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An Open Letter to Bill Shorten

Dear Bill Shorten,

May I call you Bill?  I feel that after a lifetime of supporting Labor I’m entitled to that modest liberty.

Bill, I’ve just read one of the most shocking things of my adult political life.  I’m overtaken with competing emotions and reactions; I’m simultaneously bemused, disturbed, incredulous and thoroughly gob smacked.  It seems that you and the Labor Party are considering backing away, even if only temporarily, from your commitment to your established carbon pricing agenda.  It seems you’re considering allowing the Abbott Government to “scrap the tax” after all.  Is this true or just media speculation?

Excuse my candour, mate, but assuming it’s true: are you flipping insane?  Has Labor completely lost its capacity to read the electorate and the politics of this issue?  Its record of the last six years gives a certain pause for thought on that score.  I put it to you in the strongest possible terms that this is the worst move you could make with regard to action on climate change – or your political future.  I remind you that over the previous six years you’ve been on the wrong side of the politics on this, but on the right side of the policy.  The political failure is your (Labor’s) fault.  You were politically out-witted by an economic and scientific half-wit.  How does that feel, Bill?  Smarts a bit, I imagine.  Now you want to hand him the shovel with which he can dig an even deeper hole for you?

Here are some things I feel you should seriously consider:

#  Over the last six years you allowed your political opposition, with an overtly skeptical disposition to climate change, to control the narrative of this policy area.  You allowed this opposition to take one of the greatest dangers facing modernity and fudge it, misrepresent it, dilute it, re-characterise it, morph it from a scientifically based human imperative to a petty squabble over economic semantics.  You failed miserably.  I’m sorry, Bill, but there’ no other way to say it.

#  Soon after being deposed as Prime Minister by Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard expressed her regret at not having taken a more direct and aggressive stance with regard to the aforementioned dynamic.  You recall, in her Guardian piece she said:

… and in a political task that will require bravery, Labor must continue to stand behind the significant policies which are right but are currently outside the national political consensus. Clearly, carbon pricing is the political giant of this class. 

Without doubt, Tony Abbott won this public opinion war and dominated this political conversation. The times suited him. For most Australians the last long drought was perceived to be the result of climate change, and when the drought broke their concerns about climate change receded. The circus in Copenhagen and “climategate” fed scepticism. Then, at the worst time, the structure of the Australian electricity market delivered huge rises to the electricity bills of families. While cost of living pressures were easing in other parts of the family budget, the pain of these big lumpy bills was acute and remembered.

Labor’s failure to embrace Malcolm Turnbull’s bipartisanship when it was on offer, to campaign vigorously and go to an election early on carbon pricing in late 2009 or early 2010, and the twists and turns of Labor policy since have all fuelled this fire of opposition. 

I erred by not contesting the label “tax” for the fixed price period of the emissions trading scheme I introduced. I feared the media would end up playing constant silly word games with me, trying to get me to say the word “tax”. I wanted to be on the substance of the policy, not playing “gotcha”. But I made the wrong choice and, politically, it hurt me terribly. 

Hindsight can give you insights about what went wrong. But only faith, reason and bravery can propel you forward. 

Labor should not in opposition abandon our carbon pricing scheme. Climate change is real. Carbon should be priced. Community concern about carbon pricing did abate after its introduction. Tony Abbott does not have a viable alternative. 

While it will be uncomfortable in the short term to be seen to be denying the mandate of the people, the higher cost would be appearing as, indeed becoming, a party unable to defend its own policy and legislation: a party without belief, fortitude or purpose.

Please take note.  You’ll find a very significant number of Labor supporters are in complete sympathy with the sentiments expressed in that quote.

#  Whilst in Government you allowed a ratbag bunch of guttersnipes to take the momentum and high ground away from you – on this and other issues.  Now, unfathomably, you’re considering handing that back to them, only magnified.  Do you not understand how such a move will be interpreted by much of the electorate?  No?  Well, I’ll tell you – it will be seen as a confession that Labor was wrong and the Coalition was right all along.  The truth of that doesn’t matter, as you well know.  Much of the electorate has an entirely plebian rather than substantive and sophisticated engagement with policy.  Tony Abbott’s campaign proved that beyond question.  The average person on the street will see your action as an admission of fault and failure – on policy and not just politics.  Do you have any idea what that will mean?  Again, if not I’ll tell you – it will mean that the Abbott Government will have the issue all to themselves.  They will have the high ground.  They will lead the political discourse and will posses the enormous political luxury of having the only climate change response out there in the public market place.  That will inevitably lead to their position, their attitude, their policy gaining acceptance with the electorate.  Frogs in heating water, Bill.

Time to toughen up, Bill Shorten (image from the

Time to toughen up, Bill Shorten (image from the

You will not be able to offer any credible opposition to, or criticism of, the entire philosophy of Direct Action if you have tossed aside the alternative.  The criticisms of an Opposition that walked away from its own policy will ring completely hollow and will be effectively and rightly dismissed by the Government.  And should you go into policy hiatus on the issue, which is what is being suggested, it’ll amount to going into a fistfight without hands.   Saying you will “scrutinise” Direct Action is the language of the weasel.  What’s to scrutinise?  You know perfectly well what’s wrong with it – that it cannot achieve anything meaningful and that it’s a total cop-out.  Scrutinise?   What the hell?  That, mate, is tantamount to implying you might come to accept it yourself.

#  You have to stand firm.  You must recognise the political failure and naiveté of Kevin Rudd’s hopeless attempt to take some of the political momentum away from the Coalition during the election campaign by indulging in the rhetoric of “dumping the tax”.   No such thing was happening.  You were moving from a static price ETS to a floating price ETS.  You were simply re-scheduling.  You weren’t doing anything with a tax that didn’t actually exist.  You were playing catch-up with the politics and you looked stupid for doing it.

Do you seriously think there will be no social and political impact from years of nothing but the Coalition’s attitude and actions with regard to climate change being the political soup du jour?  Do you seriously think that whatever new strategy you come up with, which will inevitably cost the electorate something, will not be immediately characterised by the Coalition as a “tax”?  Do you really think you can avoid that?  You can’t and you’ll have to deal with it.  It’ll be a hundred times more difficult to cope with the politics of it in the future than if you stand up and deal with it right now.  Do you really want to have to virtually start from scratch on this?  Do you really imagine a decade of inaction on climate change by this country won’t have all sorts of repercussions?  What do you think is going to happen to the Australian mind-set during months and years of the Coalition quietly taking climate change off the political radar?  You want to be faced with having to prosecute a whole new case for real climate change action in that sort of environment?  Really?

Selling an ETS ought to be as politically simple as selling the NDIS was.  It’s about our children and our future.  You need to think about why you couldn’t do it and fix that.  Running away from your failures is a coward’s response dressed up as the pragmatism of politics.  Seriously, Bill, when was the last time the Labor party showed some genuine political courage and statesmanship on something?  No, I can’t remember either.

