A $240 million fund to help Australian businesses go greener is one of the few new pots of money made available to business in today’s budget.
The Clean Business Australia package forms part of a total $2.3 billion in spending over four years to deliver on Labor’s pre-election promises on the environment.
The biggest share of the green business fund will go to establish a Green Building Fund, worth $90 million over four years, under which business can claim subsidies of up to $200,000 to subsidise work to improve the energy efficient of office buildings.
And $75 million over four years – money taken from the abolished Commercial Ready program – will be put into a program of grants for businesses to assist in the development and commercialisation of green-tech products and services.
And a further $75 million will go to will go to provide grants of up to $500,000 to SME manufacturers to help them improve the energy efficient of their production processes.
Significant funds have also been set aside to boost research into green technology, with, $500 million over six years for a renewable energy research fund and $150 million over four years for to support specific renewable energy projects in solar energy and other areas.
The biggest slabs of spending have been preserved to help the coal and car manufacturing sectors survive the transition to a low carbon economy, however, with $500 million over eight years to foster the development of clean coal and a similar amount to assist car makers produce low emission vehicles over five years.