6 October, 2020
Zali Steggall OAM MP says the government had the unique opportunity to be bold and ambitious in its approach to the environment and energy, but unfortunately it failed to do so in this budget.
“We need large scale clean technology projects that will build this nation, boost jobs and set Australia for a sustainable, prosperous future,” she said.
“We should have followed the example of Germany who dedicated €40 billion, a third of their stimulus, to clean energy technology initiatives. Instead, this Government is announcing only a fraction of that in tonight’s budget.”
“Somehow, an upgrade to Liberal Party donor Trevor St. Baker’s Vales Point Coal Plant snuck into this budget. This is public investment that should be spent on electric vehicles or battery manufacturing. This is symbolic of this Government’s backwards facing outlook.”
“The Government has failed to take up the opportunity of fully costed proposals developed by organisations like Beyond Zero Emissions and the Climate Council that could drive Australia out of this recession and protect our economy against the climate risks. The BZE plan for example would have boosted aggregate GDP by $35 billion.”
“$1.4 billion over 12 years for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency is one-tenth of what we need to transition our economy to net zero by 2050. Countries like Canada have allocated $10 billion for their own clean energy infrastructure. As a potential renewable energy super-power, we should do the same.”
“Whilst I welcome the $67 million for oceans, and $250 for recycling, and a small amount for the Great Barrier Reef, the Government has set the bar extremely low for its ambition. There should have been one billion for conservation programs.”
“The Government is directing $250 million to oil refineries. These refineries produce fuel of the lowest quality in the OECD. This money should be spent on electric vehicles by providing tax breaks for purchases. This would ensure that we wean off polluting oil from other nations.”
“There has also been no extra funding dedicated in this budget to an independent regulator which reviewer Graeme Samuel said is integral to reforms to the EPBC Act. How can the public trust the Government on protecting the environment with the department’s dismal record?”
“Moderate Liberal members of Parliament will have to find ways to explain this lacklustre budget to their constituents who are screaming out for policy leadership on climate and environment.”