An Environmentally Sparse Budget Night

An Environmentally Sparse Budget Night 150 150 Michael Ehrentraut

As floods, deforestation and rising sea levels continue to harm our planet and Australians, Environment Minister Sussan Ley is looking to provide “practical on-ground action” through this year’s budget.

The 2022-23 Federal Budget devotes significant funding of up to $6 billion to cleaning up the recent floods in NSW and Queensland. However, there’s relatively less new funding for longer term disaster preparation strategies, and no significant new announcements on climate change.

Other than the commitment of $1 billion over nine years to protect the Great Barrier Reef, spending to tackle climate change is sparse in comparison to other measures outlined in the budget.

The Treasurer has outlined the following though:

  • $100 million over three years for a fund to support community-driven action to help restore the environment.
  • $247m to encourage the private sector to invest in low emissions technologies, mainly hydrogen.
  • One of the more novel spends is $20.3 million over the next three years to plant trees to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee.
  • There’s also $53 million over five years for koala conservation and protection that was announced earlier this year.
  • And the government will give $26.8 million over five years, so just over $5 million a year, for the management and protection of Commonwealth National parks.

Whilst these changes will make some impact, there is always more than can be done in this area and with Australia committing to net-zero emissions by 2050, the environment and climate change are likely to be issues we continue to see in future budgets and at election time.

Michael Ehrentraut is Co-Founder, Chief Sustainability Officer and Chairman of the Viridian Foundation at Viridian Advisory.

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