The Coalition has supported moves to refer the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2009 to the Senate Economics Committee for report by 12 August.
In speaking to the motion The National’s Senator Ron Boswell said that he could not support the Government’s legislation because it ties industry assistance to the unfinished and unknown package of EITE assistance measures under the CPRS.
“It is not known when the EITE regulations will be finalised given that it is these elements of the CPRS that are the subject of major contention between the Government, industry and the Opposition”, said Senator Boswell.
“Unless you know what the regulations are going to be, you are flying right in the face of disaster without knowing where you are going.
“The Government is trying to blackmail the Senate into supporting its flawed CPRS legislation by threatening trade-exposed industry with the prospect of full exposure to electricity price increases under RET if it does not get its way on the CPRS.
“Without assistance the RET will cost Australian’s aluminium industry $1.4 billion over the next decade.
“These costs are not being forced on Australia’s competitors and the Government’s blackmail strategy will simply send Australian jobs and investment dollars offshore.
“The Government has known for many months that the RET could never proceed while ever it failed to bed down the EITE package and secure support for its passage through the Senate.
“This is unfinished legislation and the only responsible action is to hold the Government to account in a full committee inquiry,” Boswell said.