Cutting the $2 billion rebate mining companies get on diesel fuel excise is an excellent step to a safer climate and a fairer, cleaner and more balanced budget, and one that the Australian Greens have brought to the attention of the current and previous governments many times.
"We've said to the government many times that cutting subsidies which encourage use of polluting fossil fuels, like the diesel fuel rebate for mining companies, is not only sensible climate policy but also sensible economic policy," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.
"People all across the Australian community who pay tax on the fuel they buy would be very unimpressed if they realised that the mining companies making multi-billion dollar profits pay not a cent in tax on the diesel that runs their trucks and their generators.
"Getting rid of, or at least slashing, that rebate would make the tax system fairer by redressing the balance back towards citizens instead of corporations.
"Australia promised to abolish fossil fuel subsidies as part of its G20 obligations but since then refused to acknowledge that we have any.
"As President Obama has been saying again recently, it makes no sense to be giving incentives to clean energy while also handing out subsidies to the use of dirty fuels.
"Getting rid of the diesel fuel rebate for mining companies would help to make renewable energy in remote areas, which is often ideally suited to these offgrid applications, more competitive.
"If the government is looking for ways to save money and balance the May budget, the $2 billion diesel fuel rebate is an excellent place to start and the Greens will continue to back such a move."