $12.3 million for 2010-11.

New funding for the budget measures for 2010-11 includes funding for the Renewable Energy Future Fund of $652 million, additional funding for the Green Loans Program of $102.7 million, foundation campaign funding of $30 million and additional funding to the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator of $6 million. Major elements of program funding in 2010-11 include the Home Insulation Program, which includes the safety inspection programs and industry assistance programs. These are costs in respect of which there will need to be finalisation. In relation to the solar hot water initiatives, $237 million has been allocated and for the Solar Homes and Communities Plan there is $122.2 million. The Renewable Energy Future Fund is an important initiative in this year’s budget for the portfolio. That will support the development and deployment of large- and small-scale renewable energy projects such as, for example, further investments in geothermal, solar and wave energy. It will also support the take-up of industrial, commercial and residential energy efficiency measures, helping Australian businesses and households reduce their energy use.

A division having been called in the House of Representatives—

Sitting suspended from 12.41 pm to 12.52 pm


Mr COMBET —I was just adverting to one of the important features of the portfolio budget statements—that is, the establishment of the Renewable Energy Future Fund. I was observing that it would support the take-up of industrial, commercial and residential energy efficiency, helping businesses and households reduce their energy consumption. In relation to this initiative, the government is consulting with stakeholders on the implementation of the fund to ensure it is targeted in the most effective manner to drive further uptake of clean energy in Australia.

One of the other important features of the portfolio budget statement relates to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. The budget in fact reflects savings from the deferral of the CPRS and related transitional measures. In particular, the delay in the establishment of the Australian Climate Change Regulatory Authority has resulted in a reduction in the department’s funding. The total savings as a consequence of the deferral of the CPRS are identified at $255.8 million for the period 2009-10 to 2013-14. On this matter, of course, the challenge of climate change has not gone away and continues to require strong domestic and international action—something that I will pick up again as I resume. (Time expired)