August 12 (SeeNews) - Josh Frydenberg, Australia's new energy minister, intends to proceed with plans for a AUD-1.3-billion funding (USD 971m/EUR 883m) cut to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
In an interview on Thursday with RenewEconomy, he also said he expected Labor to support the plans in parliament.
The Coalition said ahead of the election it would set up a new fund with AUD 1 billion from the Clean Energy Finance Corp (CEFC) in order to provide loans and equity, but not grants, and would be jointly managed by ARENA and CEFC, RenewEconomy noted. ARENA, would as a result lose its outstanding legislated funding, or USD 1.3 billion. The measure was proposed by the Coalition in the 2014 budget.
Following the interview, the Greens called on Labor to abandon its support for the Liberals' cuts.
"Labor must drop its election cut to ARENA and put out Josh Frydenberg’s renewable bonfire," said Greens Energy spokesperson Adam Bandt. "The make up of the new Senate means we have an opportunity to protect the AUD 1.3 billion of ARENA funding the Coalition wants to cut, but Labor needs to get on board," he added.
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.747/EUR 0.679)