2022 Budget Wrap

The Federal Budget includes some excellent wins for Queensland communities, nature and wildlife – including the axing of two damaging dam developments and the introduction of a range of new funding initiatives for nature conservation and tackling climate change. 

QCC particularly welcomes the reversal of the Morrison Government’s decision to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on two environmentally-disastrous new dams in Queensland.

Other stand-out announcements include more funding for Great Barrier Reef recovery, and $20 billion for Rewiring the Nation. 

The Federal Budget includes $204million for Great Barrier Reef recovery.

We also welcome initiatives to help prepare Queenslanders for a clean energy future, including funding for community batteries to help more communities store power generated through solar panels. 

Many Queenslanders are doing it tough as electricity prices soar, so new initiatives to reduce this strain on household budgets by easing access to clean, green, cheap renewable energy are overdue.

While the immediate driver of high electricity prices is fossil fuel costs going through the roof, high prices are also the long-term cost of more than nine years of inaction by the Morrison Government on transforming our electricity system. 

Key highlights from the budget include:

  • Axing the Morrison Government’s previous commitment to provide $483 million of taxpayer’s funds to subsidise construction of Urannah Dam in Queensland.
  • Axing the proposed $4.5bn Hells Gate Dam, previously announced by former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce MP. 
  • $204m for Great Barrier Reef recovery, including ‘blue carbon’ projects to support ecosystem restoration.
  • $20bn for rewiring the nation (primarily concessional loans) 
  • $670m over six years to protect Australia’s iconic species and landscapes, help conserve World Heritage listed properties and wetlands and expand funding for Indigenous Protected Areas.
  • $90m for Landcare rangers.
  • $91.1 million for clean-up and restoration of urban river and water areas and local species protection.
  • $224.3 million for  Community Batteries for Household Solar Program
  • $102.2m for 85 solar banks
  • $630.4m for disaster resilience projects and initiatives by state, territory and local government.
  • $20.3m for climate farming outreach with Australian farmers and First Nations peoples

While the budget is overwhelmingly positive in its commitment to put communities, nature and our climate to the top of the priority list, there is still room for improvement. 

While the $224.3 million Community Batteries for Household Solar Program is a really welcome start that could make a difference for struggling households, it can’t make up for more than nine years of inaction by the Morrison Government, 

Unfortunately, Queenslanders are likely to be bearing the brunt of higher electricity prices because we don’t yet have the renewables, storage or transmission we need to keep power prices under control. 

More investment is needed into battery storage sooner rather than later.