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Clean energy fund 'a fatal abuse of public money': Libs
30/05/2012 - The federal government's proposed $10 billion clean energy fund is a fatal abuse of taxpayers' money, opposition climate change spokesman Greg Hunt says.
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Labor wants to allocate $2 billion a year to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation for five years from 2013/14, to invest in clean energy sectors.
While the corporation's investment mandate is yet to be finalised, it could lose 7.5 per cent of the capital it invests on unsuccessful projects - a lower rate of return than the private sector would accept.
But treasury officials told a parliamentary hearing on Monday the loss would be countered by an overall expected profit of four per cent per annum.
Hunt says the "$10 billion slush fund" is "ill-conceived, ill-constructed and doomed to fail".
"Even in the unlikely event that is succeeds, what we will see is not one watt of additional renewable energy between now and 2020," he told parliament on Tuesday, during debate on the bills.
"That is an extraordinary example of conceptual failure," he said, claiming it was the result of a trade-off with the Australian Greens for its support of the carbon tax.
Hunt slammed Monday's lower house economic committee hearing into the corporation.
"What we had wasn't a parliamentary inquiry but a show trial, it was an abuse of parliament, an abuse of the confidence of the public, and it is likely to be a fatal abuse of taxpayers' money.
"We oppose this bill and these allied bills and we do so with every ounce of vigour."
Labor MP Graham Perret hit back, vowing to voice support "with a little bit more vigour" than the opposition's stance.
"Investment ... will go a long way towards delivering major new private investment in clean energy projects," he said.
"The coalition has tried to sabotage these efforts in an attempt to score cheap political points."
Debate on the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Bill 2012 and three related bills continues.
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