11 May 2021: Climate action group 350 Australia has called the federal budget a cash splash for gas companies at the expense of communities and climate, handing an additional $104.3 million to the gas industry.
Money for the gas industry includes $30 million for billionaire Andrew Forrest’s Port Kembla Gas Power Station, $15.7 million for gas companies in Queensland’s North Bowen and Galilee Basin and $58.6 million for gas infrastructure and associated plans. This brings the total government spending on the gas industry in the last twelve months to between $550 million and $944 million.
350 Australia CEO Lucy Manne said: “Handouts to the gas industry will damage our climate and put our health at risk – this is a colossal waste of public funds.
“Last year the Morrison Government asked for advice from gas executives and now they’re giving money to billionaires to build gas power stations. If they’d asked the community, they would have heard that people across Australia want investment in education, health and climate solutions.
“This money will fund damaging gas projects in areas like the Beetaloo Basin that have been opposed by Traditional Owners and local communities and will lead to more climate pollution.
“Communities from Cessnock to Darwin to the Gold Coast have spoken out against the government giving money to gas companies – and they won’t stop fighting this polluting industry.”
“Throwing public money at a billionaire to build a new gas fired power station at a time when gas fired power use is at a 16-year low is just absurd.
“The Morrison Government is determined to support fossil fuels while the rest of the world has moved on, ending subsidies for these industries that are causing irrevocable damage, and investing in a renewable energy transition.”
For more, contact Shani Tager, 0432 050 809
Total gas spending for 2020-21 is tracked here.