The Liberals and Labor have today voted to fund new fossil fuel projects with public money through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund, enabling the $5 billion fund to be used on projects like the Beetaloo Basin gas project and Adani.
By siding with the Liberals and voting to put public money into new coal and gas projects, Labor has betrayed climate action, Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP said.
The Greens opposed changes that made NAIF funding even easier to access and increased government interference in decisions, and moved to amend the Bill to prohibit funding of new coal and gas projects. Labor sided with the Liberals and One Nation to vote against that ban.
Lines from Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt MP:
“This dirty deal will see public money that should be spent on schools and hospitals used to build new coal and gas projects,” Mr Bandt said.
“Labor’s big talk about renewables in their Budget reply counts for nothing when they vote for more coal and gas.
“Labor has now officially backflipped on its position that taxpayer funds shouldn’t go towards new coal projects.
“It’s not good enough to simply support renewables, because by funding new coal and gas, Labor is helping the Liberals fast-track the climate crisis.
“Liberal and Labor are now in climate lockstep, using public money to speed up the climate crisis. Neither Liberal or Labor have science-based 2030 targets, both support opening up new coal and gas projects, and both want to give these dangerous projects public funding.
“At a time when the world is telling Australia to do more, not less, this dirty deal between the Liberal and Labor parties is a complete betrayal of climate action.”
“The Greens will renew our push to kick the Liberals out and put the Greens in balance of power, because it is clear that Labor will not act on climate unless the Greens make them do it.”
Lines from Greens Deputy Leader and spokesperson on mining and resources Senator Larissa Waters:
“More handouts of public money to fossil fuels is the last thing Northern Australia needs.
“There are incredible opportunities to fund sustainable, job-creating projects in Northern Australia, but this government just wants to prop up its fossil fuel mates. Just last week it was revealed that the Minister vetoed NAIF funding for a wind farm project recommended by the NAIF Board that would have created 250 jobs and provided cheap, clean energy for Cairns.
“We hoped that Labor might support the Greens’ amendments to prevent the NAIF being turned into a huge slush fund for massive coal and gas corporations, but it turns out they’re as beholden to the fossil fuel industry as the Libs.
“Vale the climate, hello political donations!”