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Whatever the cost of Labor’s policy, the Coalition’s inaction on climate change will cost infinitely more

As the Liberal’s break into the predictable hysteria about Labor’s climate change policy, demanding to know how much it will cost the economy, Rio Tinto cut its 2019 outlook for iron ore shipments from Australia’s Pilbara region due to production disruption and damage caused by tropical cyclone Veronica.

The damage from the cyclone coupled with a fire at a port facility in January will lead to a loss of about 14 million tonnes of production in 2019, the miner said in a statement.

At today’s iron ore price, that equates to over $1.7 billion dollars lost revenue for one company from one cyclone.

In February, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state budget is estimated to take a hit of at least $1.5 billion after catastrophic bushfires and floods ravaged Queensland over the summer.

The $1.5 billion damage bill includes repairs to infrastructure such as the rail network and the cost of emergency assistance and grants. This does not include the cost to the Federal government or to insurance companies, businesses and households. Nor does it include the tragedy and heartache and the inevitable health toll.

Tens of millions were spent fighting the bushfires in Tasmania, but an even greater cost is the loss of world heritage listed old growth forests that may never recuperate.

And then there’s the Great Barrier Reef which Deloitte Access valued at $56 billion with an economic contribution of $6.4 billion per year. At the Conversation, they contend that, if you include things like the ecosystem services provided by coral reefs, the reef is actually priceless and irreplaceable and that any policies or projects that may damage the reef simply cannot go ahead.

Today, the ABC are reporting that the Kakadu wetlands are “highly vulnerable to future saltwater inundation because of climate change-induced sea-level rise and concomitant increases in extreme weather events such as storm surges and flooding”, according to the CSIRO Marine and Freshwater Research 2017.

A report by the Commonwealth Bank has put the potential cost of the drought at $12 billion and warned of food price hikes. That view was backed up by Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe who told a parliamentary committee the drought was so significant the RBA board had looked at rainfall charts.

“If things return to normal fairly soon we could expect a rebound, but if it goes on like it did in the drought at the turn of the century then the effects on the economy are significant.”

He said in 2002/03 farm output fell around 25 per cent knocking a full percentage point off Australia’s growth and leading to many rural workers losing their jobs. As well, food prices rose by 4.5 per cent.

The 2018 International Federation Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ World Disasters Report found Australia’s damage bill for natural disasters over the past decade came in at $37 billion.

Rising sea levels will put coastal property at risk and rising temperatures, both in the ocean and on land, puts whole ecosystems at risk.

The government has decided to quote modelling by Brian Fisher, who is already well known for his very dodgy modelling in favour of the coal mining industry, to say that Labor’s policy will cost workers $9,000 per year. This is, of course, complete rubbish and totally at odds with modelling by Frontier Economics and research by the ANU.

The question is not how much Labor’s policy will cost. The cost of not taking action is far too great to contemplate.


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  1. TuffGuy

    Labor have announced they are actually using the Coalition’s own policies of the NEG and Direct Action (albeit modified for the better). Perhaps they should be going big time to the press to highlight how the Coalition are complaining about their own policies, thereby showing everyone just how incompetent they are.

  2. Wat Tyler

    So even the weather is aghast at the idea of a re-election of the philistines.
    As Phil Coorey said a week or so ago, if the Coalition floated a duck it would sink. They are the most inept bunch of cretins imaginable – like the Carry On team but without any at humour.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Labor are going to reduce the emission baselines for some businesses too with some compensation for the most trade exposed industries.

    And they are finally going to help the electric car revolution begin.

    Morrison is getting really ridiculous.

    He is boasting about Snowy 2.0 whilst quoting the Fisher modelling which doesn’t factor it in. The modelling also states that it “does not attempt to estimate the possible economic consequences linked to climate change itself” and it assumes a price of firming renewables of $200/MWh – others say it is more like $70/MWh.

    When asked how his government was incentivising people to buy electric cars, Morrison said they wouldn’t have to pay fuel excise????

  4. DrakeN

    Kronomex, this current mob of evil administrators remind me more of a “Lord of the Flies” scenario.

  5. DrakeN

    Kaye, economic wisdom has never included the social, communal and individual wellbeing in its calculations; how much less it is able to calculate the eventual effects of a rapidly deteriorating climate.
    Dammit, the economics gurus were even caught short by the 2008 debacle.
    Experts in logic they most certainly are not.

