7 August 2013 — Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has again called for the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation to stop making payments or investments, as parliament enters into caretaker provisions ahead of the September 7 election.
“As the government has now entered the caretaker period, I have requested that the CEFC immediately ceases to make any further payments,” Mr Abbott said in a media release.
In the letter to CEFC chair Jillian Broadbent, Mr Abbott said he did not support the organisation and its work.
“As you are aware, the Coalition does not support the CEFC or the expenditure of $10 billion of borrowed money on projects which the private sector has deemed too risky to invest in,” the letter said.
“As is normal practice under caretaker provisions, I request that the CEFC (as a Commonwealth authority) immediately ceases to assess or make any further approvals or payments.”
In response, chair Jillian Broadbent said that it was by law not improper for the CEFC to continue to make payments. However, she said the corporation would observe the caretaker conventions and not make further investment decisions.
“In accordance with the normal practice, the board of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will not approve new investments during the caretaker period,” she said. “It will continue to fulfil its obligations in meeting its existing legal and contractual obligations, including in relation to payments.
“If the Coalition forms government after the election, the CEFC will welcome the opportunity to consult with the incoming responsible ministers in the context of the legislative framework prior to undertaking any further action.”