Saturday March 18 2017
“Just because we are governed by clowns it doesn’t mean we have to laugh.”
The unedifying, undiluted, unplugged Jay and Josh press conference, or more appropriately called circus SA, between two monkeys on steroids showed Australians just why our politics has degenerated into a three-ring circus. In this instance, however, my sympathies are with Weatherill. Over the past few months he has had to accept much horse shit thrown from the conservative donkeys on the right who are brilliant at blaming the opposition for the circus’s unpopularity. He was just throwing a bit back.
A day after pretending he was a decent ring leader by getting gas companies to guarantee our future supply, (what choice did they have and why did the Government allow such a deal with no national interest test in the first place?) he cracks the whip by announcing a 2 billion upgrade to Snowy Mountain Hydro.
“She’ll be right” shouted the men of the Snowy when it seemed their work would never end or became too arduous. It wasn’t the negative quote we have interpreted it to be. It meant that regardless of the hardship, the work would be done. “She’ll be right, mate.”
It’s a quote unsuited to a do nothing Government. A bunch of clowns without the balls to juggle anything.
If nothing else the press conference highlighted just how broken our political system is. It demonstrated that in the big tent of politics, the circus is just full of under-performing jugglers who constantly drop the ball. A state government fails to brief the federal government on what it intends announcing and the federal government does the same. Not a thought about options or solutions. Just gratuitous slurs hurled like knives at each other.
Weatherill wasn’t wrong when he said it was “galling” that the Commonwealth had endlessly “bagged” the state and now said “we want to work together”.
Mind you I have some sympathy for the Premier who since the lights out storm has copped a barrage of lies and insults that would make a trapeze artist reconsider a safety net.
Weatherill was probably responsible for instigating the confrontation but we have to consider that his ‘ENTITLED ANGER’ had been boiling away for six months so he had a lot of steam to let off.
Weatherill said the Snowy initiative was a “$2 billion admission that the national energy market has broken and there needs to be public investments to actually fix it up” adding that the government was “in a white-knuckled panic about national energy policy”.
Frydenberg not to be outdone said Weatherill had delivered a “$550 million admission of failure” two days earlier, and had a big job to do explaining why the lights went out in South Australia “not once, not twice, not three times, but four times”.
At the end of it Turnbull trotted in like the head clown in the three-ring circus to say:
“I understand that the Premier’s conduct spoke volumes about the Premier’s state of mind at the moment.”
Low blow clowning at its best.
This was somewhat unfair as the federal government would have blamed the three dwarfs if it could. What the boots and all 20 minute press conference did tell us was just how little cooperation exists between the states and the commonwealth. It is now toxic. Turnbull has been saying for months now that any increase in energy prices would be the fault of the states. By stepping into the gas crisis he must now take ownership of the problem.
Now let’s look at Turnbull’s proposal in isolation.
It is not new. It has been around a long time. As to the cost they seemed to have plucked 2 billion dollars out of a magician’s hat. Like most projects of this type the cost seems to get out of hand and the time doubles so it could cost 6 billion and take a decade to compete. As yet it is only in feasibility stage which is to be completed prior to Christmas and the work to commence shortly afterwards. However, some say that it will never see the light of day. The major shareholders Victoria and NSW know precious little about it yet have been asked to dob in their share. If they don’t/won’t then with slight of hand dexterity the government will. Remarkable how they can find a few lazy billion when it doesn’t exist. Circus life does have its advantages.
Now it well maybe an excellent proposal, this Snowy scheme, but the question that needs to be asked is just how does it, and Weatherill’s proposal fit into the Finkel National Energy Policy that he is due to report on mid year.
The Coalition has had four years to come up with an energy plan, and all we have had is a lump of coal being handed around in the bullpit with accompanied bullshit. Pathetic I hear you say. The circus band plays on.
Finkel of course has been asked to come up with a plan that excludes the solution. Strange I hear you say. Well the Government has ruled out any consideration of the approach considered by the National Farmers Federation, Energy Networks Australia, the retailer Energy Australia, the electricity provider AGL, the Climate Change Authority, the Business Council of Australia and the CSIRO who all agree that a form of an emissions intensity trading scheme is the best way forward. In their submissions all of the aforementioned have included consideration of an ‘EIS’. Finkel can hardly dismiss them out of hand.if he does the opposition will do an extra matinee for free.
