Here’s a quiz for you !
You are the prime minster and you want to stop Barnaby Joyce shouting in your ear about building coal-fired power stations in Queensland. You have a slush fund – well several actually – and decide to allocate $4 million dollars to fund a feasibility study on the merits, both economic and environmental, of building a coal-fired power station in somewhere like Collinsville in central Queensland.
To carry out this feasibility study you need to appoint an entity who will approach the matter with academic and scientific rigour ; but probably not too much – do you select :
A. a small mining company with no money and no experience but with a strong desire to operate a publicly funded coal-fired power station and who are well connected with the National Party ?
B. the CSIRO or other suitably qualified impartial body with the ability to objectively review the options from a scientific, economic and environmental perspective ?
C. Matt Canavan’s Uncle Arfur ?
If you chose C. you are clearly a ‘woke’ person in tune with the nuances and subtleties of present day political life. But you would be wrong as Matt Canavan doesn’t have an Uncle Arfur and despite Barnaby Joyce calling this a mere technicality, we are after all talking about taxpayers money and the National Audit Office will be looking over your shoulder.
B. is also incorrect, as Barnaby has noted of the CSIRO : ‘they are all sandal wearing, latte sipping, chardonnay gulping leftie wankers, with namby-pamby university degrees and doctorates : clearly socialists and entirely unsuitable for a scientific appraisal of this type.
So you turn to option A. which quite obviously meets all the criteria and even Bridget McKenzie with one eye closed could have told you this is the way to go.
So, how do you find this small, impecunious shelf company with aspirations to operating a coal-fired power station : well, here’s a clue, you don’t need to refer to the Yellow pages as Barnaby and Matt have a lot of mates.
The government have decided that $4 million will be given to Shine Energy to conduct the feasibility study for the proposed 1GW HELE [high efficient low emission] coal plant at Collinsville. Shine Energy, depending on what their feasibility study shows, want to build a 1-gigawatt plant at a cost of $2 billion which evidently would be funded by the person you see in the mirror every morning. Shine Energy had an engineering firm conduct a concept study which it has refused to release publicly, but CEO Ashley Dodd said it found the project was viable – of course it did ! Let’s hope that the feasibility study, which we have no doubt will find a new coal-fired power plant eminently desirable, is not hidden from public view.
So, are Shine Energy the best people to be conducting this feasibility study ? According to media reports :
“The only physical trace of Shine Energy, which wants to build a $2bn coal-fired power station in north Queensland, is a small post office box next to an Asian grocer at a suburban Brisbane shopping complex. The same mailbox is shared by more than a dozen online businesses, including the maker of a metal card that spuriously claims to improve the quality of wine.
Company documents show Shine Energy is worth a nominal $1,000 on paper. It has no registered financial obligations, and no physical office at its listed address.
On its website, Shine describes its business as providing “renewable energy solutions”, but the company could offer no evidence that it or its directors, mostly Birri and Widi traditional owners, has ever previously worked on an energy generation project.”
Clearly Shine in the cynical view of this government are the best people to be carrying out this feasibility study – I beg to differ. I tend to be dismissive of so much of the bumbling malfeasance of this coalition government, but somewhere, sometime we have to draw the line and to be using public money as a pacifier for the National party loudmouths is just going too far.
Enough is enough !
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