"The Abbott government is destroying jobs now and Australia's best hope of future investment beyond the mining boom in order to protect its billionaire mates in the coal industry," Greens Leader Christine Milne said.
"This is a tragic day for clean energy and for the workers involved. This will be the first of many devastating decisions to come unless the Abbott government can be forced to accept the inevitable, coal is the past and clean energy is the future.
"The Abbott government must back off. Unless the current Renewable Energy Target is retained we are risking the jobs of thousands of workers and massive stranded assets in coal.
"My thoughts are with the workers, their families and the local community of Portland."