Leading article Australia

The Finkel farrago

17 June 2017

9:00 AM

17 June 2017

9:00 AM

By what authority does the Turnbull government believe it has a mandate to lay waste to the economy and destroy our children’s patrimony? And by what authority does the Shorten opposition believe it has a mandate to do even worse?

These two seem to want to turn us into the Venezuela of the South Seas. With the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela’s politicians reduced their once proud country into importing petrol, sustained blackouts and food queues. Is this what Turnbull and Shorten want for Australia?

Don’t get excited looking for answers to our energy crisis within the pages of the Finkel ‘blueprint’. It will in no way cure the disaster that is the Renewables Energy Target and it won’t reduce the exorbitant electricity bills the politicians have imposed on the nation. Finkel in no way questions the Turnbull government’s disgraceful commitment to the Paris Accord, announced the very day after Donald Trump was elected, to do what India, China and Trump’s US don’t even promise to do and which many other signatories will never do − cut CO2 emissions savagely by 26 to 28 per cent by 2030.

The reductions Finkel promises are just not real. While inexplicably increasing the target to a Labor-lite 42 per cent, Finkel claims prices won’t rise as fast as at present. This is explained by − you guessed it − a computer projection. Like the IPCC’s disastrously wrong climate modelling, perhaps? Another application, perhaps, of the principle purgamentum init exit purgamentum – garbage in, garbage out.

One caller to Alan Jones’ vast radio audience summed it up: the electricity bill for a similar business to his in America is about one third of his local bill. Our politicians are forcing him to move his business there. This is not an isolated example. Since the politicians began their insane meddling in the market, wholesale electricity prices have gone from around $50 a megawatt hour to about $150 − a disaster for just about every business dependent on electricity. Meanwhile, the electricity bills of the nation’s struggling families are going through the roof. And for what? This insanity won’t change the temperature by any discernible amount, as the brilliant Ian Plimer points out in this week’s issue.

With the exception of Tony Abbott and the 22 ‘braves’ in the partyroom, as well as Cory Bernardi and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, neither side of politics could care less about the fact that they’ve succeeded in turning this very low energy cost country into a nation with one of the world’s highest energy costs.

With their own hypocritically massive carbon footprints, all our politicians seem to think about is lining their own pockets. Even those rivers of gold they garner from each and every first preference vote are not enough. They’re open to generous ‘donations’ from sources close to the Chinese Communist Party, even when they’re warned against this by ASIO. There’s a stench of treachery about politicians who accept these ‘donations’ and happily agree to the bargain basement sell-off of our prime agricultural land as well as heritage and even security assets to much of the same source. And when they leave Parliament early, declaring solemnly it’s to spend more time with the family, their very generous pensions are not enough – they sign up, sometimes almost immediately, to massive returns as door openers, deal greasers, lobbyists or other sleazy activities.

They’d better wake up before the people, who increasingly suspect or realise they’re being taken for a ride, throw them out. An Essential poll reveals not only Liberal voters (55:15) but all voters (47:21) are are now far more concerned that rising energy costs and the stability of the energy supply should be prioritised over reducing carbon emissions.

Both the ‘Turnbull Coalition Team’ and Labor have been warned.

Gillard’s folly

Quelle surprise! A draft paper by the Productivity Commission on the costs of the $22 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme specifically points the finger of blame at the Gillard government for jeopardising the entire project with its poor ‘planning processes, supporting infrastructure and market development’. Worse, the ‘success and financial stability’ of the entire project has been put ‘at risk’ by the Gillard government’s unseemly haste to strike ill-considered deals. Yet rather than using this analysis to slam its political opponents and drastically cut back on an unaffordable scheme, the Turnbull government has adopted the program. As usual, taxpayers are the biggest losers.

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