Tag

David Crowe

17
Aug
2018

Last Weekend for Turnbull?

I suggested in yesterday’s Commentary that Turnbull’s proposals on NEG policy (sic) have created a chaotic situation in which changes now seem to be made almost every day in an attempt to persuade rebel MP’s to re-think their opposition to the policy and avoid resignations by some Ministers. These rebels are particularly opposed to any legislation which seeks to lock in the 26 per cent reduction in emissions under the Paris accord. It should be noted that, while 10 rebels have been publicly identified, there appear to be others who are also unhappy with some of the existing NEG proposals. Former Major General Jim Molan (now a Senator), for example, told Sky News last night that he did not accept any legislation endorsing the 26 per cent reduction in emissions.
8
Dec
2017

Future of Turnbull & Coalition

So much has been happening since my Commentary last Friday 1 December that it is difficult to sort out what is important and what is not. The surprise improvement in the Coaliton’s polling on 4 December from a negative 45/55 TPP to a negative 47/53 TPP, and in Turnbull’s net satisfaction rating from minus 29 points to minus 25 points, has led some commentators to see this as the start of a recovery for Mr Turnbull (see Crowe on Newspoll). Certainly, by announcing Cabinet approval of the establishment of a Royal Commission into the alleged misconduct of Australia’s banks and other financial services entitiesafter he had previously rejected it on several occasions, Turnbull bought off the threat by a National’s MPto move in Parliament for a public banking inquiry. He also claimed support for the Coalition from the favourable swing of about 12% in Barnaby Joyce’s winning by-election, although he played no part in Joyce’s campaign. And he has been helped by the withdrawal of the threatened resignation by Coalition MP George Christensen (initially kept secret to highlight the “crisis”), who reportedly claimed that Joyce’s win gave the National’s a “reinvigorated leader”.
22
Nov
2017

Turnbull Which way Which way

Turnbull’s decision to postpone by a week the resumption of Parliament, and his “guidance” to MPs that it should then focus for a couple of weeks on debating the same sex marriage legislation, has not been favourably received. It is widely seen as being an attempt to be “dodge the music” and extend the time at which Parliament would not be considering policy issues. His subsequent speech to the Business Council, where the main message was that his government wants to” ease the burden on middle-income Australians and at the same time return the budget to surplus”, hasn’t been well received either. Turnbull’s explanation (sic) that he is only “actively working” on preventing the otherwise higher tax burden through bracket creep is unlikely to persuade voters that he should stay as leader.
19
Nov
2017

Climate Change & Same Sex Agreements

Available here is an article from the New York Times dated 18 November reporting on the Climate Change Conference held in Bonn over the past fortnight. Such conferences are scheduled to be held every year to assess progress in meeting the 2015 Paris Agreement. The article says that next year “world leaders will meet for a formal dialogue”. Perhaps the most significant “outcome” from the conference is the acknowledgement that “the world’s nations are still failing to prevent drastic global warming in the decades ahead. ‘We need more action, more ambition, and we need it now,’ said Patricia Espinosa, the United Nations climate chief”. The two Open Graphics published in the NYT suggests that the current trajectories of carbon emissions by the EU and the US would need to be drastically lowered in order to have temperatures below 2C degrees by 2030. Graphics for China and India would show a much greater reduction required (of course such graphics are meaningless as there is no co-relationship between changes in emissions and temperatures).
9
Nov
2017

Citizenship & Leadership Issues

Discussion and media coverage about the political situation is focussed mainly on the citizenship issue and its possible implications. It is an important and difficult issue on which to agree on what should be done (or attempted) to ensure that future elections (including the half Senate ones) have candidates who can pass a “no foreigners” test as prescribed by the High Court. The leaders of the two major parties seem to accept that it would be desirable on practical grounds to reach an agreement asap regarding the “audit” for future elections.
15
Oct
2017

Where Can Turnbull Go Now?

My Commentary of last Thursday reported that the (scientist) President of the US SEPP group had described Abbott’s address on Daring to Doubt as “one of the best talks given by a politician in decades”. I also reported that the US EPA head had announced the repeal of the Clean Power Plan initiated by Obama but rejected by the US Supreme Court. Here in Australia, leading journalist Terry McCrann had described Abbott’s address as “seminal”.
12
Oct
2017

More Responses on Abbott

This morning I received a message on Tony Abbott’s London address from the President of The Science and Environmental Policy Project, Ken Haapala, in the US. It was brief but important because Ken is a scientist and an expert on climate change whose weekly messages report on the latest developments in analysing climate changes, including those theses which he judges to be “off the planet”. This message to me was a response to the full text of Abbott’s address which I sent him as an attachment to my Commentary on Tuesday 10 Oct and which I suggested to him is important “both politically and “scientifically”.
15
Sep
2017

Our Power Bills

Today’s Australian says that the Renewable Energy Target (RET) of 23.5% by 2020 will not be changed as part of what is described as Turnbull’s overhaul of energy policy (see Renewable Energy Target). That target was reduced by Abbott when he was PM and the recent National Party Conference voted to “repudiate the central finding of the Finkel review for a clean energy target and eliminate subsidies for renewable to maximise the difference with Labor over surging power bills”, and hence to reject the Finkel proposed clean energy target of 42% of renewable energy by 2030. However, it appears that the halt to increasing the RET mainly reflects the mounting cost of the subsidies, which ran to a remarkable $2 billion just last year and which may already have reached the point where a continuation of the scheme would exceed the RET target without any new investment. There is a reference in today’s report to the likelihood of allowing more subsidies to those whose projects have not been completed. In other words the taxpayer is handing out money to a badly constructed scheme, not to mention the bad decision to have one at all before properly reviewing the basic need for it.