NSW result sends strong message to Canberra

NSW has sent Canberra a message

There really are Federal Labor MPs who are delusional enough to believe that Saturday’s election result in New South Wales had nothing to do with them.  Admittedly, NSW Labor was a total shambles, and had lost all credibility with the electorate. But despite this, some of the swings were nothing short of astonishing. Barry O’Farrell made the carbon tax an issue in NSW, and the electorate responded. Gillard et al will ignore this signal at their peril:

ANY Federal Labor MP who doesn’t think the thumping NSW election result has implications for Julia Gillard is kidding themselves.

Gillard’s strategy of demonising the Liberal Party as a bunch of loonies who don’t believe in climate change has been hit for six.

Barry O’Farrell is a moderate Liberal who has just given the anti-carbon tax campaign credibility.

People in NSW will look to their new Premier and realise that being concerned about the carbon tax does not put them in the wing-nut membership of the Far Right.

It has just become harder, not easier, for Gillard to run the line that the Liberal Party has been taken over by extremists.

At a more basic level, the destruction of the NSW ALP presents significant structural problems for Gillard.

And the independents in Canberra are also waking up to a new paradigm this morning:

The most significant and more immediate issue that Gillard faces, however, is the future of the federal NSW independents.

The independents have been delivered a body blow.

Rob Oakeshott is already erratic and is likely to become more so in light of what was a resounding rejection of both his and Tony Windsor’s deal to support Labor federally.

The impact on the psychology of the independents will be critical to the future of the Gillard Government.

Windsor may be unmoved by the result but Oakeshott must now know he is facing his own political oblivion.

Labor MPs today are now pondering not just if but when Oakeshott realises that sticking to the current deal will be the end of his political future. (source)

Fun times. Also read Tim Blair here.

New South Wales whacks Labor


Difficult to know whether it was NSW Labor’s hopelessness or Julia’s carbon tax that was more to blame. Probably both, in equal measure.

BARRY O’Farrell has become the 42nd premier of NSW in the biggest landslide seen in modern Australian political history.

Kristina Keneally stepped down as leader after conceding defeat to the Coalition in an electoral rout which ends 16 years of Labor government and may leave the ALP with just 20 seats, down from 50.

With a 17 per cent swing and a surge in its primary vote even beyond its expectations, the Coalition is set to win about 70 lower house seats, Labor 20 and independents the remaining three.

That sort of majority will carry the Coalition, which has governed in NSW for only seven of the past 35 years, through to the 2019 election at least.

The Nationals had a highly successful night, and are expected to pick up five seats for a total of 18.

Nationals beat sitting independents in three seats – Dubbo, Port Macquarie and Tamworth – and were likely to take Monaro from Labor’s Steve Whan and, in an extraordinary result, Bathurst, with a swing of 37 per cent.

In a typically self-effacing victory speech, Mr O’Farrell stressed the achievements of his staff and parliamentary team, rather than his own efforts, and remained focused on practical issues of service delivery and infrastructure.

“We are determined to end the rorts, to restore confidence in the government in this state once again,” he added.

But his speech at the Parramatta Leagues Club would have sent a shudder through the Gillard government as he pledged he would “take the fight up to Canberra” on the proposed carbon tax.

Early figures from the upper house also indicate Mr O’Farrell will have no problem passing his legislation.

Apart from Labor, the big losers are the Greens, who look unlikely to win either Balmain or Marrickville, the two inner-western Sydney seats they were tipped to secure. (source)

Time to start putting New South Wales back together again.


NSW experiences "coldest winter in 12 years"

Brass monkeys

From the Weather Isn’t Climate Department. There are thousands of blog posts elsewhere in which you can read about the review of the IPCC that came out today [summary: it needs fundamental reform – surprise, surprise], so here’s a local story from New South Wales, Australia:

NSW shivered through its coldest winter in 12 years, while daytime temperatures in August hit their lowest since 1990.

NSW experienced average daytime temperatures of 15.9C, making it the coldest winter since 1998 and the 16th nippiest winter on record.

Climatologist at the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), Shannon Symons says widespread rainfall also resulted in the wettest winter since 2005. [Which is odd, because the BoM are always predicting that global warming, er, climate change will cause massive droughts…]

“Northern inland regions received above, to very much above average rainfall and that was mainly in July and August, and that’s pretty much the case (across) NSW as well,” Ms Symons told AAP today.

Inland rainfall was attributed to a La Nina event, which creates cooler than average sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

“When we have La Nina events we, not always, but usually see enhanced rainfall across eastern Australia,” Ms Symons said.

