Features Australia

Save Liddell or let Abbott do it

5 May 2018

9:00 AM

5 May 2018

9:00 AM

Responsible for Australia having the world’s most expensive electricity and gas, the least thing the Turnbull government could do is overrule the decision by AGL’s CEO Andy Vesey to close the crucial Liddell power station.

Vesey, here on a 457 visa and reportedly on an annual income of $6.9 million, should be warned that Liddell will be compulsorily acquired at the same price AGL boasts it paid for this publicly-owned property worth three quarters of a billion dollars: nothing, rien, nada, zero, zilch.

Incidentally, how much did the lobbyists get? And shouldn’t lobbyist’s fees and all contacts with them at all levels be a matter of public record and in real time? On that, NSW voters were recently surprised to learn an enormous contract was awarded, without going to tender, to a powerbroker lobbyist’s client.

If Turnbull can’t bring himself to issue this ultimatum, he should stand aside for the person most likely to do this, Tony Abbott.

As to ideological objections to expropriation, the same self-righteous politicians never had any qualms about  seizing farmers’ land worth around $2 billion dollars, according to Barnaby Joyce. This was to create carbon (they mean  CO2) sinks so that the politicians could strut down the Champs-Elysées proclaiming their virtue as believers in man-made global warming, an unproven theory which relies only on constantly revised-down computer projections. On that the only assessment is in the immortal maxim, purgamentum init, exit purgamentum —garbage in, garbage out.

A recent example of yet another expropriation without a brass razoo of compensation, was when the NSW Parliament righteously revoked mining licences on the basis of an ICAC report.

Since then the courageous Liberal MLC Peter Phelps, meticulously reported by the Australian’s Chris Merritt, has shown that ICAC failed to reveal that their star witness had amnesia, was brain-damaged and admitted to lying about his qualifications. This was not the first time ICAC had done this sort of thing, most notably in its outrageous pursuit of the brilliant Crown Prosecutor, Margaret Cunneen.

As a result, US investors are not only making a claim against Australia, our reputation has been trashed. Bodies like ICAC are not only dangerous, prosecutions involve inordinate delay when they’re onto something.

And yet a Shorten government would introduce this travesty federally, which tells you something about the preparation he is making to fulfil the constitutional duty to make laws for the ‘peace order and good government of the Commonwealth.’

We should instead use the ancient English and current American grand jury. By meeting in private, the rank-and-file jurors avoid the unfair trial by media for which ICAC was notorious.

As the jurors themselves decide whether or not there should be an open trial before a judge and jury, unnecessary delay is avoided.

But back to the energy mess the politicians are totally to blame for, Australians would be better informed if they listened to Alan Jones’ blistering interview with Minister Frydenberg well-described in the link: https://www.2gb.com/alan-jones-tells-energy-minister-some-home-truths-youve-sold-political-soul/

Because Frydenberg and Turnbull generally have a dream run on this in the sympathetic mainstream media, this interview should be heard across the land and especially by the young.

Another interview which should also be made widely available is with the learned scientist Professor Ian Plimer on Outsiders  at skynews.com.au/details/_5770588618001.

To head off the inevitable complaints like those about my piece on republicanism in theconversation.com that I had not declared my relationship to Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, I must reveal that our trusty and well-beloved editor was involved in that interview.

In the interview with Frydenberg, Alan Jones pulls no punches, accusing the minister of not believing in the theory of man-made global warming and of having sold out his political soul for the sake of ministerial office.

Unsurprisingly, Frydenberg denies this, pointing out that Australia produces 1.3 per cent of the world’s emissions.  ‘How wonderful to stuff up the economy for the sake of 1.3 per cent of the world’s emissions,’ Alan Jones responds, pointing out that there are, or soon will be 1,600 new coal-fired plants in 62 countries, just about everywhere but Turnbull’s Australia, and that these will increase the world’s coal-fired power capacity by a massive 43 per cent.

As much of the coal will come from Australia, he asks the eminently reasonable question why our politicians demonise the use of coal in Australia. (The same question could be asked about uranium.)

Alan Jones then makes the point that Turnbull’s folly, Snowy Hydro 2.0, will cost $10 billion, but that the key financial details are being kept secret from the taxpayers.

Frydenberg claims this for protection from  competitors. Senate questioning reveals the obvious, that competition will come from coal-fired stations. Is it that the politicians don’t want voters to know that coal-fired power is far cheaper?

When reminded that $36 billion in subsidies are to be paid to renewables, Frydenberg says they’re to be  phased out, but not until 2030.

By that time, when he and Turnbull will be enjoying their gold-plated superannuation and possibly jobs for the boys in New York or London, vast numbers of businesses including farms will be forced to close, jobs lost and food not produced with the danger that Australia could end up as the Venezuela of the South Seas.

What Frydenberg won’t admit is the point scientist Ian Plimer makes: reducing harmless CO2 emissions is totally incompatible with providing cheap and reliable power. You do one or the other, not both.

We had a fine electricity market before the politicians ruined it. The solutions are fourfold, change this leader, end subsidies, invest in a network of  coal-fired, uranium and hydro-electricity stations and make all politicians truly accountable.

And finally, while Australia is soon to be the world’s largest gas exporter, the US price is about a quarter of ours. Why doesn’t Turnbull join the real world and  order that a percentage of gas be reserved for the use of the long-suffering Australian people?

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