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It was all a con

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Josh, I don’t believe a word you or your party says

A few months after the 2013 election, then Environment Minister Greg Hunt addressed the Clean Energy Council Annual meeting to outline the Coalition’s plans to protect the environment and tackle climate change after they repealed the carbon price.

His words, as it turns out, meant absolutely nothing.

Perhaps Australia’s most important natural asset – the Great Barrier Reef – is a particular focus of the Coalition’s Clean Water strategy. Our Reef 2050 plan seeks to tackle the risks to reef health with a $40 million Reef Trust to fund major projects.

On top of the $40 million cut from the Reef Water Quality Program in 2014, the government cut a total of $10 million from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

The Government accepts the science of climate change. The Government has made a commitment to provide an additional $9 million over three years for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility to support practical research and guidance on how to deal with the challenges of climate change.

Alongside the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO, NCCARF plays a vital role in making our world-leading research on climate change actionable.

The government cut hundreds of millions in funding, and hundreds of jobs, from the CSIRO and BoM and appointed venture capitalist Larry Marshall to head the CSIRO. His view is that human-induced climate change is now confirmed, so there is now less need for climate science. He is more interested in commercial ventures that will make a profit.

The 2017 federal budget axed funding for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), an agency that provides information to decision-makers on how best to manage the risks of climate change and sea level rise.

We are committed to our unconditional emissions reduction target to reduce emissions by 5 per cent below 2000 levels by the year 2020.

With a 2020 reduction target of 5 per cent, Australia would need to almost halve its emissions in the decade to 2030, and have only 14 per cent of the recommended carbon budget left for the next two decades.

The Government’s new commitment plans to cut emissions by 26 per cent by 2030 on 2005 levels. Why the change in base year? To make the percentage sound higher.

In 2005 Australia emitted 532 million tonnes of carbon. Reducing that by 26 per cent will shave 138 million tonnes off our accounts. That would take our annual emissions to 394 million tonnes.

If we took the 1990 starting point, as those who initially signed up to Kyoto do, then getting to 394 million tonnes would actually be just an 8 per cent reduction. If we stuck with 2000, the reduction would be just over 20%.

Ongoing developments in solar power technology provide enormous opportunities for Australian households and families to take direct action to reduce energy consumption and household emissions, while at the same time delivering real savings for family budgets.

Our Direct Action Plan therefore encompasses support for solar power through our million roofs and solar towns and schools programmes.

The Government will provide $500 million for the One Million Solar Roofs Programme; and a further $50 million each for the Solar Towns and Solar Schools Programmes.

The One Million Solar Roofs Programme didn’t even last three weeks after Hunt’s speech. There was no mention of it in the December 2013 MYEFO but it took until May for Hunt to confirm the program had been scrapped.

The Solar Schools program was implemented by Labor who funded solar installations in over 5000 schools. I cannot find any record of the Coalition continuing the program beyond 2013.

The Solar Towns program gave out three rounds of funding totalling less than $1.5 million before it was replaced by the $5 million Solar Communities program at the last election which has yet to deliver any funding.

These initiatives are in addition to support for renewable energy through the Renewable Energy Target and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which is funding projects as well as research across the spectrum of renewable energy sources, including bioenergy, hydropower, geothermal, ocean energy and wind.

By June 2015, legislation to cut the renewable energy target (RET) had passed Federal Parliament, along with the contentious inclusion of native wood waste as a possible fuel source.

The 2014 budget sought to abolish ARENA altogether. A protracted battle has seen it have to accept funding cuts of $500 million rather than the $1.3 billion initially proposed by the Turnbull government in its omnibus bill in September last year.

The final Direct Action measure I want to mention is our commitment to plant 20 Million Trees by 2020 to re-establish green corridors and urban forests on both public and private land.

The 20 Million Trees Programme will be complemented by a range of other new government initiatives, including the Green Army and the National Landcare Programme

The 2014 budget cut $483 million from the National Landcare Program to help pay for the original $700 million allocated for the Green Army. But in his first mid-year budget update in December 2015, Turnbull cut that by more than $300 million before abolishing the Green Army altogether the next year.

