On Peta Credlin

Richard Cobden  SC writes:   Re. ““Even negotiating company tax cuts can become another ‘leadership test’ for Turnbull” (Monday)

Peta Credlin’s Sunday morning Sky News wisdom is barely received by anyone at all.  Its “meagre audience” is, as you say, “journalists and a few political tragics”.  So why does Crikey act as her megaphone, as you do in making “Even negotiating… ” your lead article?  If you must report her posturing, surely you could find a better way of doing it, perhaps by saying occasionally “In the last month Peta Credlin has yet again pretended to speak for the public, some unspecified parliamentary rump, a few stray dogs, her hairdo, etc etc.  We have chosen not to give her a wider platform”.  I suggest that about once a calendar quarter would do the trick.

On Hazelwood Closure

David Edmunds writes:  Re. “Tony Abbott on Hazelwood” (Monday)

 There are some misconceptions around the aluminium industry and pumped hydro in Australia.  Our coal-fired power stations want to produce a more or less constant supply of energy to fulfil a widely varying demand.  Pumped hydro is one way of soaking up energy when the grid demand is low.  Another way is to use the excess to smelt aluminium.  Our current system has to provide for unusual peaks, and does so by over-rating our coal-fired generators, so that on the one day a year when demand peaks they are able to cope.  The rest of the time they are either running below their rated output, which is not efficient, or dumping energy into pumped hydro or the smelters.

This shows the idiocy of the base-load concept.  We do not need base load and never have needed it.  We have to use workarounds to cope with base load.  We need demand management, smart grids and high efficiency devices and homes, none of which seem to be on the agenda even now.  I have no ideas why any home is being built in Australia without solar hot water heating or solar panels.

it is not fair to declare a pox on all their houses.  Labor looked at the evidence and recommendations and introduced a carbon price. The advice at the time, which now appears prescient, is that things would only get more expensive and uncertain the longer we waited.  Labor has maintained its commitment to the best technological and economic advise, and accordingly still wants to price carbon.

I cannot see why it needs to accept the blame for a mess that it did its best to avoid, or how it can possibly be bipartisan on this issue given the coalition mess.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey