The Prime Minister’s promise to spend 250 million taxpayer dollars on oil refineries will only slow the transition to clean fuels, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today.

“This is another short-sighted move to prop up fossil fuels when the climate crisis demands a completely different approach,” said ACF’s Economy and Democracy Program Manager Matt Rose.

“Australia has a golden opportunity to become an energy independent country by using our vast renewable energy resources to power our cars and trucks.

“If the government was serious about reducing our reliance on imported fuel it would encourage the uptake of electric vehicles and boost investment in public transport.

“Burning petrol for transport contributes significantly to Australia’s climate problem.

Recent research shows Australian governments are spending $22,000 a minute on fossil fuel subsidies.

“People in Australia don’t want their hard earnt taxes going towards last century’s fuels.

“The Morrison government has a bad habit of propping up polluting industries, when people in Australia have clearly indicated they want stronger climate action now.

“To be energy independent, Australia should rapidly move away from transport options that rely on burning fossil fuels and embrace the economic opportunities that come with clean transport.”

Research by Deloitte Access Economics for ACF in 2021 found Australia’s current approach to road transport will cost the country a whopping $865 billion between 2022 and 2050.

The Deloitte report offered three alternative scenarios which each deliver big savings while also dramatically improving the world we live in.

Under the most ambitious scenario canvassed by Deloitte, a staggering $492 billion could be saved by a complete transition to electric vehicles and increased usage of public transport by 2035.

Header pic by Stephen Barber

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