Over the weekend, Crikey readers had their say about Bernard Keane’s call for an independent body that regulates climate change policy removed from political interference or the interests of business. Readers were, unsurprisingly, divided on the concept, with many unconvinced by Australia’s past precedents, others looking at the current role of markets, and others yet shedding doubt on the ability of our current independent bodies to do their jobs.
TheRabidHamster writes: Oh goodie… another “body” for the Liberals to disband when they win power next time.
colin77 writes: A further note in terms of institutional oversight of climate policy. There was once a Department of Climate Change — by 2013 it employed almost 1000 public servants working on climate policy, monitoring, the economics of a economy transforming from carbon, and the social and environmental adaptation policies to deal with the inevitable.
The department enjoyed two ministers over its time — Penny Wong and Greg Combet. Two of Labor’s brightest stars. The current Secretary of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Dr Martin Parkinson, was its boss. This was a heavyweight institutional initiative. On election, the Liberals demolished this department.
Flabby joe writes: While I share Keane’s reservations about whether business can be trusted, there is a fair backstory about how market forces are leading businesses towards renewable energy solutions rather than combustible rocks. Which is why coal fired power stations and coal mines (Adani anyone?) are finding it very difficult to raise a few bucks.
Hector writes: Bernard Keane’s proposal is dangerous. We already have the CSIRO, but that has been seriously defunded, ignored (notably by the LNP) and been forced to sell more commercial so called benefits. When one looks at the other independent bodies, why did Bernie Fraser resign from one environmental body and most were ignored/defunded by the LNP? The chief scientist is ignored. Take a look at ASIC and APRA — also the ATO: they’ve been seriously defunded, and ASIC was designed by Costello to fail.
That leaves (mainly) the judiciary and the RBA. The former is the third arm of the state in the Constitution. Even then, the courts’ funding may be cut back, and has been recently (LNP), and it is not necessarily comforting to think that High Court justices are appointed by the government of the day. The RBA is also similarly appointed (board and governor) — Costello appointed one board member who left under allegations of tax “problems”.
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