AAP FactCheck

Restoring confidence in public statements by independently testing and verifying the facts

Is there more funding in the federal budget for a Queensland ring road than for climate change?

By James Lane

The Statement

“There’s more new money (in the budget) for the Cairns Ring Road than for climate change.”

Greens climate spokesman Adam Bandt. April 2, 2019.

The Analysis

Greens climate spokesman Adam Bandt says in the federal budget the coalition government plans to spend $189 million over four years on its "signature" climate policy - Climate Solutions Package. He claims more money has been allocated for a ring road in Cairns. [1]

AAP FactCheck examined Mr Bandt’s claim and compared funding in the budget papers released on Tuesday.

AAP FactCheck contacted Mr Bandt's office to clarify the source of the climate change funding comparison referred to in the quote. We were advised it was contained in the Climate Solutions Fund.

According to the budget papers, the government will provide $2 billion over 15 years, including $189.1 million over four years to 2022-23, to establish a Climate Solutions Fund. [2]

The fund is part of the government's Climate Solutions Package of $3.5 billion over 15 years.

The Climate Solutions Fund will partner with farmers, local governments and businesses to deliver practical climate solutions to reduce emissions by 103 million tonnes by 2030.

In announcing the fund in February, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it would ensure that Australia meets its 2030 target of lowering emissions by 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels. [3]

Regarding Mr Bandt’s claim on funding for the Cairns Ring Road, the budget document titled, ‘Investing in our community. Congestion busting infrastructure now and for the future’, shows $287 million has been allocated for the project. [4]

The evidence shows Mr Bandt's quote is misleading as the $189 million for climate change refers to part of the government's $2 billion over 15 years for the Climate Solutions Fund.

AAP FactCheck concludes the checkable claim is mostly false.

The Verdict

  • Mostly False - Mostly false with one minor element of truth.

The References

1: ‘Budget 2019: Coalition cuts climate solutions fund by $70m a year’. By Paul Karp. The Guardian. April 3, 2019: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/02/coalition-climate-solutions-fund-must-last-further-five-years

2: ‘Budget 2019-20. Budget Measures Budget Paper No.2 2019-20’ (page 73-74). April 2, 2019: https://www.budget.gov.au/2019-20/content/bp2/download/bp2.pdf

3: ‘Morrison pledges $2b for emissions fund’. Perth Now. February 25, 2019: https://www.perthnow.com.au/politics/morrison-to-announce-2b-emissions-fund-ng-s-1927257

4: ‘Budget 2019-20. Investing in our community. Congestion busting infrastructure now and for the future’ (page 17): https://budget.gov.au/2019-20/content/download/community.pdf

Revision History

  • First published April 3, 2019 18:50 AEDT