The rot started when Uncle Kim began to capitulate on asylum seekers and it’s only gotten worse from there.  Polls have replaced ideology in terms of political priority in the minds of far too many in the Labor Party machinery.  Your support base is heartily sick of it.

#  Call Tim Flannery immediately.  Speak to him about making the new Climate Council an official Opposition research and advisory board (or whatever is politically appropriate).   Show the Australian people that the Abbott Coalition cannot simply dump important Government advisory bodies like the Climate Commission and get away with it.   You must send some positive, unapologetic and strong messages on this.  If you do not, you are gifting the Coalition two terms in Government.  That is unacceptable.  It is also utterly avoidable.  Do you actually want to avoid it, Bill?

#  The Australian public deserves, and I suspect, desperately wants you to be the strongest Opposition you can be – right from the start.  Your support base is crying out for it. They are quietly pleading for it.  Well, in some quarters not so quietly.  Surely you understand that this Government has no real mandate for anything.  They went into the election with the most sorry looking policy platform seen in this Nation for decades.  The election was not a referendum on Carbon.  You know that.  Labor lost the election – the Coalition did not win it.  You know that too.  This means this Government is vulnerable.  It has to earn its stripes, its credibility.  It’s imperative that it does not achieve this by default of there being no effective Opposition.  Backing away from a signature policy on climate change is to take a gigantic step in the direction of doing and being nothing.  Find a way to do the politics better.  Be a leader. You don’t have the luxury and this country can’t afford the luxury of the Labor Party sitting back contemplating its navel and its policies.  You had a vision for the future; you had a policy platform – and it was perfectly fine.  For the most part it had broad community support.  You didn’t lose the election because of your policies (and the Coalition sure as hell didn’t win because of theirs); you lost it because you screwed up the politics.  You put a disunified Labor Party on the front page of every newspaper every stinking day.  Seriously, Bill, who the hell was going to vote for that?

Ok, I’ve made my points.  I apologise if I seem rather agitated.  It’s only because I am.   There is no reason whatever for Labor to back away from its climate change agenda and a multitude of reasons for them not to.  Big reasons – the sorts of reasons that are above politics.

You are risking my vote on this.  And whilst I can’t speak for others I dare speculate you may be risking quite a few more.  In the most recent Labor Party email blast, National Secretary George Wright – you know him, right? – said,

‘The Labor Party my parents introduced me to was courageous, visionary and striving for equality and opportunity. ‘

Mine too.  Has it gone, Bill?  If not, now would be a really good time to show us.

Yours sincerely,

Dan Rowden


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  1. hilderombout

    Hear hear!! i could not have said it better Dan. You expressed my sentiments exactly. Should we have a petition from all of us who support you in this? I’d be the first to sign.

  2. Jacqueline Lee Lewes

    I’ll be the second.

  3. diannaart

    Yay! A petition for the federal opposition party to behave, like, well the federal opposition party.

    Who knows, next we can petition the Labor Party to remain true to their principles.

    Only, joking…

  4. vfmarky

    Has everyone missed the point here?
    My understanding of this current ‘repeal’ discussion is that Labor are willing to let the actual carbon price go which is exactly what they said they’d do during the recent election campaign – so no surprises here.
    And that’s all as far as ‘caving’ into Abbott/Hunt is concerned – I don’t think you’ll be seeing any repentance here.
    The ALP also want the ETS to start July 1 2014 which Shorten said they would be pushing for.
    Add to that it’s early days in the pre-parliamentary discussion, and why can’t we talk about things without using this to further beat up Labor as they haven’t taken enough blows recently…

  5. BeeTee-Ess

    Dan, you’ve expressed the anger, the anguish, the incredulity I am feeling!

    I have already written to my Senate representative, giving an undertaking that, if this actually happens, my lifetime of Labor voting is finished.

  6. Kim

    Yes, yes, yes. Perfectly expressed. Thank you.

  7. Ross

    Politics in this century will be dominated by taking action on climate versus taking no action in order to take obscene profit from stuff in the ground which puts billions of lives at risk over the next century when alternative options are already as cheap. Labor has a choice – get on side with a good carbon policy and all that follows from that or become irrelevant. On this issue ignore opinion polls for once and get out and educate. Instead of attacking the Greens go hard on Abbott and his useless, lying government. The leadership election was huge in educating people about how good reforming the party structures could be. Get over internal squabbles, make further party reforms and get determined on carbon pricing. If Labor does those things they won’t need to fight the greens and they will have moved from 1950 to 2013 at last.

  8. Kim

    I just emailed the letter to every South Australian federal MP that I could think of. I hope they read it.

  9. awombatsweb

    I was against the Carbon Tax when it came to being but I must say though is that should Bill Shorten be so pragmatic that his policy stance shifts as often as the tides, then Labor will be in Opposition for what will seem like an eternity of Abbott. Long enough to make enough damage to Australia which will only be fixable through the means of a “Peoples Revolution”.

  10. Mary

    vfmarky said it. This is another example of TAbbott’s political sliminess. He’s used the date the K Rudd had already set. Now it looks like the Labor party are caving in
    What the should be doing is scrutinising what’s on offer – a few slimy ex-libs to advise on how to forecast the upcoming headlines wouldn’t go amiss here.

  11. Patrick lee

    Please don’t give in to expediency, fight them until there is no fight left in you, you are labor and you promised to fight for social justice for downtrodden and low paid work. You must not give in to Abbott you may lose to Abbott eventually in the senate, but let him sweat a while so he knows that his time in government won’t be a cake walk.

  12. Deborah Harris

    I just Emailed this to the Labor Party after I received an email from George Wright.

  13. Darshano

    I, m with labor all the way, but PLEASE don, t bow to Abbott and his dodgy LNP ..

  14. John Sandstrom

    Dan Rowden for PM…..

  15. miriamenglish

    And people wonder why I think politicians are now irrelevant. If Shorten is caving and handing the policy lead to Abbott then he has made Labour irrelevant. If it is all a vacuous word game where Abbott’s non-action is made to look like something by Labour doing nothing then Labour are irrelevant. The Libs are a complete waste of time — those that aren’t actually out to do genuine evil are too timid to stand up for truth, so they are irrelevant too. The Greens would be relevant if they didn’t continually have their legs cut out from under them by our vile mass media, so sadly they too are irrelevant.

    It almost makes me weep that we can’t rely upon the whole sorry lot for anything — they are a pack of rabid curs, cowardly mongrels, clueless lapdogs, and toothless mutts. We will have to fix it ourselves. But it was really always up to us. Insulate your house, buy energy efficient equipment, get solar panels, share transport, walk or bicycle when you can, divest from immoral investment firms, and convince others to do likewise. Coal prices are plummeting so digging it up will soon turn out to be uneconomic. China will wean itself off it after a few more of its killing smogs (China is already the biggest investor in alternative energy in the world). There are big popular movements against coal in India.

