Australia

Sep 20, 2017

Matthewson: Tony Abbott is completely out of touch on renewable energy and here’s why

Shooting for Turnbull on energy policy, Abbott and Credlin's latest misfire only alienates them further from their own voters.

Paula Matthewson — Political commentator and communications adviser

Paula Matthewson

Political commentator and communications adviser

For two people who claim to be in touch with “the base”, it’s astounding how out of touch Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin are. In their blind determination to blast Malcolm Turnbull from the prime ministership using whatever issue or policy best does the job, the two have missed the fatal flaw in the latest stanza of their Kill Malcolm campaign, which involves the demonisation of renewable energy.

In an “exclusive” interview last night with one Murdoch media outlet, and comments today in another, Abbott has sought to escalate tensions with Turnbull over renewables by calling for the proposed Clean Energy Target to be dropped. Abbott also reportedly threatened to cross the floor against any government attempt to legislate a CET.

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52 comments

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52 thoughts on “Matthewson: Tony Abbott is completely out of touch on renewable energy and here’s why

  1. Wayne Cusick

    “If implemented, Finkel’s CET recommendation would fill the policy vacuum created by Abbott when he scrapped the carbon tax and created a lopsided market that only provided policy certainty to renewable energy providers. It’s no coincidence that not one coal-fired power station has been built since then.”

    I don’t believe that any coal fired power stations have been built in Australia since the “carbon tax” was introduced.

    As far as I have been able to find, the last coal fire power station to be built, which is still operating, was commissioned in 1996.

    1. Dwayne

      I do know of at least 2 coal burners – Collie Power Station and Bluewaters in Western Australia were commissioned in 1999 and 2009, respectively, though admittedly both before the introduction of a price on carbon by the Gillard govt. An expansion of Bluewaters was approved in 2010 but is yet to commence construction, and is unlikely to in any case as there is a significant oversupply of electricity in Western Australia (which is not connected to the National Electricity Market grid).

      1. Wayne Cusick

        The data I was looking at was for the NEM. So I missed out any in WA.

  2. zut alors

    Very interesting figures, especially the rooftop solar households in Queensland.

    Another interesting figure emerged from a poll conducted by the Australia Institute ie: of 700 residents polled in Warringah 70% support marriage equality. Abbott is too distracted plotting Turnbull’s demise to get policy feedback from the voters/peasants.

    1. Electric Lardyland

      Yes, it’s interesting how Abbott, Credlin, Jones, Hadley and Bolt are now largely just talking amongst themselves, but this doesn’t stop them for a second, in claiming that they speak for all decent Australians.

      1. AR

        Don’t forget the rest of the headbangers at Macquarie Hate Central network – there is Chris “HELE” Smith, Ben ‘Braindead” Fordham, Ross “Bosses’ Boy” Greenwood and the ever reliably emetic, Hobbesean (nasty, brutish & short) Steve “Poison Dwarf” Price.
        If one read their rants it would be almost impossible to tell them apart on a variety of issues from SSM to AGW.
        Almost as if there is a single script or is it just total lack of intellect or imagination?

  3. Inscrutable

    I think a key issue is that in the future, technology will make power production more distributed and as a result, smaller in nature (think batteries combined with more locally generated power). That’s not to say, though that some large base load or peaking generation will not exist.
    This is the future confronting generators like AGL who aren’t prepared to invest in big lumps of expensive generating capacity which might become stranded assets in 10-20 years time….

  4. leon knight

    Don’t try to convince us Paula, see if you can convince Turnbull and Frydenburg…..Turnbull currently bumping his gums in Queensland about building a clean coal power station with NAIF funds, as though such a thing actually exists….

  5. graybul

    Is it that the only credibility Howard, Abbott and Credlin truly seek is for mainstream media to continually resurrect and re-inter their political profiles? For in so doing the media serves not only the ‘need’ of the individual; but also avails of media’s need to ‘ignite’ whatever pressure point of own choice . . . regardless of collateral social or governance fall-out to the Australian polity

  6. John Newton

    The best thing Malcolm Turnbull could do to win votes is toi grow a pair and give Abbott the rude finger. But (thankfully) I doubt he will. He’s bound for the scrapheap.

    1. Jeanette Weir

      And when we look back at this in a few years. We will see that Abbott has done a lot of damage to Australia
      in his gaming with Turnbull. The NBN changes were not to improve efficiency but only to remove any kudos going to Labor, same with all other wacky policy ideas. Abbott always said his main objective was to keep Labor out of office (not govern for Australia)

  7. Electric Lardyland

    One fairly obvious flaw in Abbott’s crossing the floor plan, is; where will he cross to? If the CET is even a half decent scheme, then Labor and the Greens would probably vote for it. So he can’t cross in that direction. His fellow denialist nutters, One Nation? Well, they don’t have any lower house seats, so nowhere to cross to there. So, the best that he could do, would be a tantrum in the corridor, with his fellow rightards, Abetz, Kelly, Joyce, etc.
    A cunning plan.

    1. zut alors

      Abbott’s only option will be to reprise his dash-to-the-chamber-exit-doors trick as he & fellow intellectual giant, Pyne, did rather than vote with the ALP’s Craig Thomson.

  8. Duncan Gilbey

    Why are this pair of clowns (Abbott and Credlin) taken seriously at all? They should be the laughing stock of the media, not the source of endless breathless LNP leadership speculation.
    I give Abbott’s “threat to cross the floor” as much credibility as his promise of “no cuts to the ABC”. The man is a serial liar.

  9. Sally Goldner

    The headline to this article needs to cut off the last 6 words 🙂

    1. Yclept

      My thoughts exactly!

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