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Rethink on climate authority

It fought against its existence, but the Baillieu government has had an apparent change of heart on the carbon price, saying Victoria was “well-placed to take advantage of opportunities” it creates.

The about-face was triggered by the federal government’s announcement that the Climate Change Authority - created under the clean energy laws passed last month to provide expert advice on their operation - would be based in Melbourne.

Premier Ted Baillieu had previously campaigned against the laws as “bad for Victoria”, but was notably less critical in a statement issued yesterday.

“The Commonwealth legislation has now passed and Australia has entered a new era of energy and climate change policy. Hosting the authority will position Victoria as the centre for Australia’s clean technology, energy efficiency, and carbon trading industries,” he said. “These industries will generate new opportunities and attract business investment and, by hosting the Climate Change Authority, Victoria will be at the centre of this economic change.”

Mr Baillieu, who has been criticised by the clean energy industry for introducing Australia’s most restrictive wind farm laws and reducing an incentive scheme for rooftop solar panels, said the new authority “further enhanced Victoria’s reputation as the national leader in policy development and made Victoria an even more attractive place for energy development and carbon services businesses to invest”.

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