Tonight, the Senate has passed the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Bill 2012, paving the way for the establishment of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), to be chaired by Reserve Bank Board member Ms Jillian Broadbent AO, is an independent body that will drive commercial investment in low-carbon technologies as part of the Government's Clean Energy Future Package.
In the 21st century, the strongest and most competitive economies will be those that embrace clean energy.
Currently, projects promoting newer, cleaner technologies can face commercial barriers.
Based on a clear investment framework and rigorous criteria, the CEFC's role will be to help break down those barriers and make suitable projects a reality.
The CEFC Board will be appointed by the Government and will be given an investment mandate that will enable the Board to develop its investment strategy.
The CEFC's investment mandate is analogous to the Future Fund's mandate. The CEFC is required to invest responsibly and manage risk to achieve a target rate of return and ultimately be financially self-sufficient.
In all assessments, the CEFC will make judgments on a case by case basis and will act completely independently of Government when making its investment decisions.
The CEFC will commence its investment operations from 1 July 2013.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation will work alongside the carbon price, the Renewable Energy Target and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to drive significant renewable energy and clean energy investment and innovation. These mutually supporting elements of the Government's Clean Energy Future Plan are fundamental to the transformation of our energy sector.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation Bill 2012 was based on the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) Expert Review, conducted by Ms Broadbent, Mr Ian Moore and Mr David Paradice, and completed in April this year.
The Government accepted all recommendations in the report. The CEFC Expert Review can be accessed on the CEFC Expert Review website.
25 June 2012