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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Budget does squat to address escalating climate change in Australia

THE 2022 Federal Budget has failed to deliver any meaningful commitments to address escalating climate change in Australia. They have earmarked billions of dollars to react to the consequences of climate change, but observers say there is nothing in the budget to address its cause. The Australian Conservation Foundation spokesperson noted that while the government has allocated $50 million for koala conservation, it has loaned hundreds of millions for coal mine expansion in central Queensland and approved the clearing of around 5000 hectares of koala habitat at the mine site.

Nicki Hutley, Climate Councillor, leading economist and former Partner at Deloitte Access Economics, who was in the Budget lockup, has calculated that just 0.3% of total expenditure for 2021-2024 has been committed to climate change initiatives, falling even lower, to just 0.2% in 2024-2026.

She said "much of the 0.3% is funding already committed prior to this Budget and that the 22/23 Budget adds ‘virtually nothing’ to that".

“Rather than investing in a green economic future, the Federal Government has used tonight’s Budget to toss mere pennies at genuine emissions reduction initiatives, such as the regional renewable microgrids,” Ms Hutley said. NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance has criticised his federal counterparts for a lack of leadership on climate action, accusing some of underestimating the impact of global warming on future generations and leaving the states to “go it alone” on reform.

Mr Constance lamented the “crazy attitude” some federal ministers held towards electric vehicles, adding that the Labor Party possessed a strong policy on EVs ahead of the 2019 election.

Justin Field, Member of the Legislative Council in the NSW Parliament said this week: "The electorates of Gilmore and Eden-Monaro know that with Scott Morrison and Barnaby Joyce at the helm, so-called "progressive" Liberal candidates are just spinning climate credentials and pretending that this Federal Coalition Government is anything other than hostile to climate action.

"It does not matter what shade of blue their campaign materials are. Having progressive climate friendly Liberals "inside the room" of Government hasn't made a difference, it has just generated a more aggressive response from those Nationals who want to see coal and gas mining continue to expand. We can't afford further delays like we have seen over the past nine years.

"In the upcoming Federal election I implore the people of the Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla to remember that a vote for a Liberal is a vote for the climate views of Scott Morrison and Barnaby Joyce." Currently championing the liberal candidate for Gilmore in the upcoming Federal election is Senator for New South Wales, Jim Molan, who is well remembered for his controversial position on Climate Change and for voting against significantly increase our commitments to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement in 2018, and take into account loss and damage caused by climate change Asked "What is the evidence you are relying on?" during an episode of QandA in February 2020, Molan replied: "I'm not relying on evidence". The glossy six page leaflet put out by Molan endorsing his favoured candidate has scant mention of climate change other than the candidate wants "strong action". Given that the Morrison Government has other ideas the candidate's desire for "strong action" is considered little more than lip service to tick a box.


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