  16. Paul Gallagher

    Yes I think the author and others have missed the point. All well said Vfmarky!

  17. minbani

    Brilliant letter. Says what I think and feel. Drought has already started in Qld and without an effective climate change policy we will suffer even more. Not just people and water resources; but also the cattle and other livestock – that contribute also into our GDP each year. If we think our next boom will be a “Dinning Boom” then perhaps we should be looking after where it’s going to come from?

    Even those precious Mining companies currently misusing and abusing our underground aquifers and paying precious little to do so will suffer. The carbon tax should stay until the beginning of the ETS and should stay as a market driven controller. And as money is the only thing that drives the current Govt, why they don’t trust a market based system is incomprehensible. It goes against everything they supposedly stand for.

    The recent freezing to death of thousands of cattle in North Colorado; the flooding of the Mississippi river in the US; St Jude storm in the UK yesterday and the recent Bush fires in NSW should tell us 2 things if we have half a brain to take note: (1) The Science is right and climate change is happening and (2) Planting trees to absorb enough carbon to mitigate carbon emissions can’t help us as they burn and take years to regrow after a bush fire.

    Please Bill, Keep the cost on carbon while our Scientists (rather than Banks and politicians) find better ways of fixing that which we have all broken.

  18. rossleighbrisbane

    I – rather optimistically – say that speculation that Shorten would let the Carbon Pollution Tax legislation through was yet ANOTHER report from the MSM quoting unnamed sources in the ALP. There is no way of checking who said, it why they said it or even if the person actually exists.
    I could just as easily say that I have a source inside the Liberal Party who assures me that Tony is making them curtsy every time they enter his office.

  19. DC

    Well written Dan. I agree that ALP need to be consistent on this and stop making the mistake of conceding to the IPA influenced Liberal party bullshitonomics. A price on carbon weather fixed or floating will always be more efficient than a system that still allows polluters to continue polluting for free

    vfmarky: I see what you mean but I have already heard Mr Rabbit say that they will never support an ETS or a carbon tax. I think the ALP & Greens need to use their power in the senate to block his carbon price repeal unless there are very large compromises from the Liberals including among other thinks that he uncappps his piss poor “emissions reductions fund” and promise and comit to an actual carbon reduction target (with both a short term and medium term target so we can judge performance before the next election).

    BUT even if they did get Abbott to make a comittment like this (which he wouldn’t) then they should still step up their campaign about carbon pricing still being their preferred way and what they will always fight for. THEY NEED TO DO A BETTER JOB OF EXPLAINING WHY CARBON PRICING MAKES SENSE!

    Back in 2010 when Julia Gillard said the so called “carbon tax lie” she was trying the same approach, she didn’t lie about her intentions to put a price on carbon but the way she worded it was like an admission that a carbon tax was bad and that they have moved on from it. This was a mistake repeated by Kevin Rudd when he took over this year. His announcement that he will be scrapping the carbon tax should have been avoided and reducing the price of carbon permits to be in line with Europe? another stupid decision. Europe do not have coal fired power dominating their grid as much as Australia nor is Coal as cheap for them to access as it is here. Therefore Australia must have a higher carbon price if we want to lose our record of having the highest CO2 emissions per capita

  20. Tony Hogarth

    I agree with your sentiments Don but I also don’t think you should not underestimate the amount of political games that are going on !! E.G why did Shorten go behind the mad monk to Afghanistan like a tamed puppy for Abbott to “end ” the war !! and bring our troops home ! that is a good example of the ego and B.S of this new Party. Firstly they started the war (with Bush) and Julia Gillard ended it !! so he had no right to make that useless trip at our expense !! Now unless this is one of his first jabs across the table on the first day of parliament I do not consider him a useful leader !! along with some other blockbuster mistakes made by this awful govt b4 the house even sits ! I don’t want to mention them here because I don’t have the privileges they enjoy in the house !! But needless to say RORTS ,,,Sins and Lies Come to mind !! If they don’t have the guts then I suggest they appoint a ‘terrier ‘ (Like J.H did ) who is now the PM !! And as an act of Karma I suggest your man is none other than !! Mr Kevin Rudd Shadow minister for Terrier ism ( ex 2x P.M versus a one time shouldn’t be P.M !) as he can put abbot in his place and has an ego to match !! plus it will keep him to busy to plan Shorten’s downfall !!

  21. Lyn

    Excellent letter. Hopefully it will be taken seriously.

  22. Colour Me Disgusted

    Why stop at Climate Change? You allude to Asylum seekers which is another area, butr there is also the economy. We did Labor let their time in Govt be defined by the conservative idea of “strong economic managemenet” and have themselves painted into a corner over a surplus that was completely unwarranted. Instead they should have been shouting to the rooftops what they were doing to stimulate the economy that got us through the GFC and was, and is, still needed. Why does the ALP let sneering overgrown schoolyard bully boys and born to rule elitists like Hoockey, Pyne and Abbot (etc etc) dictate the benchmark of what makes good public policy? Why does Labor let the conservatives set the agenda????? Grow a pair and set the agenda by your own principles of egalatarianism and then STAND UP AND BE PROUD OF IT.

  23. J.Fraser

    ‘The Labor Party my parents introduced me to was courageous, visionary and striving for equality and opportunity. ’

    It left the building about the same time as Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

    And was replaced by lickspittles …. and then after the 2013 Federal election it was replaced by a second group of lickspittles under the guise of an ALP members vote.

  24. Peter May

    Even if they go for the soft option of an Emissions Trading Scheme I’m unconvinced.
    Election promises made by Kevin in an effort to win more votes have no relevance now.
    The failure to get a legally binding agreement to reduce emissions at Copenhagen was the final setback to ETS or any other model being an effective means of reducing global greenhouse gases.Carbon taxes applied by governments is the only sensible way to incorporate the cost of carbon pollution into prices to discourage carbon-intensive industries and promote a green economy.
    The current system is the model to fight for – win or lose. This is Shorten’s litmus test and if he fails it I believe we’re in for another very long post Hawke/Keating type Liberal govt. It will also be a strong indicator that he is beholden to and controlled by factions.

  25. Chris Farmer

    Abbott’s appalling and damaging ideas must be fought every inch of the way. The idea of the MSM claiming that Labor has “repented” and seen the error of its ways is utterly unthinkable and just must not happen. Labor must fight every inch of the way, and if, when the Senate after June next year changes its composition, Labor must continue to fight for what is believes is right, not what seems politically expedient. Voters will desert the Labor party in droves and in disgust if this key vital battleground is meekly conceded to the Coalition. What on earth is Labor thinking?

  26. Bewi1dered

    Excellent letter.

  27. Geoff Of Epping

    There is ,now, no doubt in my mind that Labor and Liberal are two sides of the same counterfeit coin. Worthless piece of crap not worth a red cent. Either of them.
    I knew Shorten would do this……he’s another Tony Abbott….his career first, the rest can suck it up.
    So Bill you’ve lost MY vote and as a parting epithet, Bill. You’re a complete sell out.

