Media Releases - 06 September 2023

Increase in NSW coal royalties welcomed but gains should be used for nature conservation

The Wilderness Society welcomes the NSW government's announcement today that coal royalties will be increased, and urges the government to allocate a significant amount of the additional $2.7 billion in funds to nature conservation.

Fossil fuels are by far the largest contributor to climate change, the impacts of which have and will continue to pose a severe threat to the natural environment that sustains us all. At the same time, nature conservation and restoration in NSW is severely underfunded, and that lack of funding is often cited as a reason that necessary protections are not put in place.

The NSW state budget is due to be released on September 19 2023. At a time of rapidly worsening climate and biodiversity crises, the NSW government must seize this opportunity to redirect additional funds to the restoration and preservation of the nature that is so significantly degraded by the coal industry—an industry which is on a trajectory towards the inevitable end of its life.

Victoria Jack, NSW Campaigns Manager for the Wilderness Society, said, “We are in the throes of both climate and biodiversity crises. The fossil fuel industry has much to answer for when it comes to their significant contributions to these problems, so it’s logical that these royalties should help fund the solution. The NSW government has an opportunity now to deploy some of these funds to restore and protect the environment that has been exploited and extracted for the benefit of vested interests.