Then we have the inevitable caveat:

Ms Symons said in the coming months, temperatures should rise as NSW settles into spring. [Well, of course they will. Duh…]

She said the La Nina event should dissipate by summer, but while it continues, there are chances of above average rainfall in inland NSW and warmer nights. (source)

In other words, it’s only a temporary cooling, and global warming will really take off again very soon, just you wait and see. But hang on, Watts Up With That is reporting that La Niña is actually deepening still further. Spoils the story a bit.

(h/t Climate Realists)

NSW electricity prices could rise 62% by 2013

Shocking price rises

Shocking price rises

And much of that increase would be due to the ETS (if it were implemented). Even the Energy Minister is shocked. Let’s hope it stays dead, then:

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) said in a draft determination released in Sydney today the unprecedented fee increases would be needed to cope with higher network costs and a federal scheme to reduce carbon emissions.

IPART CEO Jim Cox said he had never seen price rises like the ones he now proposed.

“I think this is the biggest increase we have seen,” he said. “I don’t think this (price increases) is something that we particularly like.”

Under the proposal, consumers could be paying between $554 and $893 a year more for electricity by July 2013.

“The important point to note here is almost 90 per cent of the increases are due (to an) increase in network charges to pay for higher reliability standards, and also … the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), if indeed it is implemented,” he said.

If the CPRS is not introduced, consumers could still expect their annual power bills to jump by between $242 and $594 by 2013, IPART said.

But $594 is a damn sight less than $893, and the difference ($300) is thanks to the CPRS.

Read it here.

Shock: Sea level rises far less than forecast

On Thursday we reported that the NSW government was basing planning decisions on a 40cm rise in sea level by 2050. Today in The Australian we see that the actual sea level rises around Australia are far less than expected [Really? There’s a surprise – Ed].

SEA levels on Australia’s eastern seaboard are rising at less than a third of the rate that the NSW government is predicting as it overhauls the state’s planning laws and bans thousands of landowners from developing coastal sites.

The Rees government this week warned that coastal waters would rise 40cm on 1990 levels by 2050, with potentially disastrous effects.

Even yesterday Kevin Rudd warned in a speech to the Lowy Institute that 700,000 homes and businesses, valued at up to $150 billion, were at risk from the surging tide.

However, if current sea-level rises continue, it would not be until about 2200 – another 191 years – before the east coast experienced the kind of increases that have been flagged.

According to the most recent report by the Bureau of Meteorology’s National Tidal Centre, issued in June, there has been an average yearly increase of 1.9mm in the combined net rate of relative sea level at Port Kembla, south of Sydney, since the station was installed in 1991.

But, but, but… our models, our models!! They can’t be wrong, can they? So the CSIRO goes into full damage control mode with a list of excuses for why it really is rising in accordance with the models, namely:

  • Effect of barometric pressure [can’t quite understand that one, since pressure varies between roughly the same extremes]
  • Australia was rising slightly, counteracting the effect of sea-level rises [well that’s OK then, isn’t it?]
  • “Extreme” sea level rises were happening “more often” [dodgy]
  • Wind stress patterns in the Pacific [scraping the barrel now]
  • Polar ice caps will cause sea levels to rise faster [really desperate…]

And my favourite of all:

“There is a clear acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise,” Dr Church said.

Where? Here’s the graph. Point out the clear acceleration:

Rapid acceleration of sea level rise… no, wait…

Rapid acceleration of sea level rise… no, wait…

Read it here.

NSW government's fantasy sea level rises

Manly in the year 2100 according to the models…

Manly in the year 2100 (according to the models…)

Like the rest of the country, New South Wales is now gearing up to base its planning decisions on sea level models that have very little to do with reality. We’ll let the Manly Daily take up the story:

The government yesterday announced the next step in its plan to respond to the future challenges of sea level rise.

The guidelines outline an approach to assist councils, state agencies, planners and developers when addressing sea level rise in land-use and development assessment.

According to the government, best available research indicates sea levels along the NSW coastline will rise 40cm by the year 2050, and 90cm by 2100.

This will have a significant impact on areas such as Collaroy Beach which suffer severe erosion.

40cm by the year 2050? That’s 1cm per year, which is fully three times the current rate of increase, which is about 3mm per year, and which for the last couple of years is actually slowing down! But hey, who cares? The models tell us 40cm by 2050, and the models can’t be wrong, so we will enact laws that will inconvenience thousands of people and lose huge amounts in property values for thousands more.

Climate madness.

Read it here.

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