  28. halsaul

    Perfectly sums up my thoughts- got on twitter today to try to express them but this letter is much better than I could have constructed.
    I would like to add that , whether Shortens tactic is as we suspect, it is totally irrelevant. Whether it would work is also irrelevant.
    What I believe is, if he & Labor do not stand up for climate change, NDIS, Gonski etc. it will be over for them.
    This is Labors’ “democrats” moment.
    Speaking for myself – a labor voter all my life, I would prefer to lose the next election rather than back-down to this disgusting LNP.

    For the sake of Labor and Australias’ future.

  29. JohnB

    Bill Shorten – where are you???
    Why are you silent?
    What are you doing about the ‘unnamed ALP sources’ who feed the hostile MSM?
    Are they your ‘own’ sources leaking capitulation to corporatism? If not, why are you allowing this speculation on ALP AGW policy to grow?

    You said you would lead – but I’ve seen no sign of your leadership since caucus overrode the expressed choice of 60% of ALP membership. LNP acquiescence is not leadership!

    If you don’t intend to represent Australia’s best interests in countering climate change, please get out of the way and allow someone else with courage and drive take the fight up to Abbott/Murdoch & Co.

    We the citizens, (and likely most ALP members) are up for a the fight to the death on this matter – but apparently your leadership is not.
    Either lead the fight or get out of the way before the membership overtakes you!!

  30. banistersmind

    Reblogged this on Banister's Mind.

  31. randalstella

    Bill Shorten could be politely asked to write a column here to explain what Labor are considering; because then you will know. At the moment it is just reaction – like we see across the board in this culture.
    After all, fair’s fair.
    It might be hard to get Bill to respond after this “open letter”. I gave up on it a few paras in; and I was not even targeted.
    This site sorely needs investigative journalism; to get out in the open air now and then.
    . .

  32. Steve Meredith

    Bloody well said !
    Politics needs to have credibility as a backbone otherwise we get what we have at the moment the out of tune organgrinder and his brainless

  33. Bob J

    Dan and Geoff, just wondering however, if Shorten does capitulate on this issue but still supports some measure of action that is beyond what the Coalition have on offer, are you talking about giving the Coalition a higher preference to the ALP?

  34. Rob Miller

    Dan, great letter and you have my complete support. My only quibble in your critique is that you over-look the criminal bias of the Murdoch media among others in exaggerating distorting, twisting, fear-mongering, demonizing and just generally mis-representing Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd and Labor policy. It seems almost impossible in my view to counter the Sisyphisian shitstorm that the ALP had to endure even though, as you correctly point out, through weakness they brought it on themselves.

  35. VoterBentleigh

    As opposition Leader, Mr Abbott played the Greens against the ALP and vice versa. Abbott was able to use the Greens’ lower proportion of votes amongst the electorate to undermine the Greens’ credibility in the ALP electorate and to then paint the the ETS and later, the carbon tax, as Green’s policy and thereby undermine Labor’s policy. The Greens first mistake was not to see the danger and to oppose the ETS unless it was exactly as they wanted. Then the ALP failed to see the danger too, and backtracked on the ETS. This paved the way for Abbott’s attacks after the 2010 election. Both the ALP and Greens need to recognize that despite the name, the Coalition no longer contains any real Liberals – they are hard right conservatives. Worse still, nothing the Prime Minister says can be trusted.

  36. johnlord2013

    Capitulation of the worst kind.good correspondence Dan. Worthy of am immediate reply.

  37. Dan Rowden

    Bob J,

    My vote would go to the Greens if Labor doesn’t hold fast on this issue. If that’s what you’re asking.

  38. Dan Rowden

    Peter May,

    I sent the piece to various Labor identities. I fully expect exactly no response. It’s really hard to get MPs to reply to anything.

  39. Dan Rowden

    Rob Miller,

    I agree with your point about the MSM. However it shows a certain political ineptitude when a Party continually gifts a hostile media with knives to throw at them.

  40. Kaye Lee

    vfmarky that is my understanding too but the uncategorical assurance needs to come now, loud and clear, that the Labor Party will not support ditching a price on carbon. They need to make that point emphatically. The people need to help by things like the National Climate Action Day on 17th of November and contacting MPs. The Opposition has to help by staying firm and demanding the details of the Direct Action Plan (which don’t exist because they don’t have any idea how to make it work or even if it can). Let Tony say he ditched the “tax” but don’t allow him to have a void filled with green papers and white papers and no action – make him have an ETS. I have heard criticism of the European system but do not understand well enough to suggest alternatives. I would like to see Parliament and the experts collaborate on working out the best way to implement what all advisory bodies are recommending – a market based price on pollution that helps to pay for R&D into renewable energy and sustainable practice.

  41. Peter May

    Likewise Dan, Contacted them yesterday. I”m not necessarily looking for a response but maybe if they get enough emails it might make some difference

  42. J.Fraser

    I went to the Greens in 2007 and I most certainly will go to them at the next Federal election if the ALP doesn’t get out of the jellyfish bowl.

  43. Mike Wilkinson

    It’s very simple Mr Shorten… I have been a Labor voter all my life but have been wavering over that support due to the treatment of asylum seekers. I stuck with you because on balance the Gillard government achieved some great things, the carbon price being one! If you walk away from it now that will be the last straw… I will go Greens!

  44. Kaye Lee

    Just after abolishing the science ministry and saying climate change influence on bushfires was “hogwash”, we have the ultimate irony of Tony handing out the 2013 Science Awards.

    “Tony Abbott will award Professor Speed and four other science award winners at a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra tonight.”

  45. Truth Seeker

    Dan, well said 😎

    Cheers 😀

  46. Bob J

    I have been voting green since Labor demoted climate change from being the greatest moral challenge of our time to just another policy area that they can do slightly better than the Coalition on. Until this changes I will continue to do the same I don’t expect the greens to win but whoever I vote for I always make sure I put Labor before the Coalition on my numbers

  47. The Mikester

    Most of you labourites seem to be forgetting one important item, that is that the party in power is representing the majority of the voting public.
    This is no longer a union run mentality where left wing radicals get away with what they want, the public has spoken thankfully before the country became a left wing social welfare state, get used to it kiddies.

  48. Ann

    I’ve emailed my elected member and told her of my displeasure if this should come about. I’ve stated that I won’t be joining the Labor party if this is what happens. When are Labor going to get the message and stop flip flopping.

  49. The Mikester

    What’s new Ann, isn’t that the root cause of the path to destruction that they had the whole country on ?

  50. DC

    Mikester I will vote Coalition myself if you can explain this with logic and reason how scrapping the carbon tax is in the natinal interest (in light of the Coalition also promising to meet the same carbon emission reduction target as Labor did). And I’ll send you $200

  51. The Mikester

    ^^ DC – Put it to a public vote, oh hang on, we have already done that.

