Illawarra Greens. Social justice, environmental sustainability, peace and non-violence and grassroots democracy.

Greens candidates call for fossil fuel tax to fund increasing costs of climate disasters

Wollongong City Council Greens candidate for Lord Mayor Jess Whittaker is calling for a new tax on profits from fossil fuel companies to help local governments recover from increasing natural disasters.

We’ve just seen another disastrous flood event hit NSW and the Illawarra,” Jess said. “The cost of recovery will fall on residents, local, state and federal governments. Our insurance premiums will rise. Meanwhile the major fossil fuel companies continue to exacerbate this problem while making huge profits from burning fossil fuels. These companies also received $11.6 billion in federal and state government subsidies in 2021-2022. This is unsustainable.”

“Fossil fuel companies currently aren’t obliged to do anything to support communities that suffer from the problem they are causing. We estimate an appropriate tax on fossil fuel companies could generate around $8 billion dollars each year. This could help improve our stormwater and sewerage systems which often fail in extreme rainfall and flooding events. Our coastal infrastructure isn’t ready to deal with 1-in-50 year storm surges that will soon occur every single year. All these costs are impacting local government budgets, which means we have less money to pay for basic services like providing libraries, skateparks, cycleways and footpaths.”

Greens candidate for Ward 1 Martin Cubby said: “We know that climate change creates greater fire risks and warming of our oceans fuelled by the rising greenhouse gases is also changing the amount of moisture in our atmosphere, so when big rain events do come, they are often more severe and damaging to homes and council’s roads, parks, reserves, beaches. We need fossil fuel companies to pay up. If they expect to stay in business between now and 2050, they need to pay a damage and loss tax until they stop operating.”

Both Jess and Martin, if elected, will call on Wollongong Council to be a clear voice for our community as we deal with other fossil fuelled disasters. “We are a resilient community, but we need a better model to fund the recovery of increasingly frequent climate events,” Martin said “This tax will help Wollongong prepare for an uncertain future and will help prevent essential infrastructure and services local government provides being cut to clean up the mess fossil fuel multinationals have caused.”


For media enquiries: Jess Whittaker

Phone: 0433 324 953

Email: [email protected]