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Community members ask why taxpayers are fuelling mining industry subsidies

May 2, 2013

This Friday 3 May at 9.30 am members of the Canberra community will be heading to the petrol station at the corner of Mort and Girrahween Streets to alert motorists to the major fuel discounts being handed out to the mining industry at their expense.

The event is part of a series of rolling actions happening across Australia in the lead up to the May 14 Federal budget, calling for a substantial reduction in the $10 billion dollars in fossil fuel subsidies currently handed to big polluters every year.

Local resident Rebecca Horridge says “Every year over $10 billion of taxpayer money is spent subsidising big polluters, including some of the world’s most profitable mining companies. We could be spending this on renewable energy, health, light rail, meeting Canberra’s 40% Greenhouse reduction target for 2020. Or we could spend the $10 billion on national priorities like the National Disability Insurance Scheme ($8 billion or more per year), the Gonski education reforms ($5 billion per year) or the National Broadband Network ($37.4 billion).”

A broad coalition of environmental groups, including Climate Action Canberra, Environment Victoria, Australian Conservation Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Market Forces, 100% Renewable Energy, has launched a major nation-wide campaign calling on both the Government and Opposition to commit to a substantial reduction in tax payer funded subsidies set to be given to the country’s biggest polluters at the upcoming Federal Budget.

A campaign website was recently launched featuring a petition to government and an overview of the top four polluting subsidies:

Market Forces spokesperson Julien Vincent said, “The federal government committed at the G20 meeting in 2009 to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. This should be a serious and urgent priority to free up money for government priorities such as health, education or public transport, and stop the gravy train for polluting industries.”

Leading international organisations including the World Bank, the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United Nations have all called for an end to government subsidies for fossil fuels.

Polling this year by Essential research indicated that a majority of Australians – 64% disapproved of the current petrol and diesel subsidies (over $2 billion) to the mining sector.*


More information about the campaign and a backgrounder on the key beneficiaries of fossil fuel subsidies is available here:

Photo Opportunity: Local community members will gather at 9.30 am on Friday 3 May, next to the petrol price board at the service station on the corner of Mort and Girrahween Streets, with a giant sign reading:
‘Mining Industry saves 32c per litre. Paid for by Australian taxpayers.’

Photos will be made available after the event for download from

Local Contact: Leon Arundell, Secretary, Climate Action Canberra
ph 0431 979 184

Market Forces: Julien Vincent ph 0419 179 529

Polling reference:

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