  52. DC

    still waiting for that explanation………….

  53. Potann

    The Labor Party must not bow to to Tony Abbott,s demands. Climate change is real and we need governments to take more action not less. Action in this area needs to be above politics. We are talking about the future of the planet and the lives of all the creatures that inhabit it. The Labor Party will lose all credibility if it does not stand firm on this issue. Thank you Dan for an excellent, thought provoking article.

  54. carlos

    Such a dismal outlook with both LNP and ALP on same line. Scrapping carbon tax and capitulating, where is the future for our kids?

  55. Ian Watkins

    Heartily agree… What I cannot fathom is that: I believe we are the highest polluting people in the world on a per capita basis, given this is true, and I have no reason to not believe this – this should be the answer to ANY argument regarding our commitment to reducing greenhouse gasses. What we need from all of our pollies is legislation based on principles – not based on the latest focus group or dubious poll. Compared with what we have in parliament today even Bob Hawk looks like a statesman!

  56. Kaye Lee

    You want to talk about Labor’s backflips? What about the triple somersault with pike from the Coalition. (With thanks to Brian Teitzel for his research)

    Greg Hunt: ESAA Address 14 February 2008
    “IMPLICATIONS FOR BUSINESS 3.1 Clean Energy Target.
    As part of the work to create a comprehensive national emissions trading system, the previous Government consulted actively with business to argue for a system that will be effective and viable. For the new Government, an immediate priority must be to work towards clean energy targets which will be a key determinant of the carbon prices faced by companies and the economy more generally.
    To underpin an effective emissions trading system, the Coalition has committed to supporting short, medium and long term emissions targets this will provide an anchor for developing a forward carbon price and certainty for business.
    We believe a key method for meeting such caps should be a Clean Energy Target. Under the Target: At least 15 per cent of energy would need to be in the form of clean energy by 2020.”

    Greg Hunt – Speech at WA Sustainable Energy Assn – 6 March 2009
    “I believe that the only way forward is by an historic partnership between Govt, business and the community. This is ‘big history” in the making, and we will be judged by future generations on how the Govt tackles this giant issue. As a third pillar we propose a balanced and careful national emissions trading scheme that supports direct action rather than replaces it.”

    Greg Hunt: “Managing climate change will be one of the great challenges of our time: it represents an important economic shift, and will require a portfolio of responses in Australia’s case, we are moving toward the progressive pricing in of the cost of carbon into the way our economy operates. This is ‘big history’ in the making – perhaps the most significant economic decision in a generation with such a profound change, we need to make sure we get our policy responses right.”

    “The reality is this, that John Howard announced the (ETS) policy in, I think, the 17th July 2007. The legislation that began that process went to the party room on 14th August 2007. I have a copy of that Agenda. The fact of the matter is that there is a document explicitly outlining our ETS as part of the 2007 Election Policy. Now, these are the facts, I don’t know how people could say there wasn’t an ETS policy at the election. It all there in BLACK AND WHITE!”

    ANDREW ROBB – ABC2- 27 JULY 2009
    “We are very supportive of a price on carbon. We introduced the scheme to do that. We are serious about good policy in this area. WE ARE SERIOUS ABOUT A PRICE ON CARBON.”

    “There are a range of solutions ………… another scheme designed to reduce carbon emissions is a simple carbon tax. A carbon tax is similar to an ETS; but, instead of the Govt controlling the quantity of carbon that may be emitted and allowing the market to control the price, a carbon tax allows the Govt to control the price of carbon letting the market determine how much carbon will be emitted ……… increase the tax ……… which encourages industries to invest in low-carbon technology.”

    “Let’s not forget it was the Opposition that first proposed an ETS when we were in Govt. The idea that somehow the Liberal Party is opposed to an ETS is quite simply ludicrous.”

    “we took an ETS to the last election. We believe in climate change action. I believe passionately in climate change action. An ETS is one tool in our tool box.”

    JOE HOCKEY – Q&A – 19 FEBRUARY 2009
    “Our very strong view is, we were the initiators of an ETS and we believe in a market based approach.”

    “It is important to highlight that the Govt is developing standards for robust and transparent offsets to be accredited for use in the Australian ETS.”

    “You won’t find an economist anywhere that will tell you anything other than the most efficient and effective way to cut emissions is by way of a price on carbon.”–Interview-with-Fran-Kelly–Radio-National–Cash-for-Clunkers-and-other-Climate-issues.aspx

    “The Government has established a joint government-business task group to advise on a workable global ETS!”

    In his own newsletter it reads: “Scott welcomed the Coalition’s decision to support a ETS!”

  57. Billy moir

    The labor party of my youth was principles first and a belief in fair play. The result? I was in my 30s before the end of three year cycles of pig iron bob’s commo and queen with nothing in between. When Oakeschott and Windsor saw that Gillard could make a difference to politics, I was over the moon. But circumstances of the numbers prevented her from ridding herself of the lemon. Labor were saved by the selection of the rabbott whose candour exposed himself to ridicule that should have made him unelectable. Sadly labor just lay down and let their good works for all Australians drown in a see of negativity. Once she flew at the character flaws of the rabbott and received world recognition. For a week she had the media using price not tax but discipline was too weak for it to maintain. The horror that labor was not going to try to win another term to consolidate its policies came when they dumped Gillard for a lemon. Even then a contest between an ego and a driven, lazy, unprepared, self-confessed liar should have been close.
    It was only 6 years since Howard was trounced for his abysmal performance. Just ask the red-necks at the club to name 3 things little johnnie did? Name 3 that Gillard did? The answer? That {##%<%% bitch did nothing. Read the paper polls, leadership, leaks, distrust, tax. Watch the ABC leadership leaks tax polls. Talk to people and they say she has done nothing, she can't stop the boats, she can't get a surplus and a carbon tax. Sadly she missed two important sources of delivering information. Firstly, word of mouth a simple set of three questions to attack the rabbott and answer his slogans should have been personally delivered by pollies to the members of their electorate and from their collective Facebooks it could spread. Secondly at every live interview include one of the rabbott's gaffs in relation to the topic and speculate about his character giving the media something to draw a response. (A technique still missing today allowing the rabbott free rein to avoid the media). It was amazing that labor made no capital out of stop, turn, tow, buy the boats. Made no effort to ridicule the rabbott over suppository, peak download and copper(simple questions to the journalist "will you be using copper? Who will be paying the $5000 connection fee?)even his "I lie to the media under pressure" and "shit happens…" were unbelievably ignored. Bloody hell it is so sad to see labor under little billy accepting the blame, giving legitimacy to the rabbott's three year negative campaign of hate and denying the wealth of achievements of a successful minority government. At least, I am grateful to the independents who gave me three years of good government, three years of women in leadership, three years of prosperity. They deserve the accolades of Australia for their understanding, their hopes and their wisdom. They didn't deserve the rabbott or the lemon's labor and, whilst I don't think they deserve chris uhlmann, I hope he is fairer than he has shown on 7:30.

