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Meet our new Minister for the Environment

For most Australians, our new Minister for the Environment, WA MP Melissa Price, will be a total unknown.

She was elected in 2013 to represent the electorate of Durack, the largest single member electorate in the world.  Price became Assistant Minister for the Environment in December 2017 and has now been elevated to the top job.

Prior to entering parliament, Ms Price was a lawyer, working as general counsel for CBH Group and Crosslands Resources Ltd.

Crosslands Resources is owned by the Mitsubishi Corporation.  It owns the Jack Hills iron ore mine and the Jack Hills Expansion Project, located 380 kilometres north-east of Geraldton.

The CBH Group (an acronym for Co-operative Bulk Handling), is a grain growers’ cooperative that handles, markets and processes grain from the wheatbelt of Western Australia.

In 2016 the Australian Taxation Office revealed that despite generating more than $3.4 billion in revenue in 2013/14, the company paid no tax. This made it Australia’s biggest revenue earner not to pay tax in the period under review.

Ms Price appears to be a climate change denier, just what we don’t need in the Environment portfolio, particularly in combination with the Energy Minister, Angus Taylor, who notably also happens to be a climate change denialist.

In November 2015, she spoke in parliament to “set the record straight and to smash yet another one of the myths started by the increasingly irrelevant Labor Party.”

Whether you believe so-called climate change is due to human behaviour, planetary motion, ocean currents or solar variability et cetera, to me, is not the point.  The world is rejecting carbon taxes and embracing direct action style approaches involving practical actions to reduce emissions.

Like most of their other portfolios, the Labor Party do not have a plan to tackle climate change. They just whinge or do nothing new in particular. They make a big song and dance about the government’s plan, yet they do not have a policy on the area themselves or none that they care to commit that might be new. In the last five years, the Labor Party have had five—that is right, five—different policies, while we on this side of the chamber have had one strong, consistent and effective policy.

While in government together last term, Labor and the Greens presided over a series of waste, mismanagement and bungles. Who could forget the carbon tax? It was their big idea for dealing with climate change. This tax did little to improve the environment, but it put a huge impost on the price of energy in this country. It had the greatest impact on the most vulnerable members of our community, whom those opposite say they represent. What a joke? Of course, the biggest flaw is that the carbon tax was a local tax. If global warming is the problem it was trying to solve then, by definition, we require a ‘global solution’. That is why Australia must join with the international community to determine how to achieve a long-term global reduction in CO2, emissions.

While we are talking about those opposite, who could forget the Home Insulation Program, which was linked to deaths of four people, 224 home fires and 70,000 repairs.

It is worth repeating, because it was Australia’s greatest embarrassment. There were the bungled green loans. Three independent reports found extensive mismanagement. Let’s not forget the citizens assembly. What a fabulous initiative! It was a 2010 election promise to assemble 15 citizens to discuss ways to tackle climate change, which was dumped just weeks after the election. What a shameful waste!

Mr Deputy Speaker, as you can see, clearly the government has made significant inroads in addressing climate and change, and improving our environment. Our current policies are working. We will meet our 2020 and 2030 targets. As we have heard today, the Department of the Environment has released a formal emissions update on our 2020 target, which shows that we are on track to beat out 2020 target by a whopping 28 million tonnes. That is what I call good government.”

Will we citizens have to storm parliament to get these fools to listen to the scientists and address the existential threat posed by climate change?

Or we could just vote the flat earthers out.

 


39 comments

  1. Frank Smith

    Yes Kaye Lee, let’s vote the flat-earthers out. ScoMo, Shorten, Cosgrove or whoever, please wind up this nonGovernment on Sept 11 and give the people the opportunity to end this farce – they are begging to have their say.

  2. New England Cocky

    Oh dear Kaye Lee, as somebody said on another AIMN thread, “nothing changes, the patients remain in charge of the asylum”.

  3. Michael Taylor

    Maybe he’s trying to outdo Trump for crazy picks.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Michael, it is making my head spin as I scroll through the list. I have already written two articles today. I could probably write one about every pick he has made. This has NOTHING to do with good policy or best person for the job and everything to do with shoring up his power and kowtowing to those who insist they move further to the right.

