22 July 2014 — After speculation that the government would leave the Australian Renewable Energy Agency board vacant after the terms of its members recently expired, ARENA has confirmed the reappointment of chair Greg Bourne, Judith Smith and the appointment of Department of Industry deputy secretary Martin Hoffman.
“Greg Bourne has been reappointed as Chair of the ARENA Board for a period of one year,” an ARENA statement said.
“Judith Smith has also been reappointed for a term of one year. The Secretary of the Department of Industry, Glenys Beauchamp, will continue her statutory position and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Industry Martin Hoffman will join the Board for a period of one year. The Government intends to appoint a fifth member to the Board in the near future.”
The federal government, however, soon intends to abolish ARENA and absorb its functions into the Department of Industry. For this to happen the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Repeal) Bill 2014 will have to pass what could be an unsupportive Senate, with Senator Ricky Muir and the Palmer United Party announcing their support of the body.
The repeal bill is currently with the Senate Economic Legislation Committee. More than 100 submissions have been received to date and the Committee is expected to invite individuals and organisations to provide further evidence before the final report is tabled in the Senate, currently scheduled for 4 September.