  58. Billy moir

    Ps sorry Kaye your post was significant and highlighted the poor effort Gillard made to attack the rabbott through making such info available during question time or at live interviews were they really that inept??

  59. Bob Evans

    Back stab Bill, back stabbed his 2 leaders, now he back stabs Labor voters. Please make Harakiri the next one Bill.

  60. Kaye Lee

    I don’t understand why Labor aren’t quoting the Coalition’s own words back to them about an ETS. If it was such a good idea before, why, now that the science is even more insistent that we act, would they do a complete turnaround on pricing carbon? I cannot believe that Labor will give in on this. Surely they will insist on capping emissions and pricing carbon by some method?

  61. Dan Rowden

    Kaye Lee, Billy,

    I also have no idea why Labor has never used this info regarding the Coalition’s baldfaced backflip against them. It can’t be that they feel they have skeletons in the closet themselves on this issue. I can really only put it down to political sloth and ineptitude. It’s quite the mystery, really.

  62. Dustin

    Extract from Billy’s post above…
    “At least, I am grateful to the independents who gave me three years of good government, three years of women in leadership, three years of prosperity.”

    You have got to be taking the p Billy, that is hilarious.

    and this bit…
    “They deserve the accolades of Australia for their understanding, their hopes and their wisdom.”

    They got that at the polling booth just recently 🙂

  63. staffordhall

    I am seriously over this crap! What dont we understand about putting a price on carbon? Its the easiest way to slow polluters. Even Dumbo abbott understands that… oh wait, I forgot, he lied!

  64. Kaye Lee

    Dustin I would really like to hear what you think the Coalition has to offer. They went to the election saying that we had a huge debt and budget emergency due to wasteful spending that had to stop. They complained that Labor were borrowing 83 million a day. Well you may be interested to learn that, according to the Australian Office of Financial Management, since it was sworn in on 18 September 2013 the Abbott Government has borrowed an est. $265 million per day as of 29 October 2013.

    Aside from lifting the debt ceiling by 200 billion dollars (after screaming blue murder when Labor lifted it by 50 billion), for some unknown reason Joe Hockey borrowed 9 billion to give to Treasury even though they said they didn’t need it. Wonder what the interest on that is?

    You may also be interested to learn that the 5 members of the Commission of Audit will receive $1500 a day each. God knows what all the white papers and green papers and consultants and the cancelling and renegotiation of contracts is going to cost us, let alone the billions each year for PPL and Direct Action.

    They said they would stop the boats yet hundreds of people have arrived in the last two months even though we are paying a fortune for our navy to waste their time hunting fishing boats.

    They said they would repeal the carbon tax to ease our cost of living and doing business but the experts say that will not lead to drop in energy prices.

    Did you ever feel sucked in Dustin? Does it piss you off that you got lied to?

  65. Dan Rowden

    Hmm, given the author was Peter Costello’s press secretary for six years and then on John Howard’s staff for three I’ll pass on taking the article seriously.

  66. J.Fraser

    Looks like “Dustin” is not only a “suppository of all wisdom” but he also eats more from the arch “suppository of all wisdom” …. “The Australian”.

    Keep an eye out for “Dustin” in the suppository of Murdoch.

  67. Kaye Lee

    Everyone knows Direct Action is crap but we aren’t allowed to say it apparently. The blue book provided to Tony Abbott as the incoming government contains, not only information about the state of the nation, but also an appraisal of Coalition policies. The previous Labor governments made this information public. A FOI request to do the same now has been denied by both Treasury and Cabinet. Apparently the Prime Minister’s Office doesn’t want the info released and Treasury don’t want to upset Tony. That just makes me wonder what the document contains.

    “Unlike the costing of policies, the incoming government brief contains advice on the practicality and workability of key coalition promises. That includes elements of the coalition’s Direct Action policy on greenhouse gases which was not submitted for costing to the Parliamentary Budget Office.

    In a letter explaining the decision, acting first assistant secretary Myra Croke said while there were public interest grounds in releasing the document that was out-weighed by, in part, the need for the department to establish a “relationship” with Mr Abbott.

    Ms Croke said releasing the document would do “damage” to the public interest , adding that if it was made public then it would lead to the department providing less “frank” and “comprehensive” to Mr Abbott in the future.

    “I would also consider that public release of this information would hinder the developing relationship of trust between the new Prime Minister and the Department.”

  68. Dustin

    Tha Labor Party are obviuosly a rabble of political misfits.

    Niki Savva
    Voters deserve to know truth about Labor by: Niki Savva |From: The Australian |October 31, 2013 12:00AM 0
    THERE have been several substantial critiques from significant participants in the previous Labor government detailing how, what, where, when and why they thought it all went wrong.
    We should welcome them all.

    Nicola Roxon says it fell apart because Kevin Rudd was a bastard. Bob Carr reckons it was because everyone except him was politically dumb.

    The party’s national secretary, George Wright, skipped across the minefields of disunity and policy failings to land on the positive: namely, that it could have been worse because, under Julia Gillard, Labor was destined to win only 30 seats in the House of Representatives whereas under Rudd it won 55.

    Next week, the relentlessly cheery Bruce Hawker will release his version with the publication of The Rudd Rebellion: The Campaign to Save Labor. The first part of the title alludes to the Rum Rebellion and removal of the volatile governor William Bligh in 1808. The second part fits with Wright’s narrative, which has it that under Rudd, flaws and all, Labor lives to fight another day.

    Those intimately involved should be encouraged to talk about what happened, notwithstanding the Newspoll showing a dip in Labor’s support post-election. That was always bound to happen.

    It’s a good thing to discuss openly what should be done to repair the damage. Partly, it’s therapeutic. Venting and sharing always make you feel better, at least for a time, and sometimes longer, if you are smart enough to show you have learned from your mistakes. Mainly it’s good because the Labor Party, as well as the rest of us, deserve to know what happened and why. Who better to tell us about it than those responsible, even if some of the observations are self-serving, self-justifying or even self-pitying.

    According to some people, Roxon also could be a bit of a B – no, not Bambi – to deal with. She was a tough cookie who dished it out brutally to those she thought were crossing her, even reportedly calling one professional a “f . . king medical researcher” to his face and dressing down a patient-support group for remonstrating from the gallery when she got an answer wrong in parliament. They had expected Roxon to apologise for her slip-up. Silly them.

    Nevertheless, her advice to keep yourself nice, even if she didn’t always follow it herself, was right, as was her emphasis on the need to observe proper cabinet processes, keep focused on the big ideas and avoid getting captivated by minutiae.

    Present administration take note. All the stuff about how mean Kevin was to everyone and how hard he made them work, we knew already.

