Federal

Jul 23, 2010

Gillard abandons leadership on climate change

It's hard to describe just how truly wretched Labor's new climate change policy is. It makes the CPRS, its dog of an emissions trading scheme, look like a model of best practice.

It's hard to describe just how truly wretched Labor's new climate change policy is. It makes the CPRS, its dog of an emissions trading scheme, look like a model of best practice. It is a spectacular failure of leadership. Julia Gillard's "citizens' assembly" has effectively outsourced responsibility for climate policy to "ordinary Australians", on whose "skills, capacity, decency and plain common sense" Gillard will rely to tell her about the community consensus on climate change. In effect it institutionalises what is already apparent -- this is a Government controlled by focus group reactions. Labor has been playing politics with climate change for three years and it hasn't stopped. But whereas for most of that time it used climate change to damage the Coalition, now it is having to defend itself against the issue. It will only be with the political cover afforded by this nonsensical Assembly that the Government will take any action on a carbon price. Rarely has so much goodwill and political capital been wasted on such an important issue. The consensus the Government insists it needs the protection of before acting already exists. It's not just in the opinion polls, which show time and time again that the majority of voters want action on climate change and supported the Government's CPRS.  In 2007, let's not forget, both sides of politics told Australians they were going to introduce an ETS. The 2007 election endorsed a community consensus on the need for action. Instead, in 2010, neither party will commit to any sort of carbon price mechanism for at least three years. Instead, they're offering excuses as to why they don't want to take action. We've done anything but move forward on climate action. Gillard's interim actions are little better. The new emissions standard she proposes won't even apply to four coal-fired power stations being built or brought back on line currently. They may not apply to two more, the massive Mt Piper and Bayswater projects in NSW, which will together add 4% to national CO2-equivalent emissions when they come on line. Holding the baseline for the CPRS at 2008 levels won't give electricity generators any more investment certainty when it remains unclear whether there will ever be an emissions trading scheme in Australia. Nor does it change the simple fact that State Governments continue to drive Australia into a coal-fired future. Labor's craven pandering to key outer-suburban electorates in its population and asylum seeker policies was bad enough. But abdicating executive responsibility for action on climate change is a new low in cynical politics, beyond the depths even reached by NSW Labor. Politicians are elected to lead. Deferring every controversial issue back to the electorate is a clumsy variant of leadership by polling and focus groups. So blatant is Labor's refusal to lead that it raises serious questions about its fitness for government. The only problem is that the alternative is an economically-illiterate party whose leader doesn't believe in climate change at all, but who insists on wasting $3b on the most expensive possible means of addressing it. What a choice, two major parties incapable of leadership and unfit to govern.

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255 comments

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255 thoughts on “Gillard abandons leadership on climate change

  1. JamesK

    If this doesn’t lose the election for Labor I don’t know what else could.

    Rudd’s grandiose quite insane rhetoric unchallenged by a lay down a roll over cabinet containing quite a few intelligent people started it.

    Now the perceived need to keep the loons on the left onside after Rudd’s ousting not by cabinet level colleagues but the backbench should break them.

    And Labor thoroughly deserves it.

  2. Dionysus

    What an absolute shambles. I am depressed.

  3. Astro

    Just been to a fineral of a young women who had Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (Mad Cow).

    This stupid Gillard government wants to import overseas beef from know Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease countries.

    Absolute Madness.

    Lets get rid of them, please

  4. zut alors

    Leapin’ lizards, it’s now a race to see which of the major parties has less vision – ALP currently nosing ahead.

    The Gillard mantra about Moving Forward needs a small modification where climate policy is concerned ie:

    Moving THE DATE Forward.

  5. David Gibson

    @OSCAR, I think the MSM (and crikey too) didn’t give the Liberal party’s policy very much attention because it didn’t really seem to deserve it, it is barely a policy in so many ways and no one seems to be under the impression it was anything but tokenistic.

    This has all changed because Gillard has out-tokened the Liberal’s tokenistic policy. Labor had a policy (which admittedly was seriously undermined after negotiations with the Liberals) which having been dropped, cost the last PM his position. How is it she can justify this policy? Rudd’s fall from grace was primarily driven by pulling the ETS off the table, now Gillard is refusing to put it back on the table. I fail to see the strategy here, it is truly mistifying to me.

  6. Lorna

    The Policy or more correctly the thought bubble on Climate change is as farcical as Kevin Rudds 2020 love in at Canberra, the only thing that has changed is the number down from 1000 to 150. At lease Abbot’s policy at the end of the day will improve our local environment where as the ETS would improve that of India and other “cheap” countries – it will not reduce carbon output here in Ostralia.

  7. harrybelbarry

    MWH , do all of these groups receive funding$ ?? I will be voting Greens 1 , and will choose the order on the day , except for the Fiberals last spot. Both parties will pander to Big Coal or they get the media to work them over .Get-up is labor union back room and out front. We are all doomed to a dirty future. Why?

  8. Oscar

    @David Gibson,

    Yes, exactly. I’ve been saying for a while that the real problem we face is that the government knows the opposition is simply unelectable with their current leader.

    So they don’t really need to do anything to win the election except drown out the opposition’s dog-whistling.

    Sadly, they have been very effective at this.

    The most depressing part is that we have another three weeks of this to go!

  9. Rush Limbugh

    Joint Transcript-Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Greens Senator Bob Brown.

    2 December 2009
    Press Conference
    130PM Wednesday

    …and I quote…

    “Delay is the same as denial and the costs of inaction are far greater than the costs of action.”

    …that was the full line unedited..

    Rudd was the worst PM in our nations history, but if Gillard does win, I guess she could challenge for that title.

    What I don’t get is why the greens are on board with this? Socialists sticking together? Reds under the bed together?

    You may hate the coalitions green army proposal…but its better than a citizens assembly and it would start July 1, 2011.

    Why are the Greens preferencing Labor again?

  10. Greg Angelo

    As my post is awaiting moderation I’m not sure whether it is the noble military term “clusterfuck” or likening Julia Gillard to a milkshake that has caused the moderator some concern.

    For the benefit of the moderator I am providing the following definition from the “Urban Dictionary” – a highly reputable source of modern definitions.

    Clusterfuck – “Military term for an operation in which multiple things have gone wrong. Related to “SNAFU” (Situation Normal, All Fucked Up”) and “FUBAR” (Fucked Up Beyond All Repair). In radio communication or polite conversation (i.e. with a very senior officer with whom you have no prior experience) the term “clusterfuck” will often be replaced by the NATO phonetic acronym “Charlie Foxtrot.” “

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