The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has demanded full transparency in climate reporting after documents released under Freedom of Information (FOI) show that the Federal Government purposefully withheld the latest round of quarterly pollution data.
The ACF has accused the government of deliberately holding of releasing the report, timing its release to coincide with the interim findings of the Banking Royal Commission in an attempt to diffuse the negative findings.
ACF Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy, said this was not the first time there had been evidence of political interference in the release of Australian emissions data to try limit the attention it receives.
Previous FOI documents have shown the Federal Government sat on almost a year’s worth of emissions data for months after it was ready. At other times the data has been slipped out in the week before Christmas as a Ministerial reshuffle was announced and late at the end of the Federal Budget week. In 2015 the data was released on Christmas Eve itself.
“Let’s be clear, these are deliberate decisions to try hide critical information from the Australian public because our government is embarrassed it has no plan to cut climate pollution,” Ms O’Shanassy said.
“It would be a national scandal if the Australian Government held back bad unemployment or Gross Domestic Product figures. This is no different.
“The Morrison Government is making strong statements about its policies’ ability to meet emissions reduction targets. A fundamental pillar of democracy is for the public to be given the tools to assess these types of claims.
“It’s sad that we cannot trust the Federal Coalition Government to treat something as basic as primary data with respect. The responsibility for the preparation and release of Australia’s emissions data should now be given to one of our well-equipped independent bodies working on climate change, like the Clean Energy Regulator or the Climate Change Authority."