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Taylor’s gas cash splash won’t wash with United Nations climate calls

The Morrison Government’s outrageous decision to waste millions of taxpayer dollars propping up the polluting gas industry is totally out of step with a United Nations call to drastically slash the number of methane creating fossil fuel projects.

On the same day Angus Taylor revealed nearly $60M of subsidies for the dirty gas industry would be contained in the upcoming budget, the UN released a report which found expanding gas consumption and infrastructure would jeopardize the Paris climate targets and any hope of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees.

Today’s announcement by the Morrison Government comes as it is also attempting to ram through legislation that would change the remit of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to make it easier to approve loans for gas projects, following news just yesterday that Minister Keith Pitt had blocked a NAIF loan for a wind farm near Cairns.

“The United Nations report shows that by working towards getting off polluting gas, humanity stands a real chance at meeting our climate targets,” said Lock the Gate Alliance National Coordinator Carmel Flint.

“Not only that, but by dropping its ham-fisted plan to waste millions on more gas, the Morrison Government would be helping to safeguard water supplies relied on by farmers to produce food and fibre for Australians. 

“It’s time the Morrison Government stopped gifting taxpayer dollars to its mates in the gas industry, dropped its dangerous plan to redirect NAIF funds towards gas, and instead started working towards a future that can be enjoyed by all Australians.”

“As we have seen in Southern Queensland, unconventional gasfields drain aquifers, rip up prime agricultural land, damage cultural heritage, and severely disrupt the way of life for rural communities.

“The UN report clearly states gas can no longer be referred to as a transition fuel. In fact for some time now, renewables, coupled with battery storage, have surpassed gas as being more reliable, more economical, and much less damaging to land, water, and communities."

Among the funding announcements made by Mr Taylor was a further $5M for a Bowen Basin gas pipeline feasibility study to match funding already announced by the Queensland Palaszczuk Government. Last year it was reported fracking company Blue Energy, which owns petroleum licence tenements in the Bowen Basin and would benefit from such a pipeline link, publicly lobbied governments for new gas pipeline infrastructure.

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