    PS I do think Marise Payne was a good choice for foreign affairs but she was Julie’s pick, not Scott’s, and probably in part so he could satisfy Pyne by giving him defence (though I really do wonder how Christopher will go over with the other defence ministers).

  5. Frank Smith

    I am sure your analysis is correct Kaye Lee. My hope is that a sufficient number of voters have seen through the Coalition right-wing tricks to finally say “enough is enough “. With a byelection coming, crossbenchers fed up and perhaps even some Coalition moderates recognising the the game is up, perhaps there will be an opportunity over the next month to rid the country of this rabble. We can only hope, unfortunately. Now, if I were King …..????

  6. Kaye Lee

    Dutton is still under real scrutiny. Not only for the childcare centre conflict of interest.

    “Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton personally intervened to stop a French au pair being deported after his office was lobbied by AFL boss Gillon McLachlan.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-28/dutton-released-au-pair-after-lobbying-from-afl-boss-mclachlan/10172788

    Frank,

    I often think if I were benevolent dictator….. If I could do it from home basing my decisions on what the experts say, that would be ok. But I sure as hell don’t want to dress up, have my photo taken, hand out pamphlets, and have to put up with paltry people trying to find some sexual dirt on me.

  7. helvityni

    What about Dan Tehan, on what basis was he promoted to education, the most important portfolio… I suppose there aren’t any better ones to pick and choose from…

  8. Josephus

    Climate change is due to a planetary misalignment. Or is a left wing lie, whoever the left is these days.
    You say vote in another lot, but Labor has lost its principles it seems, while the Greens have failed to deal with sexual misconduct until now, so have lost some members. The right wing ultras are unable to find credible evidence for anything. That leaves…? While we squabble islands sink. Even Mr Harbour Mansion might have to shore up his house, having failed to shore up his coal-ition.

  9. Topenda

    So her parliamentary speech was basically:

    “Climate change? So what?

    Labor is bad.

    Labor is bad.

    Labor is bad.

    Labor is bad.

    We’re better than Labor, just because we are. So nyeh.”

    Figures…sigh. :/

  10. Keith

    It is through huge concern about climate change denial going up many notches in the LNP that I have sent emails to cross bench politicians … Adam Bandt, Rebekha Sharlie and Cathy McGowan to present a motion of no confidence on the current LNP gang.
    I have also messaged my local Labor member with same idea. It would be good if other people were to do the same.

    Are there any other cross bench members I have missed?

  11. Frank

    Keith, there is Bob Katter of Stetson fame.

  12. Kaye Lee

    Keith,

    Andrew Wilkie

    I wouldn’t bother with the Mad Hatter Katter. For starters, he’s never there and secondly, he seems mostly fixated on crocodiles, Hellsgate dam and getting the gun laws changed so his son-in-law can import rapid fire assault weapons..

    Can anyone tell me why Bob is so ashamed of his Lebanese grandfather that he feels the need to shut down the conversation every time it is brought up?

  13. Frank

    This looks very much like a cry in the dark!

    “With a new minister, and a new voice in cabinet to promote science and evidence, I am more optimistic about the future of Australian science and technology.

    Having a representative that is qualified, demonstrably passionate, and who is engaged with the STEM sector at all levels, gives us hope that we will see visionary leadership and strength from the member for McPherson.”

    Evidence based anything is an anathema to this mob. I do not share Prof Johnston’s enthusiasm.

    https://theconversation.com/australia-needs-boldness-and-bravery-from-karen-andrews-the-new-minister-for-industry-science-and-technology-102185

  14. johno

    OMD, is there not anyone in the lnp that is not a moron ?

  15. Keith

    Thank you Kaye, I’ll send same message to Andrew. Bob Katter came across appallingly on Q&A last night, about time for him to retire I think.

    I have also sent message to Mark Butler.

    It would be great if other people sent similar messages.

  16. Max Gross

    The LNP is a broad farce.

  17. guest

    While there are requirements re citizenship and conflicts of interest, etc, there should be a test on what the IPPC scientists are saying about Climate Change. While they are at it, there should be testing of what alternative ideas there are about Climate Change.