Based on progress reports, it’s estimated 2.89 million native trees have been planted but this will make very little difference when more than 20 million trees are cleared each year in Queensland alone.

As I listened to a very ‘sincere’ Josh Frydenberg on Insiders bemoaning the toxic politics that has caused energy investment to dry up whilst exhorting the Labor Party to deliver the certainty that business needs, I just shook my head at his audacity.

Josh, I don’t believe a word you or your party says.


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  1. Florence nee Fedup

    I don’t believe Josh believes a word he says. Suspect he is a hidden supporter Gillard’s solution. #auspol

  2. johnlward010

    Coal is not cheap and has never been ‘cheap and affordable,’ the price is governed by where and where subsidies are concealed.
    Besides the retail cost of electricity, there are costs of subsidies and railways government pay to the coal and oil cartels to drill or dig up our farmland; plus the public health debts that go uncounted.
    Air pollution generated by burning coal includes SO2, NOx, nanoparticles PM 2.5, vapours of Benzene, Toluene, and Xylene altogether 92 toxins; billions of fine particles of < 2.5 microns able to penetrate the lungs and go straight through the thin walls of your Pulmonary Alveoli and circulate in the blood causing disease and deaths. Further, unburnt hydrocarbons are an uncounted cost to health.

    The price of pollution is lung problems, India loses 1.1 million citizens to lung diseases caused by burning coal, worldwide the deaths alone 7 million per year, in the UK costs are $50 billion a year.
    The IMF calculates the worldwide subsidies per year are equal to what it cost to lose the Iraq war i.e. $6 trillion.
    Turnbull is subsidising the Oil, Coal and Gas industry to the tune of $1,712 for every man, woman and child, each year, or $41 billion per/annum of taxpayer funds; he now adds $2billion for Adani. The taxpayer, in point of fact, pays three or four times for fossil fuel energy.

    Finally, the cost of intensifying, uninsurable weather disasters rises across the globe.

  3. Kronomex

    I look at it this way regarding the LNP, (bends right over with head between legs and looks up) if their lips move then they’re lying. They also remind me of a horror film call Dead Silence with the corporations and Rupert (all hail Rupert) as the nasty ventriloquist.

  4. Frank Smith

    Like Hunt before him, Frydenberg spouts lies and “double-speak”. Kaye Lee, like you, I don’t believe a word he or his party says on these critically important issues.

  5. Vikingduk

    In the midst of an absolute tragedy, forever to be cursed by the generations following whist they watch the world collapse around them. When we are needing forward thinking, genuine innovation, a belief in science and the ever more strident warnings, politicians for the populace, what do we have?

    Power for power’s sake has brought us to this point, governed by incompetent, delusional liars, supported by a toxic media, and agreed to by the ignorant. Cruelty and hate becomes the norm, the crushing weight of paying the bills, finding work, getting to work, surviving saps the will, the space and time to really look at the shit sandwich we are fed.

    What actions can be taken to change this situation? A Corbyn, whose apparent honesty seems to have galvanised a record amount of young people to vote? Don’t know, there must be an escape from these ideological driven right wing shits. Traitors they are and will always be.

  6. Kaye Lee


    I haven’t seen any whales yet but yesterday a water spout formed in the ocean just in front of my place. It was amazing, funnelling up to connect to the clouds.

    We live in a beautiful world and we must fight hard to protect it. I hope the young have the energy to help us.

  7. Andreas Wagner

    Re Vikingduk, I feel with you and would love nothing more than having this once great country being restored to it’s original parameters. F#ck these neocon scoundrels.

  8. Kaye Lee

    A grazier from Inglewood, Mr Elliot said neither the Green Army nor the 20 Million Trees program really benefited the environment.

    He said the Green Army was effectively an employment program for the young unemployed and had done little for community Landcare programs or the environment.

    “The Green Army in particular, we had a lot of trouble getting anything happening west of the divide,” he said.

    “I know there was a couple in Mt Isa and one or two in Milmerran, but I think that was about as far west as it got.

    “It was disappointing because we could put an application in for a project, but get knocked back because we were in an unsuitable area to employ these people.

    “QWALC did a survey and it was basically dots up the coasts — with little inland- it was a coastal program.”