    Demonstrating his political canniness, Carr threw red meat to the crocodiles as he announced a resignation he had sworn repeatedly would not happen. Rather than simply allow journalists to chew on him for lying to them and the voters, he offered his views of where everybody else went wrong.

    Carr was so moved by a cabinet agenda listing coal-seam gas for discussion that he failed to attend, even though as senior senator in the states’ house he could have proffered a NSW perspective on a difficult issue. His no-show at that meeting in early March meant he missed the disastrous surprise package on media reform, which he claimed convinced him it was time to switch from Gillard to Rudd, something else that he swore hadn’t happened.

    Carr’s advice to those he left behind, on the vexed question of carbon pricing, was to wait for the climate to change. Seriously. In a voice as mellifluous as Nellie Melba’s, with matching penchant for farewells, he counselled “drift” because, if drought struck again, Australians could again warm to Labor’s option.

    Alternatively, Wright argues that it would dishonour the blood already shed if Labor abandoned carbon pricing.

    On that basis, you would continue the war in Afghanistan when really the time to bring the troops home has long passed.

    Wright argued Labor was on the right side of history, the right side of science and the right side of economic arguments. What he neglected to say was that Labor was on the right side of the political argument.

    Just a thought, but who would believe Bill Shorten if he went to the next election promising there would be no carbon tax under a government he led, after having voted against the repeal? Or if, having voted for the repeal, he went to the election promising to introduce a new version of it, who would vote for him?

    Wright nominated the removal of a first-term prime minister as the root cause of Labor’s problems. On that, he and Hawker agree. Hawker rejects the description of himself as a Ruddophile, saying he simply believed Rudd was “easily” the best leader Labor had in 2007 and this year.

    “His removal was the most ill-advised and damaging event in the party’s history since the (1955) split,” Hawker tells me.

    “Rudd is, like all of us, a flawed person and those flaws, as I point out in the book, were part of the reason for the move against him. However, those flaws did not justify the action to remove him.”

    Hawker also cautions against getting too hung up on the Bligh parallels, saying it is an “imperfect historical allusion”. “It’s really a story of a tempestuous period and the ramifications,” he says.

    In his inimitable way, Tony Abbott gave his own critique of Labor’s time in government, describing it to The Washington Post as wacko, incompetent and untrustworthy. Suggestions that this would inhibit his relations with US President Barack Obama were also a bit wacko. The Prime Minister was critical of Australian politicians – not Australia, and not America or Americans – unlike former treasurer Wayne Swan, who used far-right Republicans to tar Abbott.

    Last March, only a few months before her dumping by Labor, Gillard also did an interview with The Washington Post. She answered questions about the instability besetting her government and along the way offered this view of one of her mentors: “One of our most celebrated Labor prime ministers, Bob Hawke – a well-known and self-confessed man with a hard-drinking, hard-living, womanising reputation – that was just accepted as Bob.”

    Like Abbott, she was not telling the Americans anything they didn’t know, or that wasn’t true. Hopefully, she will be even more forthcoming in her book.

    james 5ptsFeatured
    1 hour agoHi Niki, Brilliant article. Love that bit on Carr. Pity is not everybody in ALP is smart like him deserting the sinking ship like a cunning rat.

    Pat. 5ptsFeatured
    1 hour agoNothing changes. rather than jobs for the boys, that’s been renamed, jobs for the girls in the labor party. The only reason being that Shorten can skite he has yet another female senator. Just love the statement that O’Neill fended off 2 opponents for the position vacated by Bob Carr. What rot. That position had O’Neill’s name on it even before Carr retired – again. It could only happen in politics. A person is sacked, then reinstated almost immediately, having been voted out democratically. The constant boast by labor lovers that Rudd saved them seats is so much BS. Many seats supposedly saved, were due to preferences, NOT Rudd. Rudd was fortunate (depending on your view) to be re-elected. Would not have been without preferences. Same goes for Swan and several others. As for Roxon’s speech, it was on a par with Gillard’s misogyny speech – disgraceful. If those speeches are what’s to be expected from the much exalted female content of the Labor government, that makes me appreciate the lack of them in Abbott’s government. Don’t think many female voters are imopressed by cattiness. It’s childish and unparliamentary.

    Lawrence 5ptsFeatured
    1 hour agoSo long as Labor excuses itself and blames it’s failures on poor communication or the foibles of their leaders it will continue to drift into oblivion. Labor only represents union and political operatives plus academic misfits who consider themselves superior and as such doomed to remain irrelevant. When Labor admit they need to draw their representatives from a broader section of society and accept that most Australians are quite capable of looking after themselves they may have a future.

    Not your best effort, Nikki.

    Peter 5ptsFeatured
    1 hour agoCan’t tell whether your comments are sarcastic or not Niki. Introspection and personal analysis rarely provide any insights. The observer and the analyst being the same leads to self justification rather than critical, constructive, resolution. The reality is that Labour has lost touch with it’s roots, managed by an elite and served by union power brokers, there is little improvement likely in the near future.

    Les 5ptsFeatured
    1 hour agoUnfortunetly Niki, this article has no bearing on the real truth about labours (sic) real demise only the realisation some journos, like yourself and labour, (sic) and as Jack Nickelson also so aptly put it,

    “” CANT HANDLE THE TRUTH !!!! “”

    fred 5ptsFeatured
    2 hours agolove the feathers flying among labor {cat among the pigeons) blame any one except the culprit,s what a sookey lot they are already very deflated after a very short term in opposition powerbill coming across as wimpy and sneaky i so look forward to question time i feel abbott will graciously chew him up and spit him out??

    There are a lot more comments on the link.

  69. Kaye Lee

    OMG you truly expect me to read Niki Savva? That for starters is too much to ask. She is a gossip columnist. Why do Coalition people still avoid any discussion of policy or of the current government’s achievements (or lack thereof) and their plans for our long term future? They always talk about Labor leadership battles and internal disunity. (note they are quieter about debt since Joe went on his spending spree).

    I guess one has to talk about Labor since the Coalition are in hiding and gagging everyone from talking. No-one can give an interview, Ministers included, unless Peta says it is ok and has a chance to brief them on what they may and may not say and how they will say it. Boat arrivals and incidents at sea will no longer be reported. “Detainees” may not speak to anyone, and “illegals” are transported around in secrecy. The blue book from treasury will be kept secret. Public servants with vocal opinions have been sacked. All climate change bodies have been disbanded and the Department of the environment has been told to sack 150 employees by Christmas. Indonesian journalists are locked out of a press conference in their own country. Yesterday, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) rescinded the invitations of several journalists to attend a public briefing about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Queensland and NSW have introduced gag clauses in funding contracts with NFPs. Tony’s big ticket items like Direct Action and FttN NBN were not submitted to the PBO and according to the post election appraisal by the PBO, many of costings of Coalition policies are of a ”low” or ”medium” reliability. These include costings for the paid parental leave scheme, about $4 billion worth of savings measures proposed to offset the non-collection of the carbon tax, cost estimates for border security measures and combating people smuggling, and the estimated $5.2 billion saving from cutting the public service by 12,000 jobs. The PBO says other policies will have significant long-term adverse budget implications, increasing costs and reducing revenue

    But perhaps if I read Niki Savva I would find out all the information that the government and Coalition supporters seem so unwilling to talk about.