  6. Kronomex

    And now, the complete and utter desperation of the LNP appears. And of course it all happens in the future IF they win. The only words I can think of show my contempt for them involves the use of swear words…

    “One of the biggest criticisms of the budget is for the 25th year in a row, there has been no raise, in real terms, to Newstart.
    Given everyone from the business council to the social services groups have been talking about the need to increase it this time round, it seems the government has had a last minute about-face and decided to include Newstart recipients in the one-off energy assistance payment. What I can say is we will be applying to Newstart recipients, the energy supplement,” Josh Frydenberg said to ABC breakfast this morning. “So $125 for couples and $75 for individuals, that will be in the legislation we introduce in the parliament.”
    When he was asked about it on AM, Frydenberg said the same thing. Asked if it was new, he said “yes”. So, yup. It is new. Because, for the people up the back, it was not included in the budget papers.


  7. Kronomex

    Oh gosh, look at the much vaunted tax cuts from the LNP and then tell me the little people get the biggest benefits. Or is it, as usual, “Be thankful you peasants get anything at all.”?

    Income Tax cut from 2018-19 Tax cut from 2022-23 Tax cut from 2024-25

    $30,000 $255 per year $255 per year $255 per year
    $60,000 $1,080 per year $1,080 per year $1,455 per year
    $90,000 $1,215 per year $1,215 per year $2,340 per year
    $120,000 $315 per year $2,565 per year $4,440 per year
    $150,000 $135 per year $2,565 per year $6,540 per year
    $180,000 $135 per year $2,565 per year $8,640 per year


  8. Peter F

    @DrakeN ‘economic wisdom has never included the social, communal and individual wellbeing in its calculations’. Nor has ‘economic wisdom’ included housework or child raising in the economic modelling. So much for equality. Lies, damn lies…….

  9. Alcibiades

    Clearly those with taxable income of $60k to $90k are considered desirable swinging voters. Under $60k don’t vote Coalition, and above 90K are assumed to only vote so.See: Proposed first year tax cut.

    Hm, so on a $30k taxable income, as an assumed non-coalition voter, the pittance proposed is fixed. Whereas on $180,000, as a Coalition voter, your proposed tax cut is exponential. In fact though six times the income of one on $30k, the latter tax cut is thirty-four times that of the scum on $30k. Yup, non vulgar words are wholly insufficient.

    Then there is nothing for the Homeless, nothing for the gutted community Financial, Legal & Welfare services.The Indue Cashless Welfare Cards for ‘party’ rorts expanded to NT & QLD. And ~25% of this fictional projected surplus is literally stolen from NDIS & Social Security funding. The $850m for NDIA to raise contractor rates is to be found within existing non released NDIS funding. Nada, zero, zilch other than smoke & mirrors to address climate change. Bustards.

    Too little, too targeted, too late, too starkly designed solely to buy votes now. Where is da ‘Plan’ ? Well there ain’t one. Seriously doubt this will shift votes, in the coalitions direction.

  10. Kaye Lee

    The budget allocates $175.8 billion to defence to 2022-23. Meanwhile the foreign aid budget is slashed again taking us to the lowest contribution level ever.

  11. whatever

    Greg Hunt has become an environmental warrior, he is fighting to stop an AGL liquid gas plant being built on Mornington Peninsula.

    Stop Labor’s AGL Gas Plant

    (The slashing of Foreign Aid gimmick is an appeal to OneNation voters, who never shut-up about money being wasted on Foreign Aid)

  12. Kronomex

    I just realised that the LNP is life/party imitating art, in this case M. Night Shyamalan’s “Superhero” trilogy:


  13. terence mills

    Just a few weeks ago a massive scare campaign was constructed around rapists, paedophiles and murderers being transported to Australia from Manus and Nauru for urgent medical attention. Scott Morrison flew a selected group of media to Christmas Island for a very expensive photo-op to announce the reopening of the Christmas Island detention centre at a cost of more than $185 million.

    The federal government has now quietly announced it will close the Christmas Island detention centre in July, just weeks after its reopening and guess what, not a single refugee or asylum seeker has been transferred there.

    These guys are spin-merchants, hucksters and con-men and you cannot trust anything they say, ever

  14. Alcibiades

    Only one refugee has so far been transferred for treatment under the new legislation … to mainland Oz.

    The consequences of the tragedy of Christchurch gutted their intended habitually race-baiting/dog-whistling campaign. Further crippled & consigned to the dumpster by Fraser Anning & One Notions conduct. Unforeseen … events.

  15. New Eng;and Cocky

    A smoke & mirrors Budget that ignores the fact that the 2018/2019 financial year finished at a loss and the future projections that the MSM are trumpeting and mythical at the best. still, the undeserving wealthy and corporates will likely continue to receive their free gratis and for nothing government charity handouts to ensure that the rich managers remain able to have their overseas family holidays at taxpayer expense.

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