Federal politician and mining magnate Clive Palmer has left people confused about the Palmer United Party’s position on the Renewable Energy Target just days after announcing support for the popular policy.
On Tuesday, Palmer United Party (PUP) candidate in the rerun of the West Australian senate election, Dio Wang, backed the RET. Mr Wang said the RET “should remain as it is” and branded the Abbott government’s RET Review “a waste of taxpayers money.”
“It worries me when the government says everything is on the table in reviewing the RET,” said Wang. According to the PUP candidate, the RET “was the right scheme for maintaining and improving Australia’s environment.”
Party leader Clive Palmer seems to have softened his stance during an interview on ABC Breakfast with Fran Kelly. Mr Palmer reiterated Wang’s statement on the RET Review wasting taxpayer money, suggesting the government should stick to the findings of the previous review.
Yet, Palmer no doubt left listeners confused by expressing a ‘philosophical’ opposition to the mandatory nature of the renewables target. Mr Palmer also refused to be drawn on whether PUP would vote with The Greens to support the RET when the new senate takes effect.
“The Palmer United Party’s much-hyped declaration of support for Australia’s existing renewable energy target lasted less than a day before party leader Clive Palmer decided that the target should not be mandatory after all,” wrote RenewEconomy‘s Giles Parkinson.
Lenore Taylor of The Guardian has attempted to explain the policy to Clive Palmer:
“the whole point of the RET is that it is mandatory. It requires electricity retailers to buy a certain number of renewable energy certificates each year. If they are not required to buy them, they won’t buy them and there won’t be a RET at all. So what is your policy?”
Mr Palmer will need to clarify his party’s position on the RET to ensure West Australian voters have the information they need to make an informed decision on polling day. If he doesn’t he risks the perception of being another politician who backflips.
- GetUp! are calling on Clive Palmer to commit to the Renewable Energy Target. Click here to send a message to Clive Palmer asking him: are you for the RET or not?