Greens Co-Deputy Leader and climate change and energy spokesperson, Adam Bandt MP today backed separate calls from unions, a UNSW study and the Australian Conservation Foundation for an independent energy transition authority to manage the closure of coal-fired power stations. The Greens will reintroduce legislation to establish an independent statutory authority, Renew Australia, to oversee the transition of Australia’s electricity system to one based on renewable energy.
The Greens’ bill, which did not receive support from Liberal or Labor when previously introduced, would spend $500 million to establish Renew Australia, legislate a timetable for the closure of coal-fired power stations to provide certainty to workers and communities and create a $250 million Clean Energy Transition Fund to assist coal workers and communities with the transition.
“To avoid the mistakes of Hazelwood’s last minute closure and to ensure a just transition, a clear plan is needed to manage the energy transition,” said Mr Bandt.
“The Greens have been calling for the establishment of an independent statutory authority to manage the energy transition since the last election, but our calls have been ignored by the major parties.
“The Greens are of one mind with mining unions, academics and conservation groups on the need for an independent statutory authority to oversee an orderly transition away from coal.
“The old parties created the mess of the National Electricity Market and the Liberals are failing to act on the transition to renewables, let alone the management of that transition. We need a new public authority to lead the transition to a new energy system, without leaving coal workers in the lurch.
“The old parties have a habit of adopting Greens policies, from a royal commission into the banks to legislating to protect penalty rates. I hope they’ll 'borrow' this one as well.”