CEFC – convinced about spending Other People’s Money

other peoples money

Psst – wanna “borrow” a couple of $billion?
I don’t need any security and it’s virtually interest free.
And the best bit is that it belongs to Australian taxpayers.

The Coalition are moving full-steam ahead to scrap one of the saddest subsidy sidelines a Commonwealth Government ever got involved in.

Clean Energy ‘unconvincing’ says Coalition
Australian Financial Review
Phillip Coorey and Angela Macdonald-Smith
6 December 2013

The federal government has rejected arguments by Clean Energy Finance Corporation chairwoman Jillian Broadbent that her organisation is making money, cutting emissions and fulfilling a role that the private sector could not.

Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos said he was unconvinced the CEFC’s function could not be replicated by the private sector while Environment Minister Greg Hunt disputed the worthiness of its investments.

“Our policy remains unchanged,” he told The Australian Financial Review of the plans to abolish the CEFC along with the carbon tax and other associated measures.

“The CEFC is borrowing $10 billion of taxpayers’ money to spend on speculative ventures and unjustified investments such as a wind farm that has already been built,” he said.

Mr Hunt was alluding to the CEFC contributing $50 million as part of a debt package to refinance a 50 per cent stake in the Macarthur Wind Farm in south-western Victoria, the largest in the southern hemisphere.

The CEFC argued the refinancing prompted six other syndicated owners, all banks, to provide market liquidity for a total of $529 million.

The government’s plans to abolish the CEFC are in trouble as Labor, the Greens and independent senators Nick Xenophon and John Madigan opposed.

The CEFC uses revenue raised by the carbon tax to provide loans for clean energy and energy efficiency projects. Ms Broadbent made a strong case to retain it before a Senate Committee last week, saying it was making a return to taxpayers and funding projects which would account for about half the 2020 emissions reduction target of 5 per cent. Broadbent assures rigour of ventures

On Thursday, she told the ABC the government should rethink its plans to abolish the body because the private sector could not fulfil its role.

“Being a catalyst and a concentrated area of focus in analysing the risk and understanding these projects, you’re able to persuade the banks to join you,” Ms Broadbent said.

“We have a very commercial group of executives and a very commercial board so of the seven people on the board, three of them have been on ­committees of major financial institutions. They’re not investing in speculative ventures here, they’re going through a lot of rigour to ensure the ventures are sound and the investments are performing.”

Senator Sinodinos said while he was prepared to “look again” at the CEFC’s annual report, the government would not change its mind.

Grattan Institute’s energy program director Tony Wood said “if all the CEFC is doing is providing cheaper debt funding for either a new project or a refinancing of an existing project you have to wonder whether that’s a valid expenditure of public funds”.

“The fact you can take effectively cheap debt, lend it and make money is not arguable. The point is, is it ­appropriate for them to be effectively competing in the market?

“The Macarthur wind farm ­refinancing would be one of the ones that would seem to at least question whether or not this is an appropriate use of public funding.”
Australian Financial Review

Macarthur

Buying a wind farm that’s already been built – sure, seems legit!

The CEFC is the ONLY line of credit available to Australian wind weasels now.  Shut it down and the whole scam will die of financial “malnutrition”.

Real banks have stopped lending and STT hears that a number of them are looking to call-in existing loans – Infigen’s financier, among them.

Australian banks have been caught before in great Aussie scams like the Managed Investment Schemes of the 1990s.  Like the current wind power rort, those schemes were the result of a misguided Government policy which was open to rorting and abuse. And just like the great wind power fraud the MIS scam was economically unsustainable from the word go.

When the MIS house of cards collapsed – and the companies that were in on it all went belly up – a lot of “mum and dad” investors lost their shirts and banks took a belting.  You remember – Tasmanian Blue Gum Plantations, Olive Groves and Corporate scale vineyards.

With that in mind, STT readers might raise an eyebrow at the suggestion that John “Marshall” Madigan and SA’s favourite Greek, Nick Xenophon are opposed to scrapping the CEFC.

xenophon madigan

SA’s favourite Greek is in the one in the mask.

STT hears that Nick and John are looking to extract some major policy concessions from the Coalition and are using their current stance on the CEFC as a way of drawing political “blood”, so to speak. Including getting their way on key pieces of legislation to curb outrageous wind weasel conduct at wind factories all over the Country.

