“At the beginning of Australia’s Great Energy Crisis, and during a world gas shortage, we need to be developing affordable resources to ensure families can afford their energy bills and small businesses can continue to employ staff, not increasing taxpayers’ funding to fringe activists,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.
New analysis from the IPA shows that $100 billion in investment is currently under threat, with potential job losses of exceeding 174,000, if activist environment groups, which received vastly increased funding by the Albanese Government in October’s mini-Budget, succeed with their demands.
“This is a test for the Federal Government. It must decide whether it supports affordable and reliable energy and critical job-creating resources projects, or supports activist environmental groups that seek to undermine our way of life,” Mr Wild said.
Following the election of the Albanese Government in May, the Environment Council of Central Queensland and Environmental Justice Australia, demanded approvals already granted to critical resource projects around Australia be reconsidered. The Federal Minister for the Environment has already acquiesced to 18 out of 19 of these demands.
On top of this, the Albanese Government directed $9.5 million of taxpayers’ funding to Environmental Justice Australia in October’s mini-Budget that will allow them to disrupt even more projects.
“The energy crisis we face has been caused by the closure of affordable and reliable baseload power stations and chronic gas supply shortages. It is remarkable Federal Government is actually increasing funding to organisations seeking to prevent much needed energy production at this time,” said Mr Wild
Previous IPA research has estimated that between 2000-2020, ‘green-lawfare’ activism, as allowed by section 487 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, has put $65 billion of investment at risk in Australia by holding major projects up in court for a cumulative total of 10,100 days, or over 28 years.
“Activists are using our courts to pursue their low-energy, high-cost agenda, which is a hammer blow to Australia’s future economic prospects, and to the communities in regional and rural areas that would otherwise thrive on a decades long pipeline of investment and production,” Mr Wild said.
The IPA is calling for the Federal Government to:
- Immediately end all government funding to radical green lawfare groups including the Environmental Defenders Office and Environmental Justice Australia,
- Include natural gas as an investment deemed ‘sustainable’, as the European Union recently voted to do, in order to trigger more domestic energy investment, and
- Repeal its legislated net zero emissions by 2050 targets that are causing the rapid closure of reliable and affordable baseload power stations without equivalent replacement.