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Australian Government Spent $19,000 A Minute On Fossil Fuels In Past Year

Niamh Shackleton


Australian Government Spent $19,000 A Minute On Fossil Fuels In Last YearPA Images

The Australian government spent more than $19,000 a minute on fossil fuels in the past 12 months.

This resulted in $10.3 billion being spent over the past fiscal year in government subsidies, a new report from The Australian Institute has shown.


The study, which was released today, April 26, indicated that the $7.84 billion allocated for the fuel tax credit scheme in the Federal Budget exceeded the amount spent on the country’s Army and Air Force.

$7.82 billion was spent on Army capabilities, while $7.55 billion went towards Air Force capabilities.

Fossil FuelsPA Images

The report further detailed that $1.2 billion alone was spent on subsidising exploration, refurbishing coal ports, railways and power stations and funding ‘clean coal’ research despite the fact the Queensland Treasury having stated that ‘spending on mining related infrastructure means less infrastructure spending on hospitals and schools’.


Rod Campbell, research director at The Australian Institute, said of the report:

Coal, oil and gas companies in Australia give the impression that they are major contributors to the Australian economy, but our research shows that they are major recipients of government funds.

From a climate perspective this is inexcusable and from an economic perspective it is irresponsible. The major subsidies are Commonwealth tax breaks that mean the largest users of fossil fuels get a refund worth $7.8 billion on a tax that the rest of the community has to pay.

‘This tax break not only funnelled $1.5 billion to the coal and gas industries last year, but it made it cheaper for them to export fossil fuels to the rest of the world,’ Campbell continued, while claiming that the Australian government is ‘going against the tide of global trends and good climate policy’.

Pexels Pexels

The report continued to detail further examples of the money Australia is pouring into fossil fuels, including New South Wales pledging $100,000 towards ‘coal innovation’ and South Australia putting $10.5 million into a program that aims to accelerate gas exploration.

Following the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, Australia set a goal of meeting net-zero emissions by 2030, but it’s since been dubbed as ‘unlikely’ that this will be achieved.

Since then, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced in February that the country had the goal of reaching net-zero emissions ‘as soon as possible’, changing the target to 2050.


Morrison said they would do this by ‘investing and partnering in the technology breakthroughs needed to reduce and offset emissions in a way that enables our heavy industry in particular’, Argus Media reported at the time.

He failed to outline any clear policies on how the country will reduce its carbon emissions, however.

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Topics: News, Australia, Carbon Emissions, Environment, Fossil Fuels, Global Warming, Now, Scott Morrison, World News


Australian Institute and 1 other
  1. Australian Institute

    Australian fossil fuel subsidies hit $10.3 billion in 2020-21

  2. Argus Media

    Australia hints at net-zero emissions target by 2050

Niamh Shackleton
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