    Mr Elliott said the 20 million tree planting program had done little for the environment either

    “I’ve known of a few projects where they are putting 450,000 trees in an area that is surrounded by millions of native trees naturally,” he said

    “I can’t see how that is going to be much of an advantage for the environment.”

  9. kerri

    Thank you for this Kaye Lee. Josh is a mouth for hire. He will spout whatever his masters decree.
    Just as a side story/background on Joshy. Frydenberg is my federal member. I have emailed him a few times and most replies are textbook PR “I am doing my best and I really care.” Without saying much at all and definitely not answering my query.
    Josh and his staff seems to know me now? The last email I sent late last year is yet to be acknowledged let alone replied to. As I said, Josh is my federal member. The email was about the environment. No reply.
    To contrast I emailed Doug Cameron. Not my federal member. Not even in my state. On an issue that is not Doug’s portfolio. 2 weeks later I received a reply from Doug’s office and a follow up email when I thanked them and relayed the story of Josh not answering my email query.
    Jish rides on the habitual voting if right wing Eastern Melbourne suburb.

  10. Vikingduk

    Yes, Kaye Lee, a most beautiful planet that requires our all to protect this extraordinary earth. Just back from beach walk, blown away, as usual, cool you saw water spout, a rare sight.

    What else is our use as supposedly responsible adults, but to see ourselves as the guardians and protectors of the only planet we have, this planet that provides us with such beauty and, perhaps, mystery and magic.

    We are the only species on this planet, as far as I can tell, that have the gift and curse of free will, the ability to choose who and what are, say and do. We can accept our responsibilities we have for this planet and each other, or continue on our current trajectory. While we walk the beach we pick up other people’s rubbish, small actions such as this, I feel, shows a degree of respect for the environment. From little things big things grow.

    Happy Sunday all, go outside, look at the clouds, the sky, the beauty and absolutely reject the lies and hate espoused by so many.

  11. lawrencewinder

    I was looking at Fictions Frydenberg as he skirted around Cassidy’s questions on Insiders this morning and wondered if he must have a good psychiatrist in order to mentally survive the difference between the bullshit he constantly espouses and what he actually knows to be truth!

    But then I reckon, in in his head there would be sounds like, “All The Little Birdies’ go Tweet, Tweet, Tweet!”

  12. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Since the LNP continue to be derelict in their duty to the Australian People in not providing effective, substantial measures to control carbon emissions, and Labor allows politics to get in the way of building confidence in their commitment to controlling carbon emissions, we need other leaders to rise from the international community to take over that responsibility.

    That’s why Elon Musk is important and so are GetUp. Politicians have proven themselves self-interested weak bellies, so the plans, passion and impetus must come from grassroots people and people with consciences and fat chequebooks.

  13. jim

    The Great Smog of London, or Great Smog of 1952 sometimes called the Big Smoke, was a severe air-pollution event that affected the British capital of London in December 1952. A period of cold weather, combined with an anticyclone and windless conditions, collected airborne pollutants – mostly arising from the use of coal – to form a thick layer of smog over the city. It lasted from Friday, 5 December to Tuesday, 9 December 1952 and then dispersed quickly when the weather changed this smog killed thousands mostly from burning coal..This Abbott turnbull government lied it’s way into governing Australia in 2013 exactly as the right wing IPA, RC,Church hard right “fear the lord” you peasants intended while they hide behind the real “law” and the Media here in Australia.Why would you expect them to stop lying anytime soon.

  14. diannaart

    I won’t be around to see it, but I predict there will be a world tribunal for assessing crimes against the planet – such a forum would practically indict all of the LNP and quite a few Labor politicians as well.

  15. helvityni

    Jennifer, I saw the top man of Get Up on the Drum, and I was very impressed with his views, we need more people like him….

    And of course the less we hear from IPA girls like Downer’s Daughter, the better…( the Liberal rep on that night’s show)

  16. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Very true diannaart and helvi.

  17. helvityni

    I have been busy with the Long-Weekenders. and missed the Insiders; I was going to watch it on ABC24…Now that I know that Josh will be there, I’ll have to give it a miss, can’t stand the man, the most insincere of the very insincere lot, and oh, so boring..

