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Merger to improve links between climate and economic policy::

The Gillard Government is merging the majority of functions of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) with the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE).

The detailed policy design work and legislation for the carbon price has now been completed and the carbon price is being implemented successfully.

The Government has also established the Climate Commission as an independent and reliable source of information about the science of climate change, the Climate Change Authority to advise on emissions targets and the Clean Energy Regulator to administer the carbon price.

A significant number of DCCEE staff moved to the Clean Energy Regulator when it was established last year.

Accordingly the Government has decided that a separate Department is no longer required for this policy work. DCCEE's climate change functions will be merged into the DIISRTE.

Climate change is an environmental problem which requires an economic solution. That is why we are merging the responsibility for climate change policy into the Department responsible for driving innovation and industry policy in our economy.

Reducing carbon pollution and transforming the economy to compete in a low carbon global economy will be key drivers of Australia's industrial structure. Industry and innovation policy needs to reflect this imperative.

Innovation and improving energy efficiency in industry are the principal means through which Australia will reduce its carbon emissions.

Integrating key energy efficiency policies with the wider energy market reform agenda will enhance our energy productivity reforms. Accordingly DCCEE's energy efficiency functions will be merged into the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.

Current resourcing for climate change policy work will be maintained under these new arrangements.

Labor has introduced a comprehensive economic reform and policy package to tackle climate change by reducing carbon pollution.

We are maintaining the public service infrastructure and resources needed to continue driving and administering this reform.

The Clean Energy Regulator will remain an independent agency with responsibility for administering the carbon price, the Renewable Energy Target and other key policy measures.

The Departmental mergers will improve the connections between climate policy and economic and industry policy and between energy efficiency programs and the wider energy policy agenda.

Media contact: Minister Combet's office 02 6277 7920

26 March 2013