Designed for Clive’s coal? Nats’ $250 billion fossil fuel fund raises questions

National Party and Resource Minister Keith Pitt’s proposal for a $250 billion loan scheme for resource and mining companies, with the backing of Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce, has prompted conservationists to ask whether these funds would support Clive Palmer’s Waratah coal power station proposal. 

Queensland Conservation Council Director, Dave Copeman, said “Is Keith Pitt’s proposal to bankroll fossil fuels with $250bn in taxpayer funds aimed at particular projects? Are Clive and Gina the intended beneficiaries of this scheme?” 

“This cash cow for coal proposed by Morrison Govt Minister is an indication of the likelihood the Government would back Waratah Coal’s proposal for a new coal fired power station,” Mr Copeman said.

Analysis by Queensland Conservation Council shows that Waratah Coal’s power station would only be profitable at electricity prices up to four times current levels. 

“It’s extremely unlikely that any rational bank or insurer would touch Galilee Power station with a barge pole. Keith Pitt needs to answer whether he’s discussed the idea of this loan facility with Clive Palmer or prominent fossil fuel proponents and LNP donors such as Gina Rinehart,” Mr Copeman said.

“Suggesting that taxpayers underwrite a $250 billion loan scheme to prop up the resources sector is not just an insult, it’s another sign that many of our elected representatives have a dangerous agenda linked to the fossil fuel industry,” he said. 

“Queenslanders don’t need hare-brained schemes to waste taxpayers money propping up unviable fossil fuel projects. They know these schemes will benefit fossil fuel billionaires while workers and communities pay for increasingly expensive and unreliable fossil fuels,” he said. 

“It’s deeply concerning that Morrison Government MPs are proposing plans to prop up fossil fuels, which would put the brakes on the needed transition to clean and renewable energy and the jobs that they will bring to communities,” he said.

Media Contact: Dave Copeman [email protected]