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Media Release: Community members ask why taxpayers are fuelling mining industry subsidies ?

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:


Bimblebox – the other side of Australia’s mining boom

The Canberra Premiere screening of Bimblebox will be held the Haydon Allen Lecture Theatre (‘The Tank’) at ANU, at 5 7pm on Saturday the 8th September.

 Screening, hosted by the ANU Environment Collective and Climate Action Canberra, will be followed by a panel discussion of speakers:
Shane Rattenbury – ACT Greens MLA for Molonglo, Paola Cassoni – Co-owner, Bimblebox Nature Refuge, Megan Evans – Researcher, Fenner School ANU,

The instigator and reluctant star of a new feature-length documentary, Bimblebox, will travel to Canberra next week to show the film which raises awareness, about her plight to protect her Nature Refuge from Clive Palmer’s China First Coal Mine and the broader battle in the bush to protect livelihoods and culture from encroachment of coal and coal seam gas mining.

Directed by Michael O’Connell, Bimblebox, is about much more than the Paola Cassoni’s Bimblebox Nature Refuge in Western Central Queensland, it is a cautionary tale, exposing the effects of mining across the Hunter Valley, the Illawarra, the Bowen Basin and Darling Downs, warning what might be in store for other regions if planned expansions of the coal and CSG industries go ahead.

This documentary was born out of the necessity,” Cassoni said, “to let the broader public know that our bush, our communities, our farms and our waters are going through a radical transformation.”

“It shows the daily battles and frustrations of ordinary people in dealing with both mining corporations and an indifferent Government. It’s more than a hint that we need a new direction in energy consumption both at home and globally.”

“Record melting of arctic ice indicates global climate change is happening faster than most climate scientists expected. In this era the expansion of the coal industry is indefensible. Coal seam gas expansion is also an unacceptable threat to our environment. We must switch to renewable energy sources quickly ” said Rebecca Horridge from Climate Action Canberra

Find the event on Facebook here:!/events/460668050645239/



MEDIA RELEASE: Friday 29 June 2012

On Monday 2 July, Canberrans will be gathering at lunchtime in Garema Place to celebrate the long-awaited start of a price on carbon pollution.

“Thank you to all those who have worked for this new legislation.”  said Climate Action Canberra convener, Rebecca Horridge. “We are glad that we now have financial motivation for the high carbon polluters to transition to low carbon technology  and tax breaks for ordinary Australians to offset costs”.

“The establishment of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation is also important as we hope that a major portion of its $10 billion investment will help create clean energy sources through loans. This investment will be funded from the revenue raised by Australia’s top 300 polluters, creating new jobs and generating less carbon emissions.“ Horridge said.

Australia has now joined a raft of other countries, such as South Korea, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Costa Rica, some USA states and the  UK all taking positive climate action by implementing a price on carbon.

We are moving in the right direction but the climate science is telling us that the government needs to take the next necessary steps:

  • We need to aim higher than a 5% reduction in our emissions by 2020.  Australia needs to reduce its contribution to the climate emergency that is causing extreme weather such as cyclones, floods and droughts; causing misery in many places.
  • We are a sundrenched country. The government should be leading by offering loans to kick start investment in large scale solar power production to replace the fossil fuels that are threatening our global future.

Media call, interviews and photo opportunity at 12.45 pm:  Monday 2 June 2012, near the Merry-Go-Round, City Walk, Civic, Canberra City.

What’s happening:  Climate Action Canberra, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, SEE Change and Canberra Loves 40% will be handing out free cakes and apples.

Sunny on Stilts, our solar mascot will be there.

Six foot thankyou cards.


Adam Huttner-Koros, Australian Youth Climate Coalition Media Adviser, 0403 802 165

MEDIA RELEASE: 28.3.2012:
Climate Action Canberra is calling on Gai Brodtmann, Andrew Leigh, Kate Lundy and Gary Humphries to build big solarLocal community group, Climate Action Canberra today got to work on building support for big solar power plants in the ACT and all over Australia and called on MPs representing the ACT, Gai Brodtmann and Andrew Leigh and Senators Kate Lundy and Gary Humphries to get behind a $10 billion fund for renewable energy.

“Australia is one of the sunniest countries on earth so in 2012 it’s crazy that we’re not using the sun to provide us with large amounts of safe, clean electricity,” said Rebecca Horridge, spokesperson for Climate Action Canberra.

Collective Climate Action Canberra and the ANU Environment Group are gathering in Union Court at the ANU this Thursday 29th March at lunchtime to celebrate the launch of the big solar campaign in Canberra.

From noon there will be music and speakers from 100% Renewable Energy, Beyond Zero Emissions and at 12.45pm Steve Blume will present a short talk about solar energy in Australia.( Steve Blume is President, Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES), and Vice President Public Affairs, International Solar Energy Society (ISES)].

At 1.30 we will gather with our Mascot Sunny [on stilts] for a photo to show our mass support for big solar.

The ACT leads Australia in real action for solar power as the ACT government has initiated Australia’s first “reverse auction” for a large scale solar feed in tariff.

We now need our Federal politicians, Senators Lundy and Humphries and MPs Leigh and Brodtmann to lead the charge in bringing big solar to the rest of Australia.
“We know that big solar can bring lots of new jobs and investment to regional Australia, so it’s time to get on with the job,” said Ms Horridge

“Our fossil fuel powered grid is charging us more and more every year for electricity so all Australians need technologies like big solar that can provide affordable power into the future.

“The cost of PV Solar has come down 80% in the last 18 months and solar is reaching grid-parity in many parts of the country.

“Solar thermal plants with storage facilities are providing electricity day and night in places like Spain right now.

“Why are Australians paying for coal and gas when we could power ourselves with the
sun, which is always free.

The government, together with the Greens and Independents, announced the formation of a $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) in 2011, to fund new renewable energy projects, including big solar. Draft legislation to set it up is expected to be brought into parliament in the first half of 2012 but the CEFC faces opposition from the Coalition.

“The Liberal Party have a chance to get behind big solar by supporting the Clean Energy Finance Corporation in parliament.

“We’re calling on Senator Humphries to put aside party politics and get behind big solar for the nation. We want to see bipartisan support for this crucial nation-building infrastructure.

“We’re calling on Senator Humphries to throw his support behind the CEFC in parliament and ensure that it is an effective vehicle for the construction of new big solar plants.

0411 098 853, Lindsay Soutar, Campaign Coordinator, 100% Renewable
Further information

Climate Action Canberra is a group of Canberra residents concerned about climate change.


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