A bipartisan deal on a pared-back renewable energy target has been struck after the Abbott government ditched plans for two-yearly reviews.
The government on Monday backed down on plans to impose the reviews that had threatened to derail an in-principle agreement to slash the 2020 target from 41,000 gigawatt hours to 33,000GWh. The government-funded Clean Energy Regulator will monitor progress towards the target and cost of the scheme in a compromise with Labor that aims to return certainty to the sector.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane met opposition environment spokesman Mark Butler in Melbourne today to clinch the agreement that should see changes to the RET passed by parliament within weeks.
Mr Butler says the dealrestores the industry confidence that Prime Minister Tony Abbott “recklessly” jeopardised.
“This has been a very, very sorry state of affairs for the last 12 months,” Mark Butler said on Monday.
He said the prime minister’s “reckless attack” on the industry had brought it to the brink of collapse and stalled development.