The Australian Government provides several subsidies aimed explicitly at promoting fossil-fuel exploration and production. In total, these subsidies are worth between $2.9 and $3.5 billion each year.

According to a report by Oil Change International and the Overseas Development Institute, in 2013/13 and 2013/14, these Commonwealth Government subsidies were:

  • Exploration development incentive: $23 to $37 million
  • Fuel tax credits to mining companies for fuel consumption: $2,135 to $2,300 million
  • Deduction for capital works expenditure: $464 million
  • Accelerated depreciation for fossil-fuel assets: $225 to $460 million
  • Capital expenditure deduction for mining, quarrying, and petroleum operations: $2 million
  • Favourable uplift rate for Petroleum Resource Rent Tax: $18 to $180 million
  • Supplementary exploration funding for Geoscience Australia: $30 to $100 million

The annual total of these subsidies is $2,897 to $3,543 million.

Some Australian States also provide significant subsidies for fossil-fuel exploration; these have not been included. Indirect subsidies, such as infrastructure developments and favourable purchase contracts with government-owned generators, are also excluded.


According to a report by the Market Forces Group, the fossil fuel industry has secured more than $36 billion in loans from Australia’s four big banks over the past seven years.

Despite their claims of sustainability, the big banks have loaned six times as much to fossil fuel projects as they have loaned for renewable energy projects.

  • ANZ loaned $12.6 billion for fossil fuel projects and $2 billion to renewables projects;
  • Commonwealth – $9.8 billion to fossil fuel and $0.76 billion to renewables;
  • NAB – $8.3 to fossil fuel and $2.49 to renewables;
  • Westpac – $5.9 billion to fossil fuel and $1.16 billion to renewables.