Greens to test Labor climate position

·2-min read

Greens leader Adam Bandt is calling on Labor to prevent "climate crime" and help stop taxpayer-funded fracking in the Beetaloo Basin.

In what the Greens view as Australia's first post-Glasgow test, the party will introduce a Senate motion on Wednesday to block the $50 million Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program.

Mr Bandt, who said drilling the Northern Territory basin could add up to 13 per cent to Australia's emissions every year, said the crossbench had the numbers to pass the motion with Labor's support.

"(They) want to use your money - public money - to open up a massive new gas climate bomb ... putting 2030 and 2050 targets out of reach," he said.

"What part of no new coal and gas don't Labor and Liberal understand?"

It comes after oil and gas giant Woodside confirmed its $16.5 billion Scarborough project in northwest Western Australia would go ahead, one Mr Bandt said would be responsible for "a billion tonnes of pollution".

Resources Minister Keith Pitt told parliament Scarborough would create thousands of construction jobs as well as 600 ongoing positions.

"We will continue to support the resources sector because this is how we pay for schooling, roads and hospitals," Mr Pitt said.

Mr Bandt said the Greens would target inner-city marginal seats at the coming federal election, particularly if Labor did not block the Beetaloo funding.

"We can have a debate ... about how quickly we need to get out of coal and gas, but what everyone else in the world seems to agree on except Liberal and Labor is that we can't open up any more."

Asked if he feared a similar approach to 2019's anti-Adani coal mine campaign could help the coalition be reelected, Mr Bandt said Labor should "stop fighting the 2019 election again".

"If Labor wants to go out actively and open up new coal and gas mines, then it is going to have to deal with the electoral consequences," he said.

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