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Queensland Senator Matt Canavan says the State Government has “run up the white flag” to environmental activists.

“Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles has surrendered to green extremists,” Senator Canavan said today. “Some green groups flagrantly break the law and trash our reputation as a tourist destination but he says that’s okay.

“In fact, he not only says it’s okay but also reckons it should be tax-deductible. According to the Minister, every taxpayer in Australia should be subsidising these extremists for breaking laws and rubbishing Queensland.

“The Labor Party is giving in to extremists, and it’s selling out jobs here in Central Queensland and in North Queensland to stay in power,” he said.

Senator Canavan was responding to statements by Mr Miles that the State Minister supports environmental activists continuing to hold tax-deductible status for donations they receive.
 
Mr Miles was reported as saying: “I think if members of the public, if citizens of Queensland or Australia want to put their hard-earned cash into an organisation that fights to protect our environment, well I think they should be able to tax-deduct it.” *
 
Senator Canavan said: “Of course, what Mr Miles is missing is that everyone in the Australian community is paying for that tax deduction through foregone income tax. I looked at just over 100 of the 600 environmental organisations currently granted tax-deductible-donation status and those 100 receive more than $100 million a year in tax-deductible donations, meaning the Australian community effectively paid about one-third of the value of those donations, or around $30 million.
 
“All organisations and individuals have the right to freely express their views but there is no right to receive a tax deduction to help spread those views. Free speech does not necessitate free funding.”
 
Senator Canavan said around 12% of those organisations were involved in unlawful activities, some boasting about breaking the law and asking for tax deductible donations to pay the fines and penalties.

“The Labor Party has given in to environmental activists who want to shut down development in Queensland just so it can get preference votes from Greens Party voters in inner Brisbane.”

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