Direct contributions and handouts to the fossil fuel industry

A number of federal and state bodies and initiatives directly contribute to the expansion and continuation of the local fossil fuel industry. The information and figures quoted on this page have been guided by the Oil Change International and Overseas Development Institute joint report: Empty promises: G20 subsidies to oil, gas and coal production, released in November 2015.

Geoscience Australia

Geoscience Australia is a government body that engages in fossil fuel exploration activities as one of its major operations. With a specific focuses on offshore reserve development, Geoscience Australia also provides exploration data and other support to fossil fuel companies.

This federal government institution devotes $29 million dollars to exploration annually, and this figure is added to by extra funding from within the national budget.

State capital injections

The Queensland and Western Australian state governments regularly hand out capital injections to state-owned electricity generators. In 2014, these injections totalled more than $600 million.

These state-owned power companies include Horizon Power, Verge Energy (Synergy Generation), CS Energy Limited and Stanwell Corporation Limited. They produced a combined total of 37,000 GWh in 2014, almost all of which came from burning fossil fuels.

A number of states have also provided capital injections to support port infrastructure developments that have enabled further coal exportation. The worst offender, Queensland, has spent over $2.2 billion of public money over the past two years on rail and port infrastructure, much of which supports fossil fuels and coal exportation in particular. Works on the RG Tanna Coal Terminal at Gladstone port alone have cost the Queensland government $135 million over the past two years.