Macca” has sought to water-down the Draft Excessive Noise Bill promoted by Madigan and Xenophon that would bring some reason and sanity back to controlling noise from giant fans by linking breaches of a 10dB(A) above background limit to suspension of the operator’s entitlement to receive RECs.  Current state noise guidelines set an effective limit of 25dB(A) above background – the limit is 40dB(A) but night-time background levels often fall below 15dB(A). No wonder the neighbours pack up and leave.

And Macca’s also been fluffing around behind the scenes trying to avoid the implementation of the Senate recommendations (from July 2011) requiring a complete and truly independent study into the known and obvious impact that noise from giant fans has on neighbours’ sleep and health.  Just before he retired from office Alby Schultz went ballistic at Macca when he heard how Macca was trying to stymie further amendments that would see that work done at wind weasel expense.  We covered some of Alby’s outrage in this post.

When we talk about “independent” studies we’re not talking about efforts like the rotten little whitewash carried out by SA’s EPA at Waterloo, but one involving competent acoustic engineers (not clowns that stick their microphones under massive gum trees to deliberately “mask” turbine noise) and real health professionals (not tobacco advertising gurus).

In upcoming posts we’ll be looking at how the EPA pulled its punches at Waterloo from the beginning, how it used its equipment in a way designed to miss the problem; and how inconvenient data has just gone “missing”.

epa gear under tree at Quast place

SA’s EPA studying the horrors of gum tree noise.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. If this Jillian Broardbent had another BRAIN it would be lonely. Who the hell does she think we are, when she talks about how good it is to finance the Macarthur industrial wind turbines when they are owned by Australiars Greatest Liars?

    AGL don’t want the fans to turn, all they want is the money when they start up their “BIG DIESEL GENERATORS” reducing C02, HEY-HA-HA, the bigest scam of all time.

    Jillian you are dumber then Dumb and Dumber themselves.

  2. OK CEFC, what about some of our borrowed money you’ve been so generously dishing out going to finance a few industrial wind turbines in the Green centres of Sydney and Melbourne?

    I’m sure Clover would be only too happy to arrange for a few planet saving tokens in Hyde Park or The Domain. Likewise Bobby Doyle could lob a few along the Yarra by the railway viaduct or perhaps next to the MCG?

    After all if these things are so quiet, as the wind weasels and their limp wristed QANGOs supporters claim, then surely the inner city Greens would be only too happy to do their bit to save the planet?

  3. Martin Hayles says:

    It intrigues me that the South Australian EPA finds no problem with Waterloo and surrounds and as quickly as politically feasible, the planning minister, John Rau announces the approval of the Keyneton wind abomination, and uses the “findings” of Waterloo to justify Keyneton. ie. there are no noise/health issues.

    Is the EPA independent of government S.A? No. Do government ministers Rau and Koutsantonis have a predetermined agenda to promote wind energy? From the utterings of Premier Weatherill in regards to the Ceres wind farm, one could only conclude in the affirmative. Therefore, is it possible that government ministers could influence, in any way, the determinations of the EPA? On the balance of probability, and from life experience, most definitely yes.

    Why?…… We know that wind and solar have not reduced CO2 emissions in any significant way in the last 20 years. Why are we travelling down this road when the whole point of renewables is to reduce CO2?

    The answer is more abhorrent than the supposed problem. We are doing this because the financial markets are always looking for a ‘sure thing’, for a ‘gravy train’, for the path of least resistance.
    They play to human greed and they play to gullibility, and there are multi-billions of dollars invested in financial products, such as superannuation, invested in the wind industry.

    This scam is of such magnitude that when it falls over, which it inevitably will, as it has no inherent value, it will affect many people right across the investment / societal spectrum.

    It will directly affect union members super as union super is heavily invested in windmills. It is therefore not much of a stretch to realise that it will affect the super of the Labor party members and the Bolshi Greens. And…..I bet your left one that Liberal party members super is invested in the scam.

    Hell…I bet my super has some exposure.

    I’m led to believe that after a certain federal senator publicly voiced his displeasure at the proposed Ceres project, he subsequently had an acrimonious visit from the directors of said project suggesting, that by his actions, he was putting the long term viability of his superannuation in jeopardy.

    It is time for some honesty. It is time for a Royal Commission.

