Greens Kill Labor’s Gas Fast-track Bill

Australian Greens

The Greens have secured an agreement with the government to shelve Labor’s offshore gas fast track plan that silenced First Nations voices. After having previously publicly offered to pass government legislation if the gas fast-track legislation was shelved, the Greens will now support the electric vehicles and legislation to lift the PRRT gas tax rate.

The Resource Minister’s Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Legislation Amendment (Safety and Other Measures) Bill 2024 will be amended by the government to remove Schedule 2, Part 2, which bypassed environment laws and First Nations voices. The Greens will pass the New Vehicle Efficiency Standard Bill 2024 and the Treasury Laws Amendment (Tax accountability and Fairness) Bill 2023.

The remainder of the offshore gas bill, which deals with worker’s safety issues, will pass the Parliament today alongside the NVES and PRRT reforms.

Following this major win, the Greens will continue the fight against the government’s Future Gas Strategy and their push for more coal and gas.

The government has advised that any matters relating to this approval process will now be considered as part of the broader tranche 3 of the environment law reform, which has been delayed indefinitely and will come after tranche 2. Tranche 2 legislation has not yet been introduced and the Greens are likely to be in balance of power on that legislation. Effectively, this means any changes cannot occur before the election.

As stated by Adam Bandt MP, Leader of the Australian Greens:

“The Greens have killed Labor’s gas fast-track bill,” Mr Bandt said.

“This is a big blow to the coal and gas corporations, a big win for the climate and First Nations voices, and it happened because the Greens have power in Parliament.”

“We will continue to fight Labor’s push for more coal and gas all the way to the election and beyond. The Greens have stopped Labor’s dodgy attempt to fast-track new gas mines, but their bid to bypass environmental protections shows Labor will stop at nothing to have more coal and gas past 2050.

“Climate scientists have said there can be no new coal and gas mines, but Labor wants more. You can’t put the fire out by pouring petrol on it. You don’t fix a problem by making the problem worse. With Labor and Liberal now backing more coal and gas past 2050, only the Greens will fight for real climate action.”

As stated by Senator Dorinda Cox, Greens First Nations and Resources spokesperson:

“Gas lobbyists have unlimited access to the Albanese Labor government and think they run politics in this country at the cost of cultural heritage, free prior and informed consent and the silencing of First Nations voices. This Bill would have sold our sea country as a commodity to the highest bidder. This is not acceptable.” Senator Cox said.

“The government must now stop opening new climate and environment wrecking gas projects and look to renewable energy.”

As stated by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Greens environment spokesperson:

“Labor’s shameless attempt to bypass our already weak environment laws is dead. It’s incredible that after two years of this government, their much promised ‘fix’ to environmental laws is nowhere to be seen, while harming nature is top priority,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

As stated by Senator Nick McKim, Greens Treasury spokesperson:

“The Greens have used our balance of power to stand up to the gas corporations and deliver for the environment and for First Nations people.

“We will see an increase in tax revenue from gas corporations and the rejection of Labor’s attempt to weaken environmental protections on gas mines.

“Standing our ground on Labor’s PRRT Bill has given us the leverage to reject the agenda of the gas cartel.

“When the Government works with the Greens instead of the gas cartel, we can ensure better environmental outcomes and more revenue from a publicly owned resource.”

/Public Release. View in full here.