Mining and Heavy Industries

Canavan wants limits on green tax breaks

Federal resources minister Matt Canavan has called for changes to the tax legislation that grants tax-deductable status to donations to environmental lobby groups.

Canavan reportedly spoke to the AFR this week, noting that while individuals are limited to $1500 in tax deductions on donations to political parties, there are no such limitations on green groups, despite their political motivations.

“Because these are unrestricted, you could donate $1 million and get a $1 million tax deduction,” Canavan was quoted as saying.

“It’s the ultimate form of negative gearing.”

His comments came after a major protest at Parliament House last week by the Stop Adani Alliance, which is led by former Greens leader Bob Brown.

The group was calling for an inquiry into a proposal to loan Adani $1 billion in taxpayer money to help build a railway line for the miner’s planned Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.

Canavan reportedly criticised the protestors, saying they were “fly-in-fly-out,” and didn’t actually live anywhere near the region where the project will be built.

“I believe there should be tax deductions for environmental organisations because mos4t of them do very very good work,” he was quoted as saying.

“But there is a small minority that is engaged in political activism and there’s a real question whether government tax deductions should go to political activities.”

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