Following reports today that the Liberals are seeking to facilitate gas expansion in return for supporting Labor’s pathetic PRRT changes, the Greens are calling on Labor to rule out watering down environmental protections and doing a dirty deal with the Liberals over the gas tax.
With gas corporations making record windfall profits and Australia’s gas tax raising next to nothing, Labor’s proposed reforms let gas corporations continue to get away with not paying their fair share of tax. The changes will only raise a few hundred million dollars a year extra, while allowing them to continue to build on their $284 billion pile of avoided tax credits that they are sitting on.
A properly reformed gas tax could instead raise $94bn across the next ten years, under a PBO costed proposal for substantive PRRT reform.
Lines attributable to Adam Bandt MP, Leader of the Australian Greens:
“This is a watershed moment for Labor and they have a clear choice. Labor can work with the Greens to make big gas corporations pay their fair share of tax, or Labor can do a dirty deal with the Liberals to cook the climate and the environment," Mr Bandt said.
“Labor’s changes let gas corporations get away with paying next to nothing and robbing the country of its fair share. Labor’s tax was co-written with the gas corporations, so no wonder the big fossil fuel giants are begging Labor and the Liberals to get it passed.
“A reformed PRRT could bring in $90 billion over the next decade to help fund getting dental into Medicare or more affordable housing, but Labor’s changes go nowhere near that.
“We’re in a climate crisis and there can be no new gas projects if we’re to have any chance of meeting climate targets, but the Liberals now want Labor to make it even easier to open new gas mines. Labor must rule out doing a gas tax dirty deal with the Liberals to water down environmental protections even further.”
Lines attributable to Senator Nick McKim, Greens Treasury Spokesperson:
“Albanese has now got only two pathways open to him: work with the Greens to make the gas tax stronger or jump into bed with Peter Dutton to make life easier for the gas cartel," Senator McKim said.
“The gas corporations have already bullied Labor into making its changes to the PRRT close to meaningless. Now those same corporations are using the Liberals to get their golden deal through parliament with some side benefits along the way.”
“This entire shambles reveals the true puppet masters in Australian politics and the massive purchasing power of political donations.”