18 July 2014
The Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013, which includes changes to ARENA’s funding, was passed by the Senate and received Royal Assent on 17 July 2014.
The Bill includes the re-profiling of $370 million in funding for ARENA over the forward estimates moving the funding into later years (2019–20 to 2021–22), as announced in the 2013–14 Budget.
In addition, the Bill reduces ARENA’s funding to achieve a saving of $434.9 million over the forward estimates (2014–15 to 2016–17).
These funding changes do not affect the projects that already have funding agreements in place with ARENA.
In the 2014–15 Budget, the Australian Government announced its intention to abolish ARENA and consolidate its functions into the Department of Industry.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Repeal) Bill 2014 was introduced into Parliament on 19 June 2014 to give effect to the Government’s intent. The Bill is now with the Senate Economic Legislation Committee. More than 100 submissions have been received to date and the Committee is expected to invite individuals and organisations to provide further evidence before the final report is tabled in the Senate. This is currently scheduled for 4 September 2014.
Further to the above funding changes and progress of the ARENA (Repeal) Bill 2014, the Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane, announced new Board arrangements for ARENA on 17 July 2014.
Under ARENA’s governance framework, the Secretary of the Department of Industry is automatically a member of the Board and the Minister for Industry is able to appoint additional Board members.
Greg Bourne has been reappointed as Chair of the ARENA Board for a period of one year. Judith Smith has also been reappointed for a term of one year. The Secretary of the Department of Industry, Glenys Beauchamp, will continue her statutory position and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Industry Martin Hoffman will join the Board for a period of one year. The Government intends to appoint a fifth member to the Board in the near future.
ARENA is continuing to assess applications and work with stakeholders to deliver projects and monitor milestones as part of its functions under the Australian Renewable Energy Agency Act 2011 to improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies and their uptake across Australia.