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Liberal and Labor parties gang up to gut Renewable Energy Target and burn native forests

Media Release
Larissa Waters 23 Jun 2015

The Liberal and Labor parties have ganged up to gut the Renewable Energy Target and allow native forest burning under that target in the Senate tonight.

Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and climate change spokesperson, said the government had also done a deal with the anti-wind crossbenchers to attack the wind industry.

"Ganging up with Labor to slash the Renewable Energy Target and allow it to burn native forests just wasn't enough for Tony Abbott.

"The Abbott Government has done another deal on the side to strangle the wind industry with unfair regulations, which don't apply to industries with genuine health impacts, like coal and gas.

"The Liberal and Labor parties have just cost Australians thousands of jobs, billions in investment and condemned native forests to be burnt.

"This cut is just the first step for Tony Abbott. He has made it clear he wants to "R-E-D-U-C-E" clean energy even further.  

"To have delivered certainty, Labor should have stood with the Greens in the Senate to protect our existing Renewable Energy Target and thousands of clean energy jobs.

"What a tragedy that Labor didn't make native forest burning a deal-breaker. When amendments to remove native forest burning from the target failed, Labor went ahead and voted for it anyway.

"Labor also failed to support our amendment to lift the ban on more ambitious state and territory renewable energy targets, even though this is what some of their own state governments want.

Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens forests spokesperson, said the legislation passed will drive additional native forest logging and allow the burning of whole logs.

"This deal between Labor and the Coalition has thrown a lifeline to the native forest logging industry at the expense of taxpayers, genuine clean energy and plantation timber jobs.

"The Abbott Government's claims that this is just about 'wood waste', 'branches' or 'offcuts' is absolute rubbish. It simply won't be worth the transport costs to use anything but whole logs.

"Our native forests are worth much more standing for our climate, our most threatened animals and for the local communities that rely on them," Senator Rice said.


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