Budget 2015: business as usual for ERF
Last year we reported that the hammer fell on the environment but this year it is more steady as she goes (no new cuts).
The Emissions Reduction Fund profile is unchanged but with the addition of $468m for the new out year in 2018-19. This means $1.6b has now been allocated over the forward estimates and provides some sense of stability to the Emissions Reduction Fund. The ERF Expert Reference Group has been discontinued (I know, we never heard from them much).
In the good old days of the Clean Energy Future, there were a range of allied programs that could support carbon farming. These are now all gone but there is nothing new to replace them. You are on your own folks!
What makes things a little worse though is $73m has been taken out of the Green Army (or $179m added if you live in Minister-land) and also $12m out of National Landcare. So even though Green Army money cannot be used for ERF projects, less money is going into land management which will put a little more pressure on Indigenous carbon farmers when the Working on Country funding comes up in a couple of years (Working on Country supports the approximately 700 Indigenous rangers working on country around Australia).
More broadly, the Climate Change Authority has a 2 year reprieve – but what happens after that? – but there are no new climate policies or initiatives which might spark excitement, innovation or ambition.
Limited rations people – auction applications to the Regulator!