With all the spills and thrills at Liberal HQ, it was easy to forget that there were other stories on the Crikey homepage yesterday. Readers took some time out from despairing at the state of the modern Westminster system to have a say on some of Turnbull’s policy “achievements”: the NBN’s business disaster, the company tax cut flips, and the ongoing question of Snowy Hydro 2.0.  

On the NBN’s failure for businesses.

BeenAround writes: This is the vandalism for which Malcolm Turnbull can never be forgiven. He took what was a truly nation-building project conceived by Labor and by petty and misconceived economic rationalism and ideological spite turned it into a national embarrassment. And that has ensured that Australia, a nation reliant on communications like no other, has to suffer worse than 3rd world communications into the distant future because of the profligate and unwise over expenditure that has created a national problem rather that a national solution. What idiocy.

Zut alors writes: Meantime, Turnbull boasts how his government supports small business with tax cuts. Perhaps, overall, the 40% of small/medium businesses which suffered significant service loss impacting their operation would’ve preferred a reliable, fast, Rudd-version NBN than minor tax tinkling. Of course he’ll never utter the truth: Tony made me do it. They are both culpable, Turnbull more so for obeying a vindictive fool.

On Turnbull’s late-game tax backflip

Its a rort writes: Given the significance and importance of this tax cut, coupled with the intransigent vehemence of rhetoric that went with it, the consequence of this flippage must surely be that Australia, and its future economy, are totally fucked. So, if we don’t end up down the plug hole once the tax cut has been rescinded, then it must have been complete bullshit. And if it was complete bullshit, what does this say about the LNP?

On the potential of Snowy Hyrdo 2.0 

Brad Powe writes: The electro-physical potential of Snowy 2.0 is conceptually sound, but its contribution to renewable energy and carbon-reduction is dubious at best. The point of off-peak hot water is that it is cheaper because it employs electricity at times of low demand, while simultaneously supporting the operation of base-load coal-fired power-stations that must be kept running overnight. Snowy 2.0 will thus be just as likely to get its input electricity from coal as from wind.

The unacknowledged problem, however, is the question of where the water is going to come from. The article notes the 25% energy loss involved in raising the water against gravity but, like the Snowy 2.0 proponents, it doesn’t address evaporative and other losses from reservoirs — nor the need to deliver environmental flows to the Snowy River in a climate where snowfalls are trending downwards. The comparison with batteries is more apt than Paul Broad realises: how can we be sure that the reservoirs will be able to be recharged? When everything is taken into account, Snowy 2.0 is unlikely to be much of an achievement.

Dr John Hunwick writes: While the Snowy Scheme and its storage capacity will be of great significance, this will only be the case to the extent to which it supports renewable energy. Any support it provides for coal is a huge negative. Amidst all the in-fighting in Canberra, those selfish political personalities have not only forgotten the people whom they are meant to lead, but the fact that carbon emissions must be drastically reduced as soon as possible, and be negligible by 2030 if the earth is to remain inhabitable for future generations. If the Snowy storage scheme is going to be Turnbull’s greatest environmental legacy then he is already a failure. CO2 emissions, marine park protection, millions of trees are of much greater important – but he and his Party can’t see that for the blood they are busy spilling in Canberra.

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