Brown coal compensation should be scrapped, say Greens

GREENS Leader Christine Milne is calling for a review of compensation to the high greenhouse gas-emitting brown coal generators as her party splits with the government ahead of the federal election in September.
Brown coal compensation should be scrapped, say Greens Brown coal compensation should be scrapped, say Greens Brown coal compensation should be scrapped, say Greens Brown coal compensation should be scrapped, say Greens Brown coal compensation should be scrapped, say Greens

Senator Christine Milne

Lou Caruana

The point of the government’s Clean Energy Package was to drive transition away from the dirtiest brown coal emitters, not to prop them up and delay a clean renewable energy future, she said.

"Professor Ross Garnaut and I both argued passionately against the $5 billion compensation package, arguing that it was a shocking waste of money," Milne said.

"The next payment of over $1 billion in free permits is due on September 1 and there needs to be an urgent review before then."

Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt said that during the negotiations, he warned Labor over the program.

"The massive over-compensation was identified throughout the negotiations and was the subject of tense weekend negotiations at Parliament House in Canberra, which almost brought the carbon price negotiations to an end," Bandt said.

The analysis by Carbon and Energy Markets, released by Environment Victoria, estimates brown coal generators may get $2.3 billion to $5.4 billion in profits because they have been able to pass all the carbon price on to consumers.

The Greens said that instead, all that was necessary was government-guaranteed loans.

The Greens also sought contracts for closure for 2000 megawatts of the dirtiest brown coal generators, Bandt said.

"The big polluters are now being paid billions to keep polluting. This has to end." Bandt said.

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