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Greens warn coal and gas undermine future industries

Tax incentives for green hydrogen and critical minerals have hit a speed bump with the coalition opposing the plan and the Greens pushing for a ban on new coal and gas as well as other assurances.

With the coalition poised to oppose Labor's signature Future Made in Australia industry policy, which includes production tax credits for hydrogen and critical minerals, the government will be banking on the Greens' support for it to pass the parliament.

Greens Leader Adam Bandt is broadly supportive of green hydrogen and critical minerals industries and the high-quality jobs they will create.

But his party will wait to see the draft legislation before outlining its position and will be on the lookout for a few specified attributes.


"Are they going to create the same kind of problems for critical minerals that they've created for gas, where Australia's awash with the stuff, but it's all going overseas, and there's not enough left for us to make the transition?" he asked on ABC TV on Sunday.

Gas is burnt off at BlueScope Steelworks in Port Kembla
The Greens want a ban on new coal and gas projects. (Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS)

Some level of public ownership of critical industries would similarly help avoid the "same mistakes" made with the gas sector where "big corporations do whatever they like, and then all of a sudden, it creates a series of problems".

The minor party will also be looking for assurance the push into these industries will come alongside a ban on new coal and gas.

"If there's going to be a big expansion in these areas like green metals, like green steel and green hydrogen, then you can't have the labour and the investment being sucked up in new coal and gas mines that are running out past 2050," Mr Bandt said.

The coalition will oppose the production tax credits worth $13.7 billion for hydrogen and critical minerals.

Despite former coalition governments supporting these emerging industries with grants for research and development, Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor said production tax credits were a bridge too far.

"It's the equivalent of going to every cafe owner in Australia and saying, 'you know what, we're going to give you a buck, the government's going to give you a buck every time you produce a coffee'," he told Sky News on Sunday.

"This is not how to use taxpayers' money, it's not how to build successful sectors."

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the tax credits were not hand-outs to industry.

"They're a way of ensuring taxpayers only pay when an industry succeeds," he said on Sunday.

The hydrogen and critical minerals production tax incentives would help Australia become a renewable energy superpower, Dr Chalmers said.

"Only Labor has a plan to seize the opportunities of the decades to come and build a Future Made in Australia," he said.