  18. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    as per usual you show your good judgement of character.

    Frydenberg is just a smoothtalker. I believe he was a lawyer before politics but he would have made a good real estate agent or secondhand car salesman.

  19. darrel nay

    Why doesn’t Bernie have the guts to start a socialist party – I mean it could be argued that Bernie is a parasite on the democratic party and that as a parasite, he risks killing the host?


  20. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Freethinker

    However, who on the left of Labor has the character and backbone to do so? I’m struggling to think.

    This is where left Labor needs the Greens who are easily identified as planet protectors.

    Making bridges with the Greens is the way to go for Labor because it can be seen as a progressive response to the LNP dereliction of duty and generational abuse of our children and grand-children.

  21. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    darrel nay,

    do you have any understanding of what happened in the running up to the election of Trump?

    The DNC chose Clinton for their frontrunner despite Bernie’s charisma and relationship with grassroots people. Just like British Labour tried to cut out Corbyn (but did not succeed).

    The DNC or dumb ninny corporates, now probably realise their mistake but since they hold the reins of institutional power just like the GOP, don’t you think it is a tad disingenuous on your part that you suggest Bernie begins his own party now in the bid to win the Presidency? Probably not coz you’re at best a neoliberalist wannabe on the road to fascism.

  22. darrel nay

    reply for jennifer meyer-smith

    Every Trump fan knows Bernie was ripped off by the DNC. I have posted on this site a number of times about the murders of Seth Rich and Shawn Lucas. We also know Hillary played dirty tricks on Bernie and that the super-delegate process was corrupted in Hillary’s favour.

    Bernie may well have beaten Trump – I guess the election would have hinged on whether Sanders could have convinced greater America to support Socialism.


  23. Mick Byron

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    Bernie hooking up with the Greens would probably cost him further as the USA Greens have abysmal support and even Jeremy Corbyn spoke out as he knew the British Greens were probably damaging to him
    “Labour and the Liberal Democrats have dismissed a call from the Greens for an election pact, after the party’s co-leaders wrote to Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron to say this was the only way to keep the Conservatives out.
    However, Corbyn, who has previously expressed opposition to the idea, ruled out any pacts with the Greens or Lib Dems, or the SNP, at a meeting of Labour’s national executive committee on Wednesday

    Separately, a spokeswoman for the party leader said there were no plans to talk about a progressive alliance. “Labour will be fighting for every seat in this election,” she said.

    The Greens took just over 500,000 votes in all, hugely down on the more than 1.1m in 2015.

  24. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Mick Byron,

    if you are trying to equate Brit Labour with AUS Labor, forget it.

    Brit Labour with Corbyn as their man and the enlightened followship he and his true party supporters have, are 10 times the value of current AUS Labor which is just a conglomerate of hasbeens in defiance of true Labor values.

    Therefore, dismissing an AUS Greens Labor ALLiance by citing Corbyn’s dismissal of a similar Greens Labour Alliance in Britain, does not work the same coz Corbyn has proved he has wholesome values in terms of social justice, equality, innovation, free higher education universal health care etc, etc most of which AUS Labor has proved sorely inadequate. Under Corbyn, Brit Labour may not need the Greens, although I would support such an ALLiance, but in AUS under Shorten, Labor desperately needs the Greens to lead the way on social justice, environmental, refugee rights, social security rights issues.

  25. Mick Byron

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    “Therefore, dismissing an AUS Greens Labor ALLiance” Is there such a beast?
    Who is in this ALLIance, which politicians have committed and who are those behind, or organising this ALLiance?
    I have noted you often mention this ALLiance but can find no such beast if I google it and other than you I never have heard it mentioned.Is this a private project of yours or is there membership and how do party members be it Greens or Labor avoid their own party constitutions if they were to participate particularly as Labor leaders have publicly ruled out alliances etc a la Corbyn.
    You say “Labor desperately needs the Greens ” when Labor Federal and some State Labor have has made it abundantly clear that THEY DO NOT.Maybe the Greens need Labor but not the reverse. I eagerly await your response as to the makeup and membership and committed politicians to the ALLiance, to date

  26. Kaye Lee

    Last week, China hosted a conference run by the International Energy Agency where Energy Ministers and leaders of industry came together to review how to increase collaboration in order to drive further deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS).

