The federal government continues to squander $13 billion of taxpayers’ money in an unlawful mess that was supposed to fix this country’s greatest environmental catastrophe – the destruction of the Murray Darling Basin. It is a tale of political interference, scientific censorship and deception, pressure from lobbyists and bureaucratic cowardice. Richard Beasley SC reports.
Latest Energy & Environment Stories
During 2020, 96% of trees felled in the NSW region of Eden were turned into woodchips, with 1.5% for firewood. Elizabeth Minter and Harriet Swift report on the potentially illegal activity and the huge amount of taxpayers’ money being handed out to the timber industry.
Climate groups have repeatedly criticised Woodside over its climate denial over many years. Under heavy pressure from shareholders, will the company finally shed its laggard ways at its AGM on Thursday, asks Elizabeth Minter.
Shell's accountants predict the Dutch giant will never pay Australia for gas extracted at the Gorgon and Prelude LNG projects that it can sell for up to about $4 billion a year. Peter Milne from independent energy and climate news site Boiling Cold has the story....
BHP mulls an exit from coal. Iron ore magnate Andrew Forrest goes headlong into green steel and, by floating a large coal port on the sharemarket, the financial alchemists from Brookfield have dumped their stranded asset onto unsuspecting retail investors. Michael West reports.
The Great Artesian Basin, the forests, the premier Gladys Berejiklian: is nothing safe from the NSW Nationals?
The power of the Nationals in NSW politics poses a serious risk to the state’s environmental health. From fracking the Pillaga and pushing for coal mining on the fertile soil of the Liverpool Plains, to using the state’s remaining forests for a dirty power plant dressed up as ‘renewable’ energy, Deputy Premier John Barilaro’s fingerprints are on every policy. Suzanne Arnold reports.
Just days after its launch, I Refuse to Single Use, which mimicked Plastic Free July, has been cancelled. How much will the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, granted $444 million of taxpayers’ money, now be up for in penalties for breaking its contract with Donor Republic, the agency that devised the initiative that effectively swiped the intellectual property? Elizabeth Minter reports.
Why is the Great Barrier Reef Foundation throwing its weight behind a campaign that copies the successful grassroots initiative Plastics Free July? Climate change and its dramatic effect on the Reef remains the elephant in the room but the fossil-fuels backed GBRF continues to ignore it. Elizabeth Minter reports.
It has been 10 years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster that was fuelled by Australian uranium but neither the mining industry nor the nation’s leaders have heeded any of the lessons, instead continuing to export uranium to countries with inadequate regulation and nations beset by corruption. David Noonan and Dr Jim Green report.
Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor’s backing for the Victorian-based hydrogen export plan, which he described as a “significant project”, defies financial credibility.
Climate denial from Rupert Murdoch’s toxic Sky News, Buffy the Vampire Slayer from Junkee. This sort of “news” will be on display on Google News Showcase as a result of the government’s regressive new media laws. It is a travesty for journalism and dangerous to climate and energy transition, writes Giles Parkinson, founder of independent media site Renew Economy.
While Australia criticises other countries for their expansionist policies, it claims to own 42% of Antarctica. And although citing a “staunch commitment” to environmental protection of the Antarctic, proposes to build a $2 billion concrete aerodrome at its Davis base. Brian Toohey reports.
The “corporatisation” of Australian farming continues apace. Almost 14% of agricultural land is now owned by foreign investors who, according to a ruling by the ATO, do not have to pay capital gains tax on water rights. Callum Foote reports.
No figures are publicly available for the three largest bushfire recovery funds, which account for more than 55% of the $2.73 billion the federal Coalition has promised to devastated communities. By the end of last year, less than half of that $2.73 billion had been spent, some $500 million less than claimed by David Littleproud,
Despite unprecedented damage to forests and wildlife, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro overruled the Environment Protection Agency and determined that industrial-scale logging continues in NSW’s burnt and unburnt forests. Suzanne Arnold reports.
ABC Country Hour is marketed as the “voice of the bush”; but whose voice and whose bush? Brian Burkett, Dr Lisa Waller and Emma Mesikämmen investigate how Country Hour does the bidding of the Liberal and National Parties and their powerful friends while glossing over the likes of climate change, indigenous issues and the #watergate scandal.
Woodside dumped its oil rig into a $2 company to dodge a big clean-up but Exxon canned the $3bn sale of its Bass Strait oil and gas assets after a warning from Resources Minister Keith Pitt to ExxonMobil chief executive Darren Woods. Peter Milne from independent resources media company Boiling Cold has the story.
The silencing of environmental scientists, as revealed in a study late last year, is profoundly damaging to our democracy, wastes taxpayers’ money, takes a huge personal toll, allows fake news to proliferate and short-changes the public. Elizabeth Minter reports.
Meteorological services around the world have embraced climate attribution science, which ascertains the effect of climate change on extreme weather events. Not so Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, which is remarkably coy about its work in this field. Sandi Keane and Tasha May report.
“The hottest play on the planet,” Keith Pitt calls it. Resources Minister Pitt and his government are keen to open up the Northern Territory to gas fracking but, if the NT’s Beetaloo Basin is so “hot” for investors, then why do they need public money to drill it? Even more bizarrely, the industry has made it clear that it does not want public subsidies but Pitt and Co appear determined to throw public money at the gas companies anyway. Callum Foote and Michael West report on another extraordinary case of corporate welfare, environmental destruction and the political donors and large US hedge funds who we are all subsidising.
While most Australians were settling into holiday mode last week, the Government gifted another $130 million Christmas present to Woodside to help the oil and gas titan clean up its own mess. Callum Foote and Michael West report on the latest instalment of the Northern Endeavour debacle – a sneaky slug to taxpayers.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt ploughed ahead with a “beach nourishment” project in his electorate even though the Victorian government had decided that such short-term fixes were a case of throwing away good money. Dr Sarah Russell reports.
New documents reveal a valuation of just $1.4 million for the water rights sold by Angus Taylor’s old company to Barnaby Joyce’s department. Unfortunately, the government was guided by a later, far higher valuation for the controversial water rights. Jommy Tee’s latest investigation is further compelling evidence of the drastic need for a federal corruption commission with teeth.
Thanks Woodside. Taxpayers are on the hook for the $200 million-plus clean-up of an ageing oil production platform moored in the Timor Sea. Is Exxon next to shirk its oil rig clean up in the Bass Strait? Callum Foote reports.
Hundreds of communities across Australia are hurtling towards the coal and gas cliff as politicians obsess over Cartier watches and pandemic politics. Michael West reports on the spectre of plunging demand for fossil fuels and the savage effects it will reap on regional communities.
Investor State Dispute Settlement processes in trade agreements hit the headlines when US multinational Philip Morris tried to sue Australia over its tobacco plain packaging laws. Australian mining companies are increasingly using ISDS processes and are being awarded billions based on dubious calculations of potential lost profits by unaccountable international tribunals. Patricia Ranald reports.