The Australian Greens Transport spokesperson, Senator Scott Ludlam today said the Prime Minister's announcement of $580 million dollars to fast track coal transport is an "horrific use of tax payer funds" and an opportunity to embrace a ‘Green New Deal' has been missed.
"The Prime Minister's decision to inject more than $500 million dollars into railways to transport coal from the Hunter Valley to Newcastle is a disastrous outcome for tax payers and the environment. Once again the government is using tax payer funds to help the coal industry, despite the industry being past its used-by date and environmentally unsustainable," said Senator Ludlam.
"The Prime Minister is to be commended for injecting funds into our nation's decaying regional rail system, but once again, we're not seeing any investment in city rails. Australians want greener and more affordable transport options, yet the Rudd government has passed up yet another opportunity to provide them."
Senator Ludlam said the government needs to change direction.
"Governments the world over are recognising that you can boost the economy by investing in initiatives that have an environmental benefit. Rudd should follow world leaders like UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and US President-elect Barack Obama in recognising that with a ‘Green New Deal' we can build our way out of the financial meltdown, while preventing the climate meltdown. It's time for Rudd to get with the program."
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