    For those who understand the IPPC, there would be no problem, but for deniers there would be problems. Probably there would be some who have no idea what the IPPC is saying, and for some of them there would not even be any idea of what denial says. The dopey, oft-debunked and frequently unscientific nonsense wheeled out by deniers would soon be exposed.

    Another tactic would be to ask for the name of the cllmate scientist(s) who endorse whatever denial the deniers say. Ask them, Who told you that? Where did you read that?

    I would suggest a good number of the denial claims are to be found in Murdoch media, having so scientific basis whatsoever.

  18. Kaye Lee

    guest,

    Global Change Institute director and marine biologist and coral reef expert Prof Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Dr John Church, a world-leading scientist on sea level rise from the CSIRO and Prof Mark Howden, a chief research scientist at CSIRO and also the director of the Climate Change Institute at Australian National University, went to Canberra to brief politicians.

    At the last moment, Craig Kelly invited three representatives from the IPA to also make presentations. This was, apparently, to provide “balance”.

    Hoegh-Guldberg said “We had people shouting. We have heard all of the old arguments before a million times – ‘CO2 is plant food’ … ‘climate change isn’t happening’ … that sort of thing. It was disappointingly uninformed. The scientists were from premier institutions taking time to address the committee. Then we had three people from the IPA – clearly lobbyists. What they were saying was not based in reality or science – it was an anti-intellectual environment.”

    Church said “The details of the briefing were changed after we agreed to do it – at no time were we advised this was to be a debate. But it was not what I would call a debate – that is a contest of ideas. Rather the loudest and shrillest voice was what prevailed and playing the person – particularly people who were absent – seemed more important than the quality of the facts.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2015/oct/23/coalition-committee-tries-to-balance-climate-science-briefings-by-inviting-denialists-from-think-tank

    That pretty much sums up politics over the last five years.

  19. Sean Crawley

    Yes, we could just vote her out. Or we could hold MPs accountable for what they say in Parliament. Blatant lying should be punished.

  20. Phil

    Holy hell! Melissa Price is by any standard an absolute dick-head. So climate change is basically crap but she says her government has made huge inroads into addressing something that isn’t actually happening – the woman is bat shit crazy – no wonder Morrison picked her because he has the same views.

    Environment policy is going to be screwed up in a ball and flushed down the dunny to join all the other LNP crap in the Canberra LNP waste policy treatment works.

  21. vicki

    Ha Naturally.. WE have Government’s FULL of LAWYERS that have fundamentally screwed what We used to call the Justice and Legally system as NO ONE can make Heads or tails of it anymore even Judges, as even a layman can’t go to court anymore and expect a FAIR trail without a million dollar lawyer, as the Judge is going to take the High Paid Lawyers account or rhetoric as he or she Thinks they must know better or more than me because they are Paid the Big Bucks to know how to unscrabble this bullshit so they must be Right or close to it! RIGHT? IT is way overdue for US to kick ALL these guys out of Parliament and restore our Constitution back to its LEGAL RIGHT, For the PEOPLE, BY the PEOPLE,WITH the PEOPLE.

  22. vicki

    The three rules of the land when entering politics is 1: For the People, I will work to hold the peoples wealth and never sell their assets,resources and equity without consent or reparation. 2: Government will always consult the public on all Laws either through a vote or referendum.3:With the People, Politicians must always adhere to the Peoples’ vote regardless of personal and party preference. As the Politician is only a paid Representative of the PEOPLE nothing more and nothing less.It is Obvious the more you give over your Power as people the more you lose, we must uphold these three principles otherwise WE end up with a dictatorship or a false/pretense of Government, WE as a Nation are on the threshold of losing it ALL, as the Rules of the Land for entering Politics are long gone in regards to today’s Politicians and WE must feel that nothing has bode well for US since Howard took office.

