Hockey: we'll abolish Clean Energy Regulator, wind turbines 'utterly offensive'

In extraordinary comments that appear to suggest the Emissions Reduction Fund is dead in the water as well as the RET, Treasurer Joe Hockey has said they'll abolish the Clean Energy Regulator and said he found wind turbines 'utterly offensive'.

In comments to Macquarie Radio, Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey said that he finds the wind turbines at Capital Wind Farm “utterly offensive”, but the government could not withdraw the support existing wind farms currently receive.

Yet at the same time in comments that would suggest the Renewable Energy Target is about to be abolished and the Direct Action Emission Reduction Fund abandoned he also said the government would be getting rid of regulator who operates both these schemes. When asked whether the government would target clean energy programs he said,  

"Well, they say get rid of the clean energy regulator, and we are".

Environment Minister Greg Hunt has said on repeated occasions that the Clean Energy Regulator would be tasked with managing the implementation of the government’s centrepiece climate change policy – the Emission Reduction Fund. And this was confirmed only last week with the release of the Government’s White Paper for the scheme.

However it may be possible that Treasurer Hockey confused the Clean Energy Regulator with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which the government has always said it intended to abolish.

Following on from the earlier comments about the Clean Energy Regulator, Mr Hockey also said,

"If I can be a little indulgent please, I drive to Canberra to go to Parliament, I drive myself and I must say I find those wind turbines around Lake George to be utterly offensive," he said.

"I think they're just a blight on the landscape."

However in relation to the Lake George wind farm he also said, "We can't knock those ones off because they're into locked-in schemes and there is a certain contractual obligation I'm told associated with those things".

This runs counter to statements from Dick Warburton, who is heading up the government’s review of the Renewable Energy Target, who said it’s possible they may recommend cessation of support and no compensation to wind farms already constructed.