The Greens say the Federal Government must ensure that the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) can not be used for coal and gas projects as Labor this week looks to increase the size of the facility by $2 billion.
The Greens will move an amendment to the government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2023 which would prevent the NAIF being used to finance the extraction of coal or natural gas, the construction of gas pipelines, or the logging of native forests.
The amendment is identical to previous amendments that Labor has supported twice in this Parliament.
Comments attributable to Greens spokesperson on Northern Australia, Senator Penny Allman-Payne:
“The Greens will not be supporting Labor's plan to pump another $2 billion into the NAIF without guardrails to ensure that it can not be used to finance coal and gas.
“The NAIF is an Abbott-era fossil fuel slush fund which the Coalition Government tried to use to fund the Adani coal mine.
“The Greens negotiated with the Albanese government to stop the National Reconstruction Fund and the Powering the Regions Fund being used to finance coal and gas.
“Labor needs to explain why they won't similarly apply this to the NAIF. The only reason they would want this is to deliver public funding to get the Beetaloo and Middle Arm gas and petrochemical projects up and running.
”The UN, the International Energy Agency and the world’s scientists have made it abundantly clear that we can not open up any new coal and gas if we’re to have any chance of keeping below 1.5 degrees of warming. Yet Labor continues to support new coal and gas projects.
“If Labor wants to have a chance of meeting even its own weak emissions targets it should heed the science, listen to the community and back the Greens’ amendment.”
Comments attributable to Greens spokesperson on forests, Senator Janet Rice:
“Logging pushes native wildlife to the brink of extinction, endangers our water supplies, heightens bushfire risk, and makes the climate crisis worse. There’s no excuse for Labor to fund this environmental vandalism.
“The Victorian and Western Australian Labor state governments have announced an end to all logging by the start of next year, yet just last week the Federal Government voted down the Greens bill for a permanent, national ban on native forest logging. The very least the Labor Government can do now is stop extra funding going towards destroying the environment.
“It’s time the Labor Government stop prioritising corporate profits and industry lobbies over people and the environment.”