"We will oppose the carbon tax in opposition, and repeal it in government"


PM in waiting

Tony Abbott’s fighting talk in his Budget reply. Those few words should be all the Australian public needs to hear to vote out this illegitimate government at the next election. Gillard had no mandate for a carbon tax, expressly ruled it out on the eve of the 2010 election, and cynically backflipped to appease the Greens in February. If it hadn’t been for those hopeless, grovelling, sycophantic, lily-livered, pathetic excuses for MPs, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, we would never be in this right royal mess.

Here are some key (climate-related) extracts from his reply:

Then there’s the carbon tax that the Prime Minister said would never happen that will just make cost of living pressures so much worse.

A $26 a tonne carbon tax would add 25 per cent more to electricity bills and 6.5 cents a litre more to fuel bills that are already skyrocketing – and that’s before it starts automatically increasing by at least four per cent every single year.

A $26 a tonne carbon tax means 16 coal mines closed, 23,000 mining jobs lost, and 45,000 jobs lost in industries like steel, aluminium, cement, glass, chemicals and motor cars. The Prime Minister talks about compensation but there’s no compensation for people who have lost their jobs.

So let me make this crystal clear: the Coalition will oppose the carbon tax in opposition and repeal it in government. The Coalition will oppose the mining tax in opposition and repeal it in government.

The Prime Minister can leave the carbon tax out of the budget but she can’t hide the damage it will do to struggling families’ cost of living, the havoc it will wreak on jobs in manufacturing industry exposed to cut-throat competition, and the fact that it will make no real difference to the environment in the absence of comparable action overseas.

The Prime Minister can’t hide the truth: that this is a tax for which she has no mandate. In fact, she has a mandate not to introduce it. The declaration, “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”, will haunt this government every day until it faces up to this betrayal.

Does anyone think that the Prime Minister would now be in the Lodge had she admitted truthfully, six days out from last year’s election that, yes, “there will be a carbon tax under a government I lead”? This is the cancer that’s eroding the Prime Minister’s standing and sapping the government’s authority.

As things stand, we have a parliament that can’t make decisions people respect, a Prime Minister who looks like she’s not up to the job and a minority government that’s increasingly seen as an experiment that’s failed. If Australia goes on like this for another two and a half years, what is currently a great country with a lousy government could slide into a morass of indecision and paralysis.

Read it all here.

McGauran: CSIRO is "political puppet"


Gloves off

Following on from our story yesterday, Liberal Senator Julian McGauran takes CSIRO to task for parrotting the government’s climate change agenda:

Senator McGauran says the organisation has been stripped of its independence and is doing the bidding of the Minister for Science, Kim Carr.

“Minister Carr without doubt has wandered through the CSIRO offices, intimidating the scientists and the executive to do as they’re told,” he said.

“This is now a political organisation. The executive have become compliant to the minister, utterly.” (source)

The rest of the ABC article is just the typical mish-mash of pro-Labor spin, and vacuous ad hominems from Carr. Actually, CSIRO probably don’t need any intimidation from Carr – they’re all fully paid up alarmists anyhoo.

Greens may vote for ETS in Senate


Troeth and Boyce: you'd better not…

The Courier Mail is reporting that the Greens may soften their policy on the ETS to enable them to vote with the Government when it returns to the Senate in February:

Leader Bob Brown will be in Canberra this week will announce a new, softer environmental policy [kind of defeats the object of the Greens, really – Ed] – just 13 days before the Government’s twice-defeated Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is reintroduced into Parliament.

The Greens and the office for Climate Change Minister Penny Wong are expected to meet to discuss the offer in coming days.

The Courier-Mail understands Senator Brown and deputy leader Christine Milne will offer an interim proposal to get an emissions trading scheme off the ground, under a deal designed to catapult the Greens back into the political debate.

It is believed the Greens’ proposal will closely follow the Government’s legislation but would allow for stronger greenhouse gas targets as circumstances change.

The Greens argue the Government’s scheme is problematic because the legislation makes it too hard to toughen targets once it is operational.

Meanwhile, The Courier-Mail can reveal that outgoing Victorian Liberal senator Judith Troeth and Queensland Liberal senator Sue Boyce, who both crossed the floor to vote for the scheme last year, have not ruled out again siding with Labor.

The Government would need the five Greens plus two others to pass the legislation in the Senate.

If Troeth and Boyce cross the floor, enabling the ETS to pass with the Greens support, they should be expelled from the Liberal party immediately (and then banished to the dingiest, darkest corner of the planet).

Read it here.

Dream start for Abbott


From The Australian

From The Australian

A series of headlines to cheer the spirit. Rather than the disaster the media had hoped for, Tony Abbott appears to be galvanising Liberal support.

There were dire predictions that the Liberals could lose the seat of Higgins to the Greens — Labor did not run a candidate in either by-election — and that there would be a big swing in Bradfield against the Liberals because of Mr Abbott’s opposition to the ETS.

