It is clear that Angus Taylor is a man on a mission. What’s less clear is whose best interests are driving him.
Taylor has long been an opponent of the Renewable Energy Target, claiming it is what has driven power prices up. In reality, he was just pissed off because a neighbour of his family property in the Monaro Plains built a wind farm.
Angus boasted to Ray Hadley that he’s been speaking out against renewables policies “for many many years, well before anyone else … I argued in the party room many times to reduce it … I was able … to reduce the [RET] working with Tony as prime minister”.
He’s a hero according to the anti-wind power site STOP THESE THINGS, in part because, as Assistant Minister for Cities, he was somehow able to have the Finkel Review’s plan to reform the energy sector with a Clean Energy Target trashed.
Never in the field of political conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few. So few, in fact, we can name him: Angus Taylor, Liberal Member for Hume.
But fighting against renewable subsidies and ugly wind farms spoiling his view has not been Angus’s only crusade.
He, and his associates, have also been involved in properties where Barnaby Joyce approved dubious water buybacks for exorbitant prices with the money making its way to the Cayman Islands.
And now it’s been revealed that there’s been a full court press by the Taylor family regarding an investigation into alleged illegal clearing of critically endangered grasslands on property they own.
Taylor, who was minister for cities at the time, had meetings in 2017 to discuss the federal government’s designation of a critically endangered grassland species after which Josh Frydenberg’s office made enquiries about whether they could secretly change the endangered classification.
Also involved in the company, Jam Land, are Angus’ brothers Richard and Duncan, and Duncan’s wife Bronwyn who just so happens to be a NSW Nationals MP who was asked in parliament whether she sought to influence the state government’s submissions on the upgrading of an endangered grass species. The question was ruled out of order.
She was also asked about a federal department meeting with the NSW Local Land Services to discuss the listing immediately after Angus Taylor had contacted Josh Frydenberg in March 2017.
As it happens, the head of the Local Land Services in the south-east at the time of the alleged poisoning of the grasslands was David Mitchell, who was also a shareholder in Jam Land along with the Taylors.
Richard Taylor also made a submission to the department’s review of how environment laws affect the agriculture sector. His submission called for changes to make the laws more simple and compatible with broadscale agriculture and best-practice weed control.
It’s handy when your family has such a prominent platform on which to express their views and such insight into investment opportunities. Even handier when they get to make and change the rules that directly affect them.
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