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Renewables cut means fewer SA jobs: Greens

AAP logoAAP 13/09/2016

Cuts to renewable energy funding will mean fewer jobs for South Australians, SA Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young says.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency's funding will be cut by $500 million in the federal government's budget savings omnibus bill, after Labor negotiated to retain $800 million for renewable energy projects.

Senator Hanson-Young says the cut will be devastating for South Australia, which will be able to sustain fewer renewable energy jobs.

"Projects like the solar thermal plant in Port Augusta, which is facing a funding shortfall of $100 million, will bring much needed jobs to regional SA," she said.

"South Australians deserve better than this, and I'm disappointed to see Labor and the Liberals ganging up on our state in this way."

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, which represents many wind and solar workers, said it was "extremely disappointed" by the decision.

"Australia has to move faster to develop our renewables sector - it's a crucial future industry for our economy, for jobs and of course, for our environment," AMWU president Andrew Dettmer said.

Activist group GetUp said the $500 million cut was "bittersweet", as it was substantially lower than the $1.3 billion originally proposed by the government.

Opposition energy spokesman Mark Butler said the agreement was a first step in what Labor hoped would be a new effort to reach a bipartisan approach to renewable energy and climate change policy.

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