Tag

Josh Frydenberg

4
Dec
2016

Turnbull’s Status Since the July Election

The last Newspoll on 20 November showed the Turnbull Government with a TPP of 47/53, the exact opposite to what it was on 23 Nov in 2015 and down from the 50/50 TPP as recently as 12 September. Judging by what happened last year, there will be another poll in early December ie very soon. This should provide an indication of the extent to which, as Turnbull claimed in addressing the Party Room on 29 Nov (see Turnbull on Performance), “we are delivering … on the National Economic Plan” (sic). It will be recalled that, after an extended eight-week official campaign period and with the first election under a new voting system for the Senate that replaced group voting tickets with optional preferential voting, the Coalition lost 14 seats in the 2 July election. It is left with only a one seat majority and a Senate with 11 cross-benchers of diverse views (and 35 Labor/Greens and 30 Coalition).
16
Nov
2016

Criticism of IMF Report Justified, Important to Maximise Use of Coal as Energy Source

I have no doubt that Terry McCrann does not want to be labelled a spokesman for Donald T. But after his conclusion yesterday that, in the wake of what he described as “the Trump-quake”, Turnbull now has a last chance to pull his socks up, Terry has again pursued one of Trump’s favourite targets viz international institutions. On this occasion it is the International Monetary Fund and the report by its “mission” to Australia to report on the Australian economy and the economic policy being pursued by the Turnbull government.
1
Nov
2016

Bolt Slams BOM & CSIRO Climate Report

The Commentary I sent yesterday included inter alia the erroneous responses by Chief Scientist Finkel to questions asked at a Senate Committee meeting by Senator Malcolm Roberts about the effects of human activity on carbon dioxide and any consequent effects on temperatures. It also drew attention to a 13 page analysis sent to Finkel by climate expert William Kininmonth and his assessment that Finkel had misrepresented the physics in a way which leads to erroneous conclusions.
11
Oct
2016

Explaining Adoption of Renewables Policy

As expected, various “explanations” of the South Australian blackout and the role played by the use of renewables continue unabated. The most important is the revelation that the Federal Labor Party’s policy on renewables appears to have been framed initially in a pub by a Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN) whose membership included a Wilderness Society campaigner, Felicity Wade. LEAN adopted an international report by Climate Works which had the aim of achieving zero emissions from fossil fuels by 2050 (see Labor’s Pub Policy on Renewables). This involved an internal fight within the Labor party, with the CFMEU opposing its adoption and Shorten describing it only as an “ambition” with the details to be worked out by 1 October 2017. But the SA blackout appears to have forced Federal Labor to formally adopt the 50% renewables target by 2050 now and there have been similar “forced” effects on Labor State Governments’ renewable policies.
11
Oct
2016

New Polling on Political Parties and Use of Renewable Energy, Limits to Use of Windpower

The latest Newspoll confirms Labor’s lead of 52/48 on a TPP basis and shows a slight worsening in Turnbull’s net satisfaction to minus 25 (from minus 23), although he remains “better PM”. This outcome seems to confirm that Turnbull’s meetings and photos with world leaders during the break in Parliament did not impress the electorate. Nor did his photo op in a train with Lucy help.
9
Oct
2016

Energy Security Review 9 Oct 2016

The agreement by Federal and State Energy Ministers to have an independent review to “DEVELOP A NATIONAL ENERGY SECURITY BLUEPRINT” provides for Chief Scientist Finkel to head the review and to have two deputies. It anticipates that the review will be completed by December (see attached communiqué/ press release by federal Environment and Energy Minister Frydenberg).
11
Apr
2016

Turnbull Visit to China

Rowan Callick, who is now China correspondent for The Australian, has written two interesting articles relevant to Australia/China relations. He seems to have good contacts with both Chinese themselves and with outside experts on the Chinese political situation. The shorter one is of particular interest as it assesses the influence of Xi and argues that he operates as in a sense a “benevolent” despot, but with the benevolence not extending to corrupt senior officials (see Callick on Xi). Xi, who is said by Callick to have drawn all power to himself, is said to be favourably disposed to Australia.
10
Dec
2015

Increasing Concern over Dangers from Extremist Islam – Turnbull Way Behind Ball Game

Public dissatisfaction is continuing, indeed increasing, in many countries with the weak response by governments to the terrorist attacks by extremist Muslims in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif. and by the responses to continued similar, less reported terrorist groups in other countries too. There is now quite widespread recognition that these attacks are “not just by a few extremists”...“who sully the reputation of an otherwise peace-loving and tolerant Muslim faith. In reality, the truth is far more troubling — that jihadists represent the natural and inevitable outgrowth of a faith that is given over to hate on a massive scale, with hundreds of millions of believers holding views that Americans would rightly find revolting”
7
Dec
2015

End of the Honeymoon?

This morning’s Bolt Report started with a declaration that the Turnbull honeymoon is over. Not surprising. But what was a bit off key was that the ABC Insiders seemed to reach a similar conclusion, although without saying so specifically. Has Scott told the ABC’s Cassidy that Turnbull has ceased to be minister of communications and is now in danger of applying his fairness policy to the ABC as PM? We even experienced an interview with a Shorten who argued that Turnbull should bring down a budget in May.
3
Dec
2015

Islamism Problem Recognised – CC Target Puzzle

Today’s news suggests that the US has made an important change in the handling of the Syrian/Iraq war. The US Defense Secretary, Ash Carter, is reported as stating that the US will “deploy a specialized expeditionary targeting force to Iraq to launch unilateral raids” and "put even more pressure" on ISIS. U.S. special operation forces will conduct operations in Iraq "at the invitation of the Iraqi government" and be in position "to conduct unilateral operations into Syria," Carter said. "We're at war. We're using the might of the finest fighting force the world has ever known," Carter told the House Armed Services Committee. "Tens of thousands of U.S. personnel are operating in the broader Middle East region, and more are on the way. " (see the attached “US Policy Change on Syria/Iraq?”).