‘Slush fund’ shows its true colours in taxpayer-funded handout to oil and gas

From Greenpeace:

A handout to the oil and gas industry by the board of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has today confirmed they are a fossil fuel slush fund set up to funnel money into dying industries.

NAIF today announced that it will provide a $18.6 million concessional loan to the company building the Onslow Marine Support Base to support shipping along the West Australian coast linked to oil and gas exports.

“Our worst fears about the NAIF have been confirmed with this announcement: it’s clear now that the NAIF is simply a slush fund set up to funnel taxpayers’ money into fossil fuel projects,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nikola Casule, said.

“While the majority of Australians want our public money spent on renewable energy projects, schools, and hospitals the NAIF are instead intent on investing in the past, not the future.

“And if Adani Group get their way we are in grave danger of seeing this board waste $1 billion more of taxpayers’ money on a rail line for a toxic coal mine.”

Polling released on the weekend showed a majority of Australians now oppose Adani’s Carmichael coal mine with two thirds of people wanting the Queensland government to use its power to veto the loan.

Last Saturday saw an unprecedented show of opposition to Adani’s Carmichael mine, with tens of thousands of Australians attending Stop Adani protests at dozens of sites around the country.

“There is a renewable energy boom happening in North Queensland right now but the government is ignoring it even as the Great Barrier Reef bleaches and Australia’s emissions rise,” Casule said.

“This decision is the result of a NAIF board that is hopelessly compromised by its links to the mining industry. The government must step in to reject any loan to Adani, and start over with a reformed, independent NAIF that puts the interests of Australians first.”

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