The Federal Government has pledged “real action” to help the environment. 

With climate change, deforestation and biodiversity loss continuing to ravage the planet, the Federal Government’s budget announcement this week included funding that it says will deliver “real action where it counts”.

It includes five key announcements, all of which had been previously declared:

  • $1 billion to protect the Great Barrier Reef

  • $12.4 million in relief for reef tourism operators

  • $60 million for a plastic technology fund targeting hard-to-recycle materials

  • $128.5 million to advance environmental law reform

  • $804.4 million to strengthen scientific advancements in Antarctica

The announcement also included an additional $100 million to extend the Environmental Restoration Fund (ERF) for another three years, and $11 million over two years to reform Indigenous cultural heritage reforms.

“Through this year’s Budget, we are doing even more to tackle the scourge of plastics in our environment, and we are protecting threatened species,” Environment Minister Sussan Ley said.

“The Budget provides new funding for Antarctic science and leadership, the future of the Great Barrier Reef, environmental reform and the modernisation of Indigenous heritage protection.

“This is a budget that delivers real action where it counts, a budget that works with local communities to deliver a stronger and healthier environment for all Australians.”

But the Climate Council says the Morrison government is still prioritising the fossil fuel industry over action on climate change.

“Rather than investing in a green economic future, the Federal Government has used tonight’s Budget to toss mere pennies at genuine emissions reduction initiatives, such as the regional renewable microgrids,” the Climate Council’s Nicki Hutley said.

“At the same time, significant funds are being spent on so-called ‘low emissions hydrogen’ and the costly and unproven carbon capture and storage. And a further $50 million is being directed to accelerate polluting gas projects.”

“Similarly, the temporary reduction in fuel excise – while welcome for many households – could perhaps have been better spent on supporting electric vehicles and EV infrastructure investment as well as public and active transport initiatives,” Hutley added.