Australia is stepping back from the cliff
We shouldn’t underestimate shift that has just taken place. The psychology of Australian politics moved as the large swinging center was revealed. Not only was the Queensland election worse for Labor than anyone predicted, the message was clear, voters rejected the lies, and rejected the carbon tax. The smear campaign by the Labor leader (Bligh) did more harm to her than it did to her target. Finally, the Hype-&-Spin Machine ran off the rails.
This is real progress. Today both Queensland and Victoria are peeling back the warmist bureaucracy. I’m happy.
The new premier of Queensland Campbell Newman, is scrapping many state carbon reduction schemes. Who knew that the head of Queensland’s Office of Climate Change was none other than Mr Withers, husband of former Premier Anna Bligh? Who said the Labor Party nowadays is just about government money for supporters and mates?
Campbell Newman has said he won’t sack Withers. Instead he wants him to unwind all the programs he put in place. Newman is keeping the solar subsidies for household rooftops, but everything else is being dumped.
The showpiece of the Gillard government’s $1.5 billion Solar Flagships Program is now in jeopardy, after Mr Newman yesterday pulled the plug on $75 million in state funding pledged for the $1.2bn Solar Dawn solar thermal project near Chinchilla, west of Brisbane. Mr Newman yesterday declared his LNP government would axe seven other green schemes, on the grounds the carbon tax would make them redundant.
Mr Newman announced the closure of the $430m Queensland Climate Change Fund, which provides $30m a year for climate change initiatives, and the $50m Renewable Energy Fund, which supports the Geothermal Centre of Excellence.
The $50m Smart Energy Savings Program, which helps businesses improve energy efficiency, will be axed, along with the Waste Avoidance and Resource Efficiency Fund, the Local Government Sustainable Future Fund and Solar Initiatives Package. The Future Growth Fund – set up in 2006 with the net proceeds from the sale of state-owned energy corporations – will be axed. It had put $405m towards transport and water infrastructure, clean-coal technology and climate change projects last financial year. The LNP will retain the solar feed-in tariff, which subsidises households that generate solar power.
At the same time, the Victorian premier has stated that he’s slashing the state’s commitment to reduce carbon by 20% by 2020.
The Victorian Government is under attack for scrapping the previous Labor government’s carbon emission reduction target of 20 per cent and replacing it with one that looks to reduce greenhouse gases by just 5 per cent.
The Baillieu government says sticking to the 5 per cent target set by the Federal Government will save Victorians $2 billion. But the renewable energy sector says it will cost jobs at a time when Victoria can least afford to lose them.
When will we teach the broken window fallacy at school? Decades after Hayek make it clear, most commentators still don’t get it. Sure the renewable energy sector will lose jobs when it’s not propped up by the forced payments from the Victorian Government, but if there is $2 billion dollars out there to redistribute, there is exactly the same funds available for more useful jobs — jobs the people of Victoria would rather got done.
Don’t you love it, when a politician promises something useful and does it in his first week in office? Go Campbell!
Andrew Bolt has an impressive list of programs the next Federal Government could axe. Not to mention half the ABC.