23 April, 2012

Federal tax breaks favour miners at expense of the environment

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW has welcomed additional funding for nature conservation and renewable energy in this year’s federal budget, but has condemned the government’s decision to continue multi-billion dollar tax breaks for the mining industry.

“Delivering enormous taxpayer funded subsidies to the mining industry is perverse and wasteful,” said Pepe Clarke, Chief Executive Officer of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

The diesel fuel tax rebate is predicted to increase to $182 per taxpayer per year, at a cost of $9.4 billion over the forward estimates.

“These funds would be better invested in bold action to protect and restore our rivers, forests and oceans, and to drive rapid improvements in energy efficiency across the economy.

“Implementation of the clean energy package, including funding for renewables and investment in biodiversity conservation, represent an important investment in a sustainable future for Australia.

“Together with continued funding for the federal government’s flagship environmental program, Caring for Country, these initiatives will deliver real environmental outcomes for our nation.

“We welcome the allocation of funding to investigate the impacts of mining and coal seam gas on water resources, but research alone will not protect our land and water.

“Robust regulation and strict enforcement of environmental conditions by the federal fovernment is needed to control the impact of rapid coal and gas expansion,” Mr Clarke said.

“Local communities across the country, from Chinchilla to the Hunter Valley, are bearing witness to the failure of state governments to control runaway mining and gas expansion.”

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Coal and gas

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