Ricky Muir's vote to keep energy agency alive

Ricky Muir could frustrate the Abbott government's plans to dismantle Labor's carbon tax package in its entirety as the likelihood the elusive senator-elect will decide the fate of the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation is growing.

Based on the numbers in the new Senate, the vote of Mr Muir, of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party, has become crucial for the government if it is to abolish the profit-making agency.

Mr Muir is being courted by the Greens.

Fairfax Media has learned Greens leader Christine Milne has reached out to Mr Muir's political adviser Glenn Druery and the pair will meet in coming days to discuss the clean energy abolition bill.

Mr Muir is understood to have an open mind on clean energy investment and will not vote as part of the Palmer United Party bloc on the issue, as had been expected.

Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party founder Keith Litter, who will also work as a senior adviser to Mr Muir, said: ''Ricky needs to fully understand the bill before he can make a decision either way.''

The Greens and Labor have twice blocked the abolition bill in the Senate, establishing a double dissolution trigger for Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The government will reintroduce a bill next week so the new Senate can vote on it soon after it first sits on July 7.

The government has the guaranteed support of NSW senator-elect David Leyonhjelm and Family First's Bob Day and is confident the three-member Palmer bloc will back the abolition.

Mr Abbott will meet PUP leader Clive Palmer on Thursday to discuss the carbon tax repeal package.

Nick Xenophon lined up with the Labor and the Greens to defeat the bill on Wednesday but the Democratic Labour Party's John Madigan abstained from the vote.

He said he was looking at clean energy investment with a ''fine toothed comb'' but is impressed with certain projects, such as a solar photovoltaic system that generates electricity as well as heat, now being tested by Bluescope after it received funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Last year, the CEFC put $536 million into energy projects which drew an average $2.90 of private sector investment for every $1 delivering nearly four million tonnes of carbon dioxide abatement.

''The DLP was talking about environmental issues long before it became fashionable with other parties,'' Senator Madigan said.

If he votes against the bill, Mr Muir could be left to wield the balance of power on his own.

The government wants to strip $1.3 billion in grants from AREA.

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The story Ricky Muir's vote to keep energy agency alive first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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