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Treasury tight-lipped on Rudd's G20 commitment on fossil fuel subsidies

With Australia due to present a progress report on Kevin Rudd's commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies at a G20 meeting in Korea this weekend, Treasury has refused to provide any information on this progress report to Senate Estimates hearings today.

Mr Rudd committed at the G20 leaders' meeting in Pittsburgh last September to prepare implementation plans and timelines for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. This weekend's meeting in Busan, Korea, is supposed to be a final review of plans prior to the leaders' meeting in Toronto at the end of June.

"Australians have a right to know whether this will be yet another Rudd commitment sacrificed in the face of mining industry complaints," said Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne.

"Mr Rudd caved in to the fossil fuel sector in the emissions trading debate, finally presenting a policy that effectively paid them to keep polluting for the foreseeable future.

"Now, in the middle of a pitched battle with the mining sector, is Mr Rudd prepared to fulfil his G20 commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies such as the fuel tax credit miners receive, the subsidies for exploration, accelerated depreciation and the Fringe Benefits Tax Concession for company vehicles?

"Or will Mr Rudd ditch his G20 commitment in the lead up to President Obama's visit to Australia?

"Many eyes will be on Busan this weekend when we will learn, through an international meeting, what Treasury would not tell elected Senators today."

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