The second of The Tree’s new series of cartoons from the Walkley Award-winning First Dog On The Moon is now out, just in time for The Australia Institute’s new research into the subsidies Australian State Governments give to the mining industry.
The industry has soaked up almost $18 billion a year in assistance from the states, with Queensland being the biggest spender at $9.5 billion. This does not include Federal Government assistance (such as the diesel rebate), estimated at around $4.5 billion a year, and despite the huge sums being thrown at the industry (of which coal takes the lion’s share), Australian’s are not getting much back for their dollars. Almost 60 per cent of the royalties paid by the miners are returned in assistance, and given that the industry is more than four-fifths owned by foreign companies much of the profit ends up going overseas as well.
But at least it’s not doing any damage to health, the environment or the global climate. Oh, wait.
Australia isn’t going it alone on fossil fuel subsidies though. The IMF estimates handouts to polluters worldwide to be around US$2 trillion a year.