Nature and the climate are big losers in a budget that was supposed to have something for everyone, according to the NSW Nature Conservation Council.
“Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has slashed $32 million from nature conservation, climate adaptation and climate science even as he delivered Australia’s biggest ever budget deficit,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.
“If Mr Frydenberg can’t find money to save species and the climate with a big-spending budget like this, he never will.
“Meanwhile, he is happy to squander another $265 million on the failed experiment of carbon capture and storage.
“To put that into context, that almost half the entire budget allocated for nature.
“The government has already sunk more than $1 billion into that carbon quackery since 2003 and we still have no large-scale CCS operation in the nation.
“Now Mr Frydenberg wants to put the taxpayers on the hook once again, subsidising the fossil fuel industry further.
“It’s a dud idea that is being used to prop up the coal and gas industries.
“This budget is a monumental missed opportunity to invest in the nation’s natural heritage, to restore our landscapes and pull species back from the brink of extinction.
“The pandemic came hot on the heels of our worst-ever bushfires. Land management and restoration could have been a centrepiece of covid recovery.
“This budget was also a chance to reimagine the economy by putting it on a new energy footing.
“Other countries are using the recovery spending to invest in the environment and the Morrison government has failed.”