The new government of Australia has made changes to two of the country’s main trade-supporting bodies, with vastly different implications
Efic, the Australian export credit agency, has opened a new branch in Brisbane, Queensland.
The office will offer support to exporters based in Queensland and the announcement comes as the new government has closed down another of its trade-support agencies.
Upon assuming the role of prime minister in September, Tony Abbot ordered the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to stop making loans to renewable energy companies.
CEFC is currently considering taking legal action against the government, after claiming that it is legally obliged to ignore its directive to cease operations.
The corporation had a budget of A$10bn to lend to those involved in the climate change prevention industry. It’s been described as a ‘green bank’ in Australia, but has come under fire from the new right-wing coalition government, who claim that abolishing the CEFC would result in A$545mn savings over four years.
So far CEFC has invested around A$500mn in projects, which have as a direct result obtained additional investment of A$1.5bn, bringing the total value of projects sponsored by the CEFC to A$2bn. It also lends to commercial banks, for the purpose of on-lending to projects in the renewables sector.
Meanwhile, Efic has appointed Paul Tonges as its new SME director for Queensland. He will report to Andrew Watson, SME executive director, and will be based in Brisbane.