Greens warn Labor against dealing with Liberals on climate


Following reports that Energy Minister Chris Bowen is considering further extending public subsidies for fossil fuel powered cars, the Greens have warned Labor must stop trying to weaken environmental laws in collaboration with Peter Dutton.

The AFR today reports that the government is considering extending a legislated time limit on tax benefits for plug-in hybrids, undoing a November 2022 deal with the Greens to pass EV legislation. This change would require legislation, likely requiring the Liberals’ support.

Over the past few weeks, Labor has publicly stated their intention to deal with the Liberals on several pieces of climate damaging legislation:

  • Fast-track massive gas projects, through bypassing environmental protections and First Nations consultation by allowing the Resources Minister to overrule the EPBC Act
  • Extending a fossil fuel subsidy for hybrid vehicles, which would undo an existing Greens deal to limit the generous handouts to April 1 2025
  • Keeping tax paid by massive gas corporations low in reform to the PRRT, bypassing the Greens and crossbench members demanding massive gas corporations pay their fair share of tax
  • “Streamlining” approvals through the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation process, details of which Mr Chalmers has not revealed.

The Greens say that this represents a substantial shift from the government - instead of working with the Greens and crossbench to create stronger laws to protect the climate and environment, Labor has decided that they would prefer to weaken laws with Coalition support.

Lines attributable to Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt MP:

“Labor are climate con artists, pretending to take action on climate change while working with the Liberals to weaken laws meant to stop emissions and protect the environment,” Mr Bandt said.

“This could be one of the most significant fortnights in the life of this Parliament. Labor is breaking an election promise by working with Peter Dutton to weaken environment laws, fast tracking new gas mines in the middle of a climate crisis and taking away the voices of traditional owners. 

“Labor’s political decision to work with the Liberals to weaken environmental protections, instead of with the Greens to strengthen them, is spitting in the face of everyone who voted to kick Scott Morrison out.

“Labor has a clear choice: they can work with Peter Dutton to open up new gas mines and make the climate crisis worse, or they can work with the Greens. 

“While everyday people are working to try and stop climate change, Labor’s doing deals with the Liberals to make it worse.