After counting continued yesterday, it appeared the Liberals would get a small swing towards them in both seats [of Bradfield and Higgins] on a two-party-preferred basis and possibly a small swing against them on primary votes.

The Newspoll survey, conducted from Friday to Sunday, exclusively for The Australian, showed a rise of four percentage points in the Liberals’ primary vote, taking the Coalition’s support to 38 per cent compared with the government’s unchanged 43 per cent.

The government still has an overwhelming two-party-preferred vote of 56 to 44 per cent, but Mr Abbott has improved on Mr Turnbull’s last position as preferred prime minister and won strong endorsement among Liberal voters.

Support for Mr Rudd as preferred prime minister fell five percentage points last weekend from 65 to 60 per cent and Mr Abbott started on 23 per cent, a rise of nine points compared with Mr Turnbull’s 14 per cent the previous weekend.

Mr Abbott’s standing as preferred prime minister is better than all Mr Turnbull’s polling against Mr Rudd since the controversy over the then Liberal leader’s use of a fake email from then Treasury official Godwin Grech to attack the Prime Minister.

Read it here.

Liberals easily retain Bradfield and Higgins


And the only reason there was a swing to the Greens was, er, no ALP. So the predictions of voter anger over the blocking of the ETS don’t seem to have materialised. Perhaps the voters actually quite liked it?

UPDATE: In fact there was virtually no swing. As Andrew Bolt reports:

What an astonishing triumph for new Liberal leader and warming sceptic Tony Abbott. There was actually a swing to the Liberals – from last election’s 57.04 per cent of the two-party preferred vote to 57.57 per cent this time – despite:

  • A campaign dominated by the media coverage of the bitter rifts and leadership turmoil in the Liberal Party.
  • The retirment of a very popular local member in Peter Costello
  • Furious media promotion of the by-election as a referendum on the leadership of Tony Abbott, widely portrayed as a “Mad Monk” and warming denialist.
  • The imposition on voters of an unnecessary by-election, which in Jeff Kennett’s case in nearby Burwood saw the state Liberals actually lose a safe seat.
  • The selection by the Liberals of a low-profile candidate in Kelly O’Dwyer, against the high-profile Green in Clive Hamilton.
  • Blanket coverage for the Greens by the ABC in particular.
  • A media soundtrack of increasingly hysterical warnings about warming doom, including dying penguins at Phillip Island, cannibalising polar bears and record heat waves in Australia.
  • An accidental win of the leadership by Abbott by just one vote.
  • Immediate public criticism of his new policies by his defeated rival, Malcolm Turnbull.
  • Universal predictions by commentators and psephologists that the Liberals would take a hit, or even lose.

And the ABC’s headline this morning makes me laugh: Liberals escape voter backlash (source). The media predict something ridiculous, then when it doesn’t happen, the Libs have “escaped”.

Turnbull backs Rudd on climate


Not worth reading

Not worth reading

“Which Side Are You On” Alert, as Malcolm Turnbull backs Kevin Rudd’s attack on Tony Abbott’s climate policies:

KEVIN Rudd has launched his campaign to demolish Tony Abbott, warning that the new Opposition Leader wants to dot the nation with nuclear reactors and reinstate John Howard’s industrial relations laws.

The Prime Minister has also accused Mr Abbott of espousing “magic pudding politics” by claiming Australia could tackle climate change without the market-based solution of putting a price on carbon.

And Malcolm Turnbull, ousted by Mr Abbott as Liberal leader on Tuesday, has reignited party tension by endorsing Mr Rudd’s argument on the issue. (source)

Here is the extract from Turnbull’s newsletter, from which I have now unsubcribed with great haste:

And I regret that the party room changed its policy on climate change from one of supporting the emissions trading scheme legislation, as amended at our request, to opposing it.

Many people have asked me whether it is possible to cut emissions without an ETS, a carbon tax or raising electricity prices. The short answer is “No”.

If I never hear Malcolm Turnbull’s name again, it will be too soon. A disgrace to his party, and as Andrew Bolt puts it, “Liberal’s Latham.”

Abbott comes out fighting


Victorious

Victorious

At last, a leader that proper Liberals can believe in, not some pale imitation of Kevin Rudd:

New Liberal leader Tony Abbott has promised to take the fight to the Government over emissions trading after wresting the leadership from Malcolm Turnbull by just one vote today.

Mr Abbott confirmed that the Liberals would seek to send the emissions trading legislation to a Senate committee for more scrutiny but would try to block it in the Senate if the committee proposal was voted down.

And he warned Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that he was not frightened of fighting an election on the issue.

“As far as many many millions of Australians are concerned what the Rudd Government ETS looks like is a great big tax to create a great big slush fund to provide politicised handouts run by a giant bureaucracy,” he said.

Mr Abbott said the next election would be a tough fight, but that the Oppositon would fight hard.

“You cannot win an election without a fight,” he said. “The job of the Opposition is to be an alternative, not an echo.”

Well said indeed and many congratulations from Australian Climate Madness. Maybe we will now get some climate sense.

Read it here.

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