  23. vicki

    And since Howard refused to allow Australians (yet he granted east Timor this right), the only western Nation in the world to have NO Bill of Rights, we should feel aggrieved and sold out by his Government. Another reason We must HOLD All Politicians Accountable for their Actions untoward,s to their Constitutions and the Australian Constitution. If they fail to live up to the three rules of the Land, then they should lose ALL parliamentary privileges that the PEOPLE pay for, they must explain their actions in a court of Law and pay back their Debt to the Australian People, as nothing less is expect form the ordinary Australian,as whats good for the Goose is good for the Gander in Layman’s terms.

  24. John Lord

    They have no interest in Global warming. Never have and never will.

  25. johno

    The Morrison cabinet is dreadful and way worse than the Turnbull cabinet was. Bring on the election.

  26. Diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    I don’t always get to comment, but your work remains astute and vital to read.

    Thank you

    Dianna

  27. Matters Not

    Lots of criticism re Labor’s renewable energy target but I suspect it’s not ambitious enough. Here’s why:

    On Tuesday afternoon, California state lawmakers passed a landmark bill, SB100, which would put the state’s electricity supply on track to be totally emissions-free by 2045. It passed 43-32.

    The bill would amend California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which currently requires half of all the state’s electricity to come from clean, renewable sources of energy by 2030. Regulators have already predicted the state will meet that goal 10 years early, by 2020.

    And they are doing it in the land of Trump.

    This is a pivotal moment for California, for the country, and the world,” said Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune in a statement Tuesday. “While Donald Trump abandons reality by ignoring the climate crisis and the incredible growth of clean energy, California is stepping up to lead the transition to a 100 percent clean energy economy.”

    California has been a leader in its commitment to renewable energy, boasting more than 500,000 jobs in the clean energy sector, according to the Department of Energy—more than any other state in the union.

    Now what was that about jobs and growth.

    https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2018/08/california-lawmakers-just-voted-to-make-all-its-electricity-emissions-free-by-2045-sb-100/

  28. paul walter

    Speaking of new ministers, who will replace Julia Banks, who has now resigned.

  29. Kaye Lee

    Julia is staying on just won’t recontest. I want to hear these women start naming names and I want to see the men who did the bullying lose their preselection. As I speculated on another thread, I think someone may need to speak to Andrew Hastie.

  30. nexus321

    It is easy to see how a complex society could easily and rapidly collapse with such retards in positions of power.

  31. Matters Not

    Andrew Hastie must be told – Hands Off!

    (But maybe not.)

  32. corvus boreus

    Kronomex,
    Angus Taylor is correct in saying that he is not ‘sceptical’ regarding climate science.
    As he has previously stated, he sees climate science as a ‘religion’, and thus acts accordingly.
    Fold hands and bow head, mutter a few words of incantation, toss some small change into the collection plate, then, soul expunged and conscience clear, off he goes to help cement man’s dominion over Earth and beasts.

  33. Kaye Lee

    The energy people must be tearing their hair out. One month ago they released the inaugural Integrated System Plan for the National Electricity Market. From what Angus Taylor is saying, he is single-handedly throwing that out. The next COAG meeting is going to be hellish.

    Apparently Angus is “deeply sceptical of the economics of so many of the emissions reduction programs dreamed up by politicians, vested interests and technocrats around the world” and wants “continued focus on coal and gas”.

    Whereas the energy regulator said “costs of new renewable plant continue to fall, and advances and availability of storage technologies, particularly pumped hydro, flexible gas-powered generation and distributed energy resources (DER) are emerging as core components to a low cost and reliable energy future.”

    https://www.aemo.com.au/Media-Centre/2018-Integrated-System-Plan

  34. paul walter

    That is an IMMENSE comment, Kaye Lee.

  35. Kaye Lee

    paul,

    I so often feel I am just blowing in the wind. How must the people who work so hard to give us the facts feel?

    If it’s any use, I linked to the AEMO report on Angus Taylor’s facebook page and asked him to please read it.

  36. paul walter

    Agnus will be right when he works out whether the letters and words face the floor or the ceiling.

    I often read stuff about renewables efficiency and use likely to occur more rapidly from this point so guess it must all be about the fossilists hanging on for one last desperate attempt to hamstring the world on a raft of dodgy contracts that nations cannot break clear from.

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