Labor must return dirty donations before safeguard negotiations


The Greens have called on Labor to return $896,000 in donations from corporations covered by its proposed Safeguard mechanism to give the public confidence in any scheme. 

Analysis reveals that 68% of the emissions covered under the safeguard mechanism came from corporations that donated to the Labor party's election campaign, AEC donations data reveals. 35% came directly from polluting companies, and a further 33% from companies that are paid-up members of peak bodies that donated to the ALP.

Corporations with major projects on the line like Santos, Woodside, Whitehaven Coal, Glencore and Tamboran, as well as peak member bodies like APPEA and the Minerals Council donated generously to both major parties.

18 Safeguard targeted corporations and lobby groups poured $896,000 into the government’s election war chest, in a clear exertion of influence over the safeguard legislation.

The Liberals have vowed to oppose the safeguard mechanism, putting the Greens in balance of power. The Greens have said they are open to good faith negotiations with the government, but the sticking point will be new coal and gas mines. The documents accompanying the draft safeguard mechanism together with Labor’s emissions projections show pollution from gas will actually rise under the Safeguard, with Labor set to open massive new gas projects before 2030 like the Betaloo, Scarborough, Browse and Narrabri gas fields.

Attributable to Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP:

“The big sticking point in negotiations over the Safeguard will be Labor’s push to open new coal and gas mines.

“Labor’s proposed safeguard mechanism opens new coal and gas mines instead of stopping them.

“The big coal and gas corporations have paid Labor off, and in return Labor’s opening new coal and gas mines.

“In a time of climate crisis, the scientists, UN Secretary General and the International Energy Agency have all said that to meet climate goals, no new coal or gas projects can proceed.  

“Labor shouldn’t be taking donations from the coal and gas corporations they’re meant to regulate. Labor should return these dirty coal and gas donations.”

Lines attributable to Greens leader in the Senate and spokesperson on democracy Senator Larissa Waters:

“The Greens want to get fossil fuel money out of politics altogether so that climate policies are based on science, not donations. My bill is the only legislation currently before parliament that seeks to close the backdoor for donations and stop the flow of money from big polluters to the big parties.

“We've been campaigning for decades to clean up our democracy. Enough is enough, it's time for Labor to work with the Greens on donations laws and end the fire sale of our democracy."