Tackling the climate and extinction crises can make our country stronger and lives better, but it will require an unprecedented level of investment and commitment from our leaders.

By committing $4.5 billion a year to rural and regional community renewal, the Morrison Government can begin to fix the damage this summer’s bushfires have done to the natural assets on which many communities rely and rebuild their capacity to attract tourists and produce agricultural products.

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s budget submission calls for new investment to:

  • Help communities that depend on old polluting industries like coal and gas to diversify to modern and clean industries and jobs.
  • Help farmers be part of the climate solution and build resilience to the hotter climate.
  • Assist small business operators that rely on national parks and natural Australian ecosystems by protecting and restoring those places.
  • Support communities to rebuild after disasters like the 2019-20 bushfire crisis.

To pay for this new investment ACF proposes reform of the Fuel Tax Credit Scheme, which subsidises diesel fuel for mining companies and other sectors, effectively investing public money in heating the climate, making bushfires worse.

A $20,000 cap on Fuel Tax Credit Scheme claims would not affect small claimants, like farmers, and the saved $4.6 billion a year could be redirected to rural and regional renewal.

ACF’s submission also proposes $2 billion a year be spent to protect and restore wildlife habitat following bushfires and droughts and decades of over-clearing, and an extra $1.5 billion be invested annually to transform Australia into a clean energy superpower.

“This is perhaps the most important budget in Australia’s history for our natural world and the people who depend on it,” said ACF Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy.  

 “Our natural world – clean air and water, land and resources – underpins Australia’s health, prosperity, jobs and industries and provides us with beautiful places to live, work and visit.

“This summer’s bushfires, driven by climate change, have wreaked havoc on rural communities, choked capital cities with smoke and destroyed precious wildlife and habitat.

“Tackling the climate and extinction crises can make our country stronger and lives better, but it will require an unprecedented level of investment and commitment from our leaders.

“We call on the Federal Government to invest in Australia’s future in this critical moment.”

Read ACF’s budget submission

ACF Media Enquiries

Journalists with enquiries may contact Josh Meadows on 0439 342 992. For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email action@mail.acf.org.au