    • The idea that the national electricity grid could function with renewables providing the base load generation is laughable, nothing more than propaganda pushed by governments wanting to tax us for hot air, opportunistic entrepreneurs wanting to profit from the massive subsidies that fund the wind industry and ideological zealots such as the Greens. In spite of the minuscule energy contribution currently made by wind generation (less than 2.6% of total electricity generation in 2011) it already impacts significantly on the underlying price of Australian electricity:

      “The mechanism through which electricity consumers pay greenmail to the owners of windmills and solar panels is the mandatory Renewable Energy Certificate, introduced by John Howard in his 2001 MRET legislation. As James Delingpole explained in the Australian on May 3, writing about the ghost town of Waterloo in South Australia (now depopulated by the impacts of the sub-audio frequency vibrations generated by the nearby wind farm), a 3-megawatt wind turbine, costing $6 million, will be lucky to generate electricity worth $150,000 in a year, but will receive $500,000 in RECs, paid for by the hapless electricity consumer.”

      Senator Sean Edwards Lib. SA, last year explained some of the incestuous rent seeking relationships that underpin Australia’s wind industry Sen. Sean Edwards Lib. SA, Hansard 21 August 2012.

      “The chairman of Pacific Hydro is Garry Weaven, a one-time assistant secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, who decided that going into the superannuation industry was a much more lucrative career choice than that of a federal Labor MP. Pacific Hydro is owned by Industry Super Holdings through the IFM Australian Infrastructure Fund. IFM, or Industry Funds Management, which Mr Weaven was the founder of, manages assets with a total value of $29 billion for around five million fund members. Unions claim they do not control these industry funds, pointing to 50 per cent employer representation on the boards, but it is the union, Labor-linked officials who call the shots.

      Besides Garry Weaven in Industry Super Holdings, other notable officials are: Bernie Fraser, the former chair and Treasury secretary under Labor PM Bob Hawke, also appointed as a Governor of the Reserve Bank; Anna Booth, former secretary of the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union and currently chair of Slater and Gordon, the law firm where the Prime Minister used to be a partner; and Anne De Salis, a former staffer to Paul Keating. Four of the seven have an identifiable Labor background.

      Mr Weaven has said the investment in Pacific Hydro was an excellent decision. That is an understatement. Renewable energy certificates are giving tremendous returns to the companies involved, but it is at everybody else’s expense. Industry SuperFunds took out a double-page spread on pages 2 and 3 of the News Limited state newspapers on 20 August—only yesterday—and these paid ads make the point that Industry SuperFunds have pioneered direct investment in long-term assets like wind farms. Also, the industry-union superannuation funds will soon have more money to invest in wind farms with Labor, increasing the superannuation guarantee from nine percent to 12 per cent by 2020. These funds have perfected the money-go-round.”

  4. The Macarthur Wind Farm (factory) is a non-compliant development. Surely there are laws requiring Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) CEO Jillian Broadbent to conduct “due diligence” for “compliance” on developments and purchases for which she is approving finance with other people’s money!

    • Jillian Broadbent would not have a clue what she is talking about. No wind farm ( factory ) can stand on it’s own feet, as it has to get it’s milk ( money ) off some poor cow, never will change. If the wind factories are weaned off the cow they will DIE, sooner the milking cow is taken away the better.

  5. Terry Conn says:

    STT needs to have a look at ‘Macca’s’ latest trick to screw the Australian consumer in favour of building wind turbines ie. Setting up an advisory board peopled, with a couple of exceptions, well known protagonists for wind power for his white paper on ‘energy’. The forgone conclusion being that wind farms will save us all regardless of cost or the facts. Just google the board members, they are nearly all mates of watermelon Milne. Macca is setting up his own party for a parliamentary embarrassment . If Abbott doesn’t sack him immediately he will destroy the reason people voted for him and the coalition. Macca is the ‘judas’ not Xenophon and Madigan.

  6. Good going to the journos who are showing the guts by bringing this into the public arena & STT. Keep up the pressure.
    We’re hanging out for the article to say that it’s All OVER for the wind weasels & all those with their noses in the trough. Enough is enough!

Trackbacks

  1. […] The CEFC is a Green-Labor renewables slush fund that lends money on unsecured terms to wind power outfits, with the loans underwritten by Australian taxpayers (see our posts here and here). […]

  2. […] couple of posts back we covered a Fin Review piece in which it was suggested that SA’s favourite Greek, Nick Xenophon and John “Marshall” […]

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