Labor to disallow Taylor’s ARENA rout despite last week’s defeat


Labor’s Chris Bowen, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, on Tuesday confirmed the party will seek to disallow the Morrison government’s renewed attempts to include fossil-fuel related technologies in the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) mandate.

Speaking yesterday at the NSW Energy Summit, hosted virtually by the Smart Energy Council, Bowen said the Labor party will seek to stop the changes.

Last week, the Greens put up a disallowance motion in the Senate but were defeated after One Nation sided with the Coalition. It is possible to attempt another disallowance motion, and it is believed the Labor party will do so sometime before October 18, thought to be the deadline for such moves.

Saga history

In June, the Senate blocked the Morrison government’s first attempt to shift the mandate of ARENA to include technologies like carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen generated by fossil-fuels. 

Undeterred, federal energy minister Angus Taylor last week pushed ahead with a renewed attempt. The move has been widely criticised, including by former ARENA chair, Greg Bourne.

Following the news of the Senate defeat last week, chief executive at the Smart Energy Council, John Grimes, said the council may sue the Morrison government should it continue with the changes.

If the Labor party were able to pass a disallowance motion, it would be a considerably easier route to vetoing Taylor’s move. Until then, the saga continues.

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