Another day, another $100m subsidy to coal

The Australian government’s settlement with the owners of a coal ship represents another subsidy to the coal industry.

With the government settling for $39.3 million while estimating clean up costs of $140 million, the difference represents a cost to taxpayers and or our environment of over $100 million.

It’s not clear whether the Australian government will now only do one-third of the clean up job, or whether they’ll cover the $100m extra from taxes raised on other Queensland business or by reducing spending on services for Queenslanders.  

“At $140m, the damaged caused by this one accident represents nearly 10% of the coal royalties paid by all coal mines in Queensland this year ($1.7b),” said Rod Campbell, Director of Research at The Australia Institute.

“$140 million is three times more than the New Acland Stage 3 project will pay to Queensland in royalties for the entire life of the project.

“It would take the Adani Carmichael project nearly 3 years of operations to pay $140 million in royalties based on their own optimistic numbers.

“The coal industry is a leaner, not a lifter in the Queensland economy when we consider the environmental costs and the $8 billion the Queensland Government spent on subsidising infrastructure for the industry during the boom,” Campbell said.

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