Morrison launches $1b low-emissions investment fund

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (investment fund)
Mick Tsikas/AAP

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has launched $1 billion investment fund to fast-track emerging low-emissions technologies, including carbon capture and storage as he tries to bolster his government’s green credentials ahead of the upcoming election.

Morrison expects the private sector will at least match his government’s $500 million contribution to the fund, which will be used to back Australian early stage companies to develop new technology.

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“We are backing Australian businesses by creating an environment for their successful ideas to thrive in contrast to Labor’s approach to always wanting to tax success,” the Prime Minister said.

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the fund demonstrated the government’s commitment to achieve net-zero emissions through new technology.

“The fund will support Australian innovators to develop their intellectual property and grow their businesses in Australia,” Taylor said.

“It will address a gap in the Australian market, where currently small, complex, technology-focused start-ups can be considered to be too risky to finance.

“Together with other new initiatives, like the increased investment in establishing seven Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs around Australia, today’s announcement brings our commitment to more than $21 billion of public investment in low-emissions technologies by 2030.

“Our investment will leverage three to five times that amount in co-investment from the private sector and other levels of government, or between $84 billion and $126 billion in total investment by 2030.”

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The government will introduce legislation to establish the fund in this term of Parliament, with the fund expected to earn a positive return for taxpayers.

The fund builds on the CEFC’s success as the world’s largest government-owned green bank. The CEFC has committed $9.5 billion across 220 large-scale projects and 23,700 smaller-scale transactions, driving $33 billion in new investments across the economy.