    The discussion centred on the vital role of CCUS in reducing carbon dioxide emissions while ensuring energy security. Participants acknowledged the importance of revenue streams, such as from CO2 utilisation, available transport and storage options, and political leadership in securing investment in CCUS projects.

    Hosting the event, Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director, said the IEA would undertake detailed analysis of the conditions and factors that have led to the investment in existing CCUS projects, and how they may be replicated elsewhere.

    The countries represented in the discussion host 19 of the 22 projects currently in operation or construction globally.

    “Investment has flowed to CCUS projects where there is a confluence of factors which constitute a viable business case,” said Dr Birol. “We need to find more such opportunities, where a commercial case for CCS can be built with reasonably modest, well targeted public interventions.”

    Josh Frydenberg, Australia’s Minister for Environment and Energy, and Matthew Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, who were unable to attend, said in a written statement: “Gas and coal will continue to play a significant role in both the global energy mix and industrial processes for the foreseeable future. The Australian Government is taking a technology-neutral approach to providing an affordable and reliable energy system as we transition to lower emissions future; and we recognise that carbon capture and storage has an important role to play. In recognition of this, last week the Australian Government announced it will broaden the mandate of the Australian Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to support investment in CCS technologies.”

    Why the f*ck weren’t they there? Because they really don’t give a shit. Publish a report, do a lot of interviews – that should shut everyone up for a while.

  27. David Tyler

    Typically incisive work, Kaye Lee. Spot on. The deceit is breathtaking. Having politicised even the Chief Scientist, Freydenberg et al are “getting the message out” by misrepresenting what his report says.
    With regard to CCS which may also cover CCUS, I suspect our local experts don’t want to be confronted by their own disinformation. Frydenberg has claimed that the plant he visited reduced our carbon footprint by 40% – but when you subtract the leakage and take away the parasitic energy demanded by the capture process, the true figure is likely to be about 6%.
    I am interested in the remark made by the IEA head:
    “.. the IEA would undertake detailed analysis of the conditions and factors that have led to the investment in existing CCUS projects..”
    This part of proceedings shouldn’t take long. In the USA,- home of the only three commercial examples = massive government subsidies. Now, under Trump, the money has been abruptly cut by 85%. No-one expects another plant before 2030.

  28. Kaye Lee


    The Conversation had an interesting article about CCS in industry recently.

    “Unless these emissions are captured and stored in rock formations thanks to CCS, meeting climate targets with coal power is impossible.

    But here’s the thing: carbon dioxide can be captured from any large-scale source. This means that CCS has a valuable role to play in other industrial sectors – as long as clean coal’s bad reputation doesn’t drag CCS down with it.

    About half of the global potential for CCS by 2050 has been estimated to lie in industry. Some sectors like synthetic fuels and hydrogen production may not grow as predicted. But others such as cement, steel and ammonia, are here to stay.”

  29. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Mick Byron,

    Labor needs the Greens’ energy and ability to reach many young minds.

    If Labor MPs and party string-pullers can’t handle the reality, ditch them for more revitalised, policy-focussed ones who put people and the planet before their dying party.

  30. Keith

    Bernie Fraser, and other former members of the Climate Change Authority gave a stringent analysis for greenhouse emissions; which make the current target appear like males pissing into a strong wind. Bernie Fraser et al provided their analysis a few years ago, since that time research, and extreme events have intensified; and shown the need to take strong and urgent action.

    On Q&A last night it was mainly a political discussion about the Finkel Report, with climate change almost a secondary topic.
    Also, with the major Parties pushing for new coalmines; then, discussions around the Finkel Report become academic.

    The Oceans are warming, already major impacts are being observed:
    … Coral Reefs around Earth have been hit hard
    … Algal blooms are causing huge damage to water purity and viability of fish stocks
    … The Gulf Stream is slowing down
    … Ice sheets are becoming less stable (Larson C)
    … Oxygen levels in marine environments are decreasing slightly
    … There has been a huge toll on the Fishing Industry (Chile)

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