Buck passed for hydro power project withdrawl

A POWER company has blamed the Federal Government's energy policy for its withdrawal from a north Queensland hydro power project.

But the government has passed the blame to the Labor party's refusal to negotiate on the Renewable Energy Target.

Meridian Energy Australia announced on Friday it would not proceed with the Burdekin Hydro Power Generation project because of "destabilising revisions to Australian energy policy sought by the Federal Government".

Meridian chief Ben Burge said the policy changes made their investment unviable.

"Meridian understands the disappointment that the people of northern Queensland will feel on learning of this decision," he said.

"However, the Federal Government's protracted efforts to reduce the Renewable Energy Target have made long-term capital investments in energy assets in this country nearly impossible."

But Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the project's collapse was due to the Labor party.

"Labor's decision to walk away from negotiations on the Renewable Energy Target is creating uncertainty for new investments in renewable energy," he said.

"The latest ASX announcement from Meridian Energy that it will not proceed with their proposed Burdekin hydro project in north Queensland is another blow to investment in renewable energy."

A statement from Opposition leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Environment Minister Mark Butler said the blame lay squarely on the government.

"Meridian Energy has blamed the long-term uncertainty created by Tony Abbott's broken promise on renewable energy for the company's decision to cancel the project," the statement read.

- APN NEWSDESK



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