Fossil Fuel Watch weekly digest: June 27 – July 3

350 Australia is tracking the fossil fuel lobby and its attempts to use the Covid-19 health crisis to its advantage. There are now 62 instances of the fossil fuel lobby and pro-fossil fuel politicians calling for policy changes to benefit their interests. Below is a weekly update on developments in the area. 

Updates for 27 June – 3 July:

  • Greg Combet has resigned from the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC), as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on July 2. According to the report, Combet finished his role last Monday, and although reasons behind his departure have not yet emerged, “commission sources said the government preference had been for him to stay.”
  • Integrity concerns have been raised in relation to the NT Economic Reconstruction Commission. As reported in Crikey, the NT Commission includes two Directors of Worley: Andrew Liveris, who is the Chair, and Martin Parkinson.
  • Despite these concerns about potential conflicts of interest, Andrew Liveris has been vocal calling for development of the Beetaloo Basin, as reported in the NT news. Liveris was also the head of the controversial Manufacturing Working Group under the NCCC. It was revealed last week during a Senate Select Covid-19 Committee hearing that the final report from the Manufacturing Working Group is currently with government, but has not been publicly released.
  • The fast tracking of coal, oil and gas projects at a State and Territory level has continued. This includes the South Australian Government releasing significant oil and gas acreage.
  • Questions have been raised regarding the NSW government’s decision in June to fast track approval for a 2035 extension of Glencore’s Bulga mine under the guise of the COVID-19 economic recovery. According to Lock the Gate, the NSW Government is “breaching the public’s trust by fast-tracking a modification project for a mine that is already operating, allowing it to clear critically endangered woodland and cut its pit deeper to get more coal.”