The Queensland Palaszczuk Government has today opened a $21 million taxpayer-funded subsidy for fossil gas companies, while at the same time approving a new coal project, revealing it remains as determined as ever to throw fuel on the fire of the climate crisis.
Lock the Gate Alliance previously criticised the $21 million gas subsidy when it was first announced as part of the government’s 2023 budget in June this year.
The dual fossil fuel announcements come as the United Nations singles out rich nations like Australia as being among the worst offenders for opening new coal and gas basins ahead of this year’s COP.
Lock the Gate Alliance Queensland Coordinator Ellie Smith said, “There are so many better ways for the Palaszczuk Government to spend Queensland taxpayers’ hard earned cash than to make it available to greedy gas corporations.
“Funding new gas exploration when much of the world is moving away from fossil fuels is reckless for regional communities. Queenslanders want to see investment in diversification to clean industries and support for an economy of the future based on sustainable agriculture, tourism, and green manufacturing.
“The devastating impacts of fossil fuel driven climate change are already hitting Queenslanders hard in the form of unprecedented fires, droughts, and floods.
“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations, and scientists all over the world are calling for governments to stop approving new fossil fuel projects, let alone funding them, yet the Queensland Palaszczuk Government won’t stand up to big gas companies.”
Environmental Advocacy in Central Queensland director Coral Rowston said, “It is ludicrous to set emission reduction targets, and at the same time approve new coal and gas projects.
“Using public money to subsidise new fossil fuel exploration is frustrating for communities and hypocritical of the government. The Palaszczuk Government should spend that money on industries of the future and to help our regional communities transition to new, clean energy.
“We have to take climate change seriously if we are to protect our special places like the Great Barrier Reef, our unique wildlife like koalas and gliders, and protect our communities from the increasing and more extreme weather events that come at a huge cost to all of us.”