The Greens’ 7-point clean energy plan puts in focus the clear choice Australia faces between coal and the Great Barrier Reef, the Australian Conservation Foundation said.
“We can have a future where our kids grow up able to enjoy the Reef, or we can keep lining the pockets of big polluters and stay dependent on the dirty, damaging fuels of last century,” said ACF’s campaigns director Paul Sinclair.
“In the 21st Century coal and coral cannot coexist.
“The Greens’ 7-point plan fills a leadership void on the issue of coal mines and exports.
“Mining and burning coal causes global warming. Warming water is killing the Great Barrier Reef.
“This year’s mass coral bleaching has affected 93 per cent of the reef—it is the largest bleaching in recorded history and the third in recent decades.
“The Greens’ plan includes a ban on new coal projects, a levy on coal exports and an end to subsidies like the Fuel Tax Credits scheme, which encourages companies to use more fuel.
“The Fuel Tax Credits scheme allows multinational mining companies to effectively get their diesel for free and discourages them from making their operations more efficient.
“It costs Australian taxpayers around $6 billion every year. While most Australians pay 39 cents in tax for litre of fuel they purchase, big mining companies get a complete tax refund on their diesel under this scheme.
“By giving public money to big polluters, the Fuel Tax Credits scheme takes away money from health, education and protecting our environment.
“ACF welcomes the Greens’ 7-point clean energy plan and urges Prime Minister Turnbull to articulate his plan for a clean energy transformation Australia – one that will see our country get off coal, get into renewables, help workers with the transition and make our energy systems much more efficient.”