Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche. Mike Richards

Report claims Collingwood Park buy-back a coal subsidy

IS A government buy-back of sinking homes in Collingwood Park a coal industry subsidy?

Industry group Queensland Resources Council has slammed a green group's report which repeated an OECD claim the buy-back was government support to the industry.

The Overseas Development Institute and Oil Change International report, 'The Fossil Fuel bailout: G20 subsidies for oil, gas and coal exploration', claimed the buy-back as well as government fuel credits contributed to $4 billion in subsidies for the industry.

ODI spokeswoman Shelagh Whitley said the continued investment in fossil fuel industries was a renewable expense.

"Despite the widespread perception that renewables are costly, our research reveals that finding new fossil fuel reserves at home and abroad is costing Australian tax-payers $4 billion a year. Scrapping these fossil fuel exploration subsidies would begin to create a level playing field between renewables and fossil fuel energy," she said.

But QRC chief Michael Roche said the report was based on "discredited research of local counterparts and political activists".

"Lumped in with this report are normal business tax deductions, a scheme to encourage the uptake of ethanol and abandoned schemes such as a condensate excise exemption," he said.

"Cited as the biggest item is a fuel tax credit for the off-road use of diesel by miners that also applies to farmers, fishers, foresters and remote area operations including health clinics.

"The biggest surprise was finding that a government buy-back of homes in a subsidence zone over old underground workings near Ipswich is a fossil fuel subsidy. That says volumes about the credibility of activists masquerading as analysts."

Oil Chance International director Stephen Kretzmann said the report was released to coincide with the G20 in Brisbane later this week.

- APN NEWSDESK



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