Hinch Fights to Save Australian Renewable Energy Agency
In a marathon Senate sitting last night, Senator Derryn Hinch moved “to save ARENA in its entirety”.
As part of the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016, the Government and Labor agreed cut almost half a billion dollars of funding from ARENA (The Australian Renewable Energy Agency).
“This afternoon, we had Senator Sinodinos boasting that the government was not a one-night stand. Well, let him and the government prove that it is not a one-night stand. Years ago they courted ARENA, they wooed ARENA, the formed ARENA, they got engaged to ARENA and now they are trying not to marry ARENA – or, if they do, to make it a very short relationship. Leave it alone.” Hinch told the Senate.
“I believe that what the government and the Labor Party opposition have decided to do has the potential to destroy ARENA in the future,” he said. “What you could do, if you were really sincere about it, is preserve jobs in the area of renewables and in research and development.”
ARENA works to increase the use and reduce the cost of renewable energy technologies in Australia. Through the projects it has funded, ARENA has contributed to creating many jobs.
The Government and Labor voted against Senator Hinch’s amendment to allow ARENA to maintain its existing funding arrangements.
“Cutting funding from ARENA is short-sighted and a false economy,” Senator Hinch said.