  70. Dustin

    Here is an example of the problem labour mentality from J.Fraser above.

    “Looks like “Dustin” is not only a “suppository of all wisdom” but he also eats more from the arch “suppository of all wisdom” …. “The Australian”.

    Keep an eye out for “Dustin” in the suppository of Murdoch.”

    Play the ball, not the man J.Fraser 😉

  71. Dan Rowden

    Hey Dustin,

    Kaye Lee very politely asked you: “Dustin I would really like to hear what you think the Coalition has to offer.” Got a response to that?

  72. Brian

    Any logic in scrapping support for carbon pricing, particularly after the monumental struggle to bring it about, is completely beyond my understanding. They’ve lost the plot it seems.

  73. Kaye Lee

    I do find it rather ironic that the person who says “play the ball not the man”, when asked about Coalition policies and performance, posted a VERY long piece about what Labor people have said about Kevin Rudd.

  74. Heather

    Excellent read. Thankyou. And agree on all points.

  75. Kaye Lee

    The rest of the world agrees that Tony Abbott’s climate policy is crap. Standing firm on the carbon tax is Bill Shorten’s chance to prove he’s PM material, writes Ben Eltham

    For those of us already accustomed to complacent, even fawning coverage of the new Government, the tone of frank ridicule for the Coalition’s climate scepticism by CNN, the BBC, and Time magazine is illuminating.

    Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt’s climate scepticism have been given significant prominence. On CNN, for instance, Christiane Amanpour is a network star. Time’s feature story was headlined “Climate Change Affects Australia’s Epic Wildfires — No Matter What Prime Minister Says.”

    This is a political opportunity for Bill Shorten, should he be wise enough to seize it. With little to lose, he now has an opportunity to take a stand on climate. Tacking left on carbon policy, for instance by supporting a higher emissions reduction target, will most likely cost the ALP in the polls in the short term. But in the longer term, it might be the beginning of a meaningful 2016 agenda

  76. Kaye Lee

    TONY ABBOTT: “”The people of Australia understandably want lower cost of living, and they want more secure jobs. This bill gives them both.”

    One year on from the carbon tax Australia’s cost of living has flatlined.

    New calculations by the Bureau of Statistics show the cost of living for so-called working families almost plateaued in the year to September, climbing just 0.9 per cent.

    The increase is less than half the official inflation rate of 2.2 per cent and less than one-third the rate at which wages are climbing.

    ”These figures show the cost of living barely climbing,” said BT Financial chief economist Chris Caton. ”And they include the effect of the carbon tax.”

    ”Many Australian families are getting compensated for that tax. That is, they are being compensated for prices that are scarcely climbing. If you are being compensated, it is fair to ask whether your cost of living is really increasing much at all.”

    ”It ought to stop all of the talk about a spiralling cost of living,” said Dr Caton. ”But I don’t think it will. For me those stories are mainly media and political beat-ups.”

    ”They cherry-pick. It’s always electricity, it’s petrol when it suits them, and then it’s just one or two other prices. If you look comprehensively across the range of everything consumers purchase, inflation is low and it’s been low for a long time.”

    Electricity prices are climbing at their slowest pace in six years, advancing 6.1 per cent in the year to September, well down on the annual increase of 18.5 per cent recorded with the introduction of the carbon tax one year earlier. Average food prices fell 1.6 per cent over the year to September. Discount mortgage rates have plummeted from about 6.1 per cent to 5.1 per cent over the past year, slicing about $180 per month off the typical cost of repaying a mortgage.

  77. Peter Hamrol

    Now that LABOR has now got its house in order by allowing the new democratic process in electing the party’s leadership, the next step is that all LABOR MPs unite as one force and keep the Government to account … LABOR must remain on course with core values and fight the GOVERNMENT on every government policy that does not benefit ALL AUSTRALIANS … Fight all the battles hard and eventually LABOR will be victorious to oust out the Elitist Liberals from selling out our country to foreign interests and the globalist NWO …

  78. Bob Evans

    Here is an example of the problem labour mentality from J.Fraser above…..Play the ball, not the man J.Fraser

    Uh huh.

    Did you get that J? Don’t do what they do, as it’s only acceptable if right wingers do it.

  79. ana stuart

    Thank you thank you thank you Dan!!!

  80. Dan Rowden


    That is excellent news. There was a great deal of feeling in the Labor community about this. It would be nice to think that had something to do with this announcement. But, we have the caucus yet.

  81. doctorrob54

    Thanks Dan,now I don’t have to write to Mr Shorten,but more seriously,a bloody fantastic job mate.
    You wrote everything plus more that I would want to write or express.Now I remember why I signed up here.

  82. J. Fraser

    @Bob Evans

    Yeah … got it.

    Excellent Link.

  83. Buff McMenis

    Ahhhhh, Dan, Dan, Dan … have faith, my friend … have FAITH!!! Bill hasn’t let us down. He’s not going to back the Abbott Idiocy Plan! Maybe a few small tweaks at the edges but the main frame will persist. Even Tanya says “Yes”. 😉

  84. Peter Hamrol

    Bill Shorten is not hiding or anything of that nature … He is formulating a plan with his LABOR colleagues the best form of approach to keep the ABBOTT government honest and compliant … Bill has recently stated that he would not back the Government’s plan of scrapping the Carbon Tax unless ABBOTT & Co agrees to an ETS … That’s what I call a reliable and trustworthy advocate of being in ‘Opposition’ …

  85. BeeTee-Ess

    I cannot help wondering what would have happened had we not seen such a grassroots outcry against Labor’s backing the government’s proposal.

    Well done, Dan.

  86. Tony Gurnett

    The gerrymander in the questionable ALP ballot was always going to get this response to its leader…result forgone conclusion (deals and dilemmas) you have “aced” 2 term plus Bill! Thanks mate!

  87. Kaye Lee

    “FORMER Treasury secretary Ken Henry has described Tony Abbott’s direct action scheme for tackling climate change as “bizarre” and predicted the Coalition will wind up implementing an emissions trading scheme.

    Dr Henry said the public service had been advising Australian governments for the past decade that an emissions trading scheme was the least economically damaging way to satisfy their emissions reduction commitments.”

  88. Peter Hamrol

    I agree that Tony Abbott’s direct action scheme for tackling climate change is “bizarre” bull-dust …
    With the full amount of pressure in opposing ABBOTT’s D.A.S. and firmly directed by the Bill Shorten and the entire LABOR opposition team the government hopefully will be forced in taking the right steps to ‘deal with Shorten’s deal of an E.T.S. instead of implementing a ‘rewards scheme’ to the polluters …

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