A Queensland Resources Council boss has said the mining industry receives
A Queensland Resources Council boss has said the mining industry receives "nine-tenths of nothing" from the government in subsidies. Contributed

Group calls for politicians to refuse fossil fuel donations

AN ENVIRONMENTAL group is calling on politicians to turn down donations from fossil fuel companies in the lead-up to the Federal Election.

But the resource industry has denied it receives support from the government and the campaign is flawed.

In a campaign launched this week 350.org Australia claimed resource companies donated $3.7 million to major parties in the last three years - and received $7.7 billion in subsidies in return.

But Queensland Resources Council boss Michael Roche denied mining companies get subsidies - and is campaigning for fee and royalty relief for the industry.

In a recent interview with APN Newsdesk Mr Roche said miners received "nine-tenths of nothing" from the government in subsidies.

Similarly the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her government "would not give taxpayer money to help private enterprise". But in parliament this week the government announced a two-year, 50% concession to resource explorers - which Mr Roche praised.

The 350.org Australia campaign, Pollution Free Politics, includes a table listing only Greens politicians, two independents and two retiring Labor MPs as having accepted the group's "pollution free pledge".

350.org Australia chief Blair Palese said it was "absurd" to suggest miners did not get government help.

"Those in the fossil fuel business are due to receive $7.7 billion in subsidies in 2016-17, with the mining industry receiving the lion's share," he said.

"In fact, miners who receive the fuel tax credit are receiving a double subsidy - they don't have to pay fuel tax and they don't have to pay for polluting our environment."

But the Minerals Council of Australia has argued in a submission to parliament that fuel tax credits are not a subsidy but a way of stopping the fuel being taxed twice - when it is used and when the business pays tax. - APN NEWSDESK