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Joint Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
Minister for Industry, Tourismand Resources
The Hon. Ian Macfarlane

25 March 2003

MRET Review Panel Announced

The Minister for Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Ian Macfarlane today named a high level Panel to review the Commonwealth's Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) legislation.

The Government's Mandatory Renewable Energy Target commenced in April 2001 and requires the sourcing of 9,500 gigawatt hours of extra renewable electricity per year by 2010, enough power to meet the residential electricity needs of four million people.

The Panel, which comprises a mix of industry, academic and government policy skills and experience, will report later in 2003. The Howard Government will consider its findings in formulating national energy policy and the development of Australia's forward strategy on climate change.

Members of the Review Panel are:

"Mr Tambling has extensive ministerial and parliamentary experience and will bring a rural and remote Australia perspective to his chairmanship of the Review," Dr Kemp said.

Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Ian Macfarlane, also welcomed the appointment of the Panel and highlighted the important role renewable energy is playing in Australia's greenhouse response.

"A key objective of MRET is to drive the development of Australia's renewable energy industry and leverage investment in renewable energy technologies," Mr Macfarlane said.

Terms of Reference for the MRET Review and short biographies for Review Panel members are attached.

Media Contacts:
Catherine Job (Dr Kemp's Office): 02 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Kirsty Boazman (Minister Macfarlane's Office): 02 6277 7580 or 0412 171 444

Terms of Reference for the Review of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000

The Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 establishes the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target which requires Australian electricity retailers and other large buyers of electricity to collectively source an additional 9 500 gigawatt hours of electricity per annum from renewable sources by 2010.

The Panel is to review the operation of Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000, to determine:

  1. the extent to which the Act has:
    1. contributed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and
    2. encouraged additional generation of electricity from renewable energy sources; and
  2. the extent to which the policy objectives of this Act have been achieved and the need for any alternative approach; and
  3. the mix of technologies that has resulted from the implementation of the provisions of this Act; and
  4. the level of penalties provided under this Act; and
  5. the need for indexation of the renewable energy shortfall charge to the Consumer Price Index to maintain the real value of the charge and the associated penalty charge; and
  6. other environmental impacts that have resulted from the implementation of the provisions of this Act, including the extent to which non-plantation forestry waste has been utilised; and
  7. the possible introduction of a portfolio approach, a cap on the contribution of any one source and measures to recognise the relative greenhouse intensities of various technologies; and
  8. the level of the overall target and interim targets; and
  9. the appropriateness of the operating environment including the:
    1. level of participation in and transparency of the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target measure; and
    2. scheduled end-date of 2020; and
    3. baselines for pre-existing generators; and
    4. need for future reviews; and
  10. the appropriateness of policy settings including the:
    1. extent to which this Act has provided an ongoing basis for commercially competitive renewable energy; and
    2. relevant economic and social impacts that have resulted from the implementation of the provisions of this Act; and
    3. inclusion of renewable energy sources and technologies not specified in the Act or Regulations; and
    4. interaction with relevant Commonwealth, State and Territory energy, environment and industry policies.

MRET Review Panel: Member's Biographies:

The Hon Grant E J Tambling Former Senator for the Northern Territory, Former Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Aged Care, Former Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Security and Former Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services.
Monica Oliphant Research scientist specialising in renewable energy and residential end-use efficiency, Convenor of the 2001 International Solar Energy Society Solar World Congress, Principal Energy Research Scientist Electricity Trust of South Australia Power/Energy, Member of the South Australian Government Research Advisory Committee, Member of the South Australian Government Renewable Energy Working Group
Peter Laver Former Group General Manager and Senior Vice President, BHP Minerals Environment, Safety and External Affairs, Chairman of the Australian Building Codes Board, Chairperson of the Victorian Learning and Employment Skills Commission, Council Member of the National Science & Technology Centre (Questacon).
Neville Robert Stevens AO Former Secretary, Department of Communications and Arts; Former Secretary, Department of Industry; member of the Board of the Information Technology and Communications Research and Development Centre of Excellence; Chairman of the Australian Communications Industry Forum.
Commonwealth of Australia