The reason why Turnbull has forbidden this approach is that it is a tax and it be seen as an admission of guilt in axing Labor’s carbon tax. He values his job as ring master of the three-ring circus more highly than what’s best for Australia’s energy needs and a moral approach to our carbon emissions. It’s an ideology over common sense approach. It’s just amazing how much clout the clowns of the right-wing circus have.
What our readers say.
“The prime minister has ordered a feasibility study by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) into increasing the capacity of the Snowy Hydro scheme by up to 50% by the use of pumped-hydro technology. It is a “feasibility study” and should be completed by the end of the year. ARENA, which provides financial grants for 40 per cent of the CSIRO’s energy research, was set to be stripped of $1.3 billion in funding as part of the government’s Omnibus Savings Bill still before the parliament.”
“By the way, I think that SA’s reserve gas power facility is good risk management particularly as it will be publicly owned; Weatherill deserves our support for tackling a problem that the federal government is only now belatedly acknowledging.”
“Within the last hour Fran Kelly was told by someone who has worked on the Snowy Hydro scheme that the PM’s idea is nothing new, it was always part of the original proposal, but that it will take YEARS to get agreement between all of the parties before anything can happen.”
“Yes, it should have been part of any government plan. But that is exactly the point: there was no plan before Weatherill’s announcement.”
“Ok, so, in response to the proposal for a battery system in SA ( one proponent says it could be up and running in 100 days) our wonderful PM drags out a $2bn Snowy Mtns scheme expansion (ARENA says it could have a 7 year lead time), while denigrating the battery proposal.”
“As it stands SA and now the Commonwealth are up for heavy costs to remedy the fossil fuels oriented neglect of the previous decade, along with the hiving off of control of resources and infrastructures for ideological and political reasons with probably even graft involved.”
Whatever you make of all this one thing is abundantly clear. The Government led by Turnbull must be the most incompetent ever to have served the nation. In spite of all their collective education they can’t, after four years, even come up with decent policies on Energy and the Environment. Shame, shame, shame. And many other policies. Shame, shame, shame.
”This three ring circus needs to get its act together. At the moment it seems to have no energy at all”
On this day in 2016 I wrote the following:
I have always believed Greg Hunt to be the second biggest liar, behind Abbott, in Australian Politics.
On Tuesday morning while driving my grandsons to school he was being interviewed on AM. The previous day it was announced that the average global surface temperature for February was 1.35°C warmer than the global average for the month between 1951-1980—a margin that shattered the previous record of 1.14°C, which was set just one month earlier—and exceeded preliminary figures released earlier this month.
“NASA dropped a bombshell of a climate report,” wrote meteorologists Bob Henson and Dr. Jeff Masters, founder of the Weather Underground. February 2016 has soared past all rivals as the warmest seasonally adjusted month in more than a century of global record keeping.
On Q&A on Monday night Australia’s Chief Scientist empathized the seriousness of the latest data more or less suggesting that the battle is being lost.
Seemingly oblivious to the situation Hunt in his interview told repeated lies about our commitment to reducing emissions giving the impression that Australia is on top of everything when the fact we are not.
“My best estimate is that we are unlikely as a nation ever to surpass [2005 levels] … In my best judgment, the advice, the information from the department, we reached peak emissions in 2005-06 … and the course of history to come for Australia is that we will continue to be below that figure.”
In saying this he is assuming that his monumentally condemned Direct Action will work.
There is not an economist, environmentalist, climate scientist or serious science writer who thinks that ‘Direct Action’ is the answer.
Lenore Taylor in the Guardian said:
“Independent experts predict Australia’s emissions will almost certainly rise over that decade under current policies, which do not put limits on emission increases from industry, electricity generation or land-clearing. They were deeply sceptical of Hunt’s peak emissions in 2005 claim.”
Hugh Grossman, the executive director of Reputex, said his company’s analysis of the government’s own data showed Australia’s emissions would continue to grow and that ‘there is no peak in sight’.
Malcolm Turnbull said this:
“Now I think those are arguments that some of the supporters of the scheme take, but it obviously – if you want to have a long-term solution to abating carbon emissions and to achieve – if you want to have a long-term technique of cutting carbon emissions, you know, in a very substantial way to the levels that the scientists are telling us we need to do by mid-century to avoid dangerous climate change, then a direct action policy where the Government – where industry was able to freely pollute, if you like, and the Government was just spending more and more taxpayers’ money to offset it, that would become a very expensive charge on the budget in the years ahead.”
Donald Trump said this:
“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
My thought for the day.
“Just because we are governed by clowns it doesn’t mean we have to laugh.”