‘No gas, no cash’. Taylor threatens states in the middle of Covid-19 crisis
SYDNEY, March 27, 2020 - Greenpeace Australia Pacific condemns Energy Minister Angus Taylor's threat to hold states under siege from the Covid-19 crisis to ransom over climate-wrecking fossil fuels.
In a media release published today, Mr Taylor said “no gas, no cash” unless state governments fast-track approval of fossil gas projects despite Australia being the world’s largest exporter of LNG. 
“This is the sort of funding that funds hospitals in New South Wales and Victoria – this is entirely inappropriate, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Greenpeace spokesperson Jonathan Moylan.
“Threatening to withdraw vital funding for states as they brace themselves for an unprecedented public health crisis is reckless and Angus Taylor needs to pull his head in.”
“Besides doing everything possible to flatten the curve and help protect communities from the risk of Covid-19, Australians need Mr Taylor to ensure workers have long term job prospects, which means investing in clean energy, not the fossil fuels that have provoked longer and more severe droughts and bushfire seasons.
“In the medium term, we also need to see policies that unleash Australia’s vast wind and solar resources to help Australia recover from the Covid-19 crisis as a renewable energy superpower.”
State governments rely on GST grants from the Commonwealth to fund about half of their expenditure on critical services like hospitals.
Following the 2008 global financial crisis, stimulus packages across the world were skewed disproportionately not only to the rich, but to carbon-intensive industries. Any stimulus measures must aim to keep as many people as possible healthy, safe, and certain of their future – which means dramatically reducing the burning of fossil fuels.
Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Campaigner, Martin Zavan
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