In 2018–19, the Clean Energy Regulator was accountable to the then Minister for the Environment and Energy, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, until 28 August 2018. On this date the Hon Angus Taylor MP was appointed Minister for Energy and the Hon Melissa Price MP was appointed Minister for the Environment.
Upon the swearing in of the new ministry on 29 May 2019, our agency continued to operate within the Environment and Energy Portfolio, reporting to the Hon Angus Taylor MP as Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction.
Other external scrutiny included examination by parliamentary committees, the Commonwealth Ombudsman and Australian National Audit Office.
External decisions and reports
In November 2018, the Federal Court handed down its decision in Country Carbon v Clean Energy Regulator VID 1108. The decision confirmed an earlier Clean Energy Regulator decision related to section 28A of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 (CFI Act).
Following the Federal Court’s decision in the Country Carbon case, two review applications previously lodged with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in 2017–18 (which relied on the outcome of the Federal Court case) were withdrawn by the applicant on 20 March 2019. A third review application lodged with the Tribunal in 2017–18 (which also relied on the outcome of the Country Carbon case) was also withdrawn just after the reporting period ended in July 2019.
Two other applications to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal were also withdrawn during the year. One application was withdrawn on 10 April 2019, prior to hearing, at the applicant's request. The other application was withdrawn on 8 February 2019—this application had sought review of the Clean Energy Regulator’s decision to suspend, for 12 months, the applicant’s registration under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000.
During 2018–19 our operations were not the subject of any reports by parliamentary committees or the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
In 2018–19, our agency appeared before the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee on three occasions. We responded to 15 questions on notice about the schemes we administer and whole-of-portfolio corporate matters.
The Australian National Audit Office released one performance audit specific to our agency in 2018–19, Report No. 18 2018-2019: Administration of the Renewable Energy Target.