The 2023 Federal Budget offerings for environment and climate change

“If the budget ditched the Stage 3 tax cuts, Australia could save every threatened species – and lots more”

“Scientists have estimated about $1.7bn a year is needed to fix Australia’s degraded ecosystems and wild places.”

“We can’t settle for a slow jog when the climate crisis calls for a sprint. Climate change is already reshaping our world, the government needs to fundamentally re-shape budgets to tackle it.”

All that’s been offered are token crumbs.

Budget 2023’s Plans

Thanks to:

Petroleum Resource Rent Tax Changes

The newly-announced changes to the existing petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT) is an attempt to net Australians more tax revenue from major fossil fuel producers.

The current 40% tax has been proven ineffective thanks to the number of concessions granted to oil and gas companies for exploration and development permits.

Those offsets will be limited to 90% under the new changes, which the government has said will raise an additional $2.4 billion.

However, Teal independent MPs and the Greens are both “disappointed” with the changes. They’re saying they don’t come anywhere near giving Australians a fair share of the mega profits being made by selling domestic resources on foreign markets.

“Last year our LNG exports increased by more than $40 billion – this change is going to collect little more than 1% of that each year,” Allegra Spender said.

National Net Zero Authority

The government announced on Friday that it will be creating a new agency, the National Net Zero Authority.

The new authority will be kickstarted with a $400 million package and has been described as a huge opportunity by the Climate Council.

They have said that the authority needs to take an active role in coordinating the closure of Australia’s coal-fired power stations and helping communities transition away from those jobs.

National Parks Funding

The budget has allocated $262 million over 4 years for upgrades to some national parks, including Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta. Booderee National Park, the Australian National Botanic Gardens, and 60 marine parks across the country will also receive funding.

The country’s national parks have been underfunded for a decade.

Programs to protect threatened species and eradicate invasive species have been woefully underfunded.

Australia Institute of Marine Sciences

The Australian Institute of Marine Science, headquartered in Townsville, will also be getting a $163.4 million refurb and new equipment.

This is alongside a $14.8 million bundle to protect marine habitats and remove waste from waterways.

Hydrogen Headstart

At the centre of the government’s $4 billion “renewable energy superpower” plan is a $2 billion investment in starting a ‘green’ Hydrogen program.

Environment Protection Australia

Australia will be getting a major overhaul of its environmental laws with $121 million in the budget to fund the launch of an Environmental Protection Agency. It’s mindblowing that Australian didn’t already have something like this.

The government claims: “The EPA will be a tough cop on the beat. It will transform our system of environmental approvals. It will be transparent and independent. It will make environmental assessments, decide project approvals and the conditions attached to them, and it will make sure that those conditions are being followed on the ground.” This has never happened before, but let’s wait and see.

The EPA will introduce new conservation strategies, boost protections for the environment, and aim to end extinctions in Australia.

Heard these words before?

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