Tasmanian Times


NATION: You’ve got to hand it to Morrison before he takes all credit for himself

*Pic, Kate Ausburn, Flickr: A prayer vigil at Scott Morrison’s office for the death of Reza Barati in 2014. The protesters were charged. The charges were later dismissed …

Scott Morrison from his website …

Peter Dutton. Pic: GetUp

“Lay on, Macduff, and damned be him who first cries ‘Hold! enough!’” Macbeth Act V Scene viii.

First pubished August 27

It might have been heroic. Given another time, place or PM, Malcolm Turnbull’s call for a Liberal leadership spill Tuesday, might have been inspiring -“Turnbullian”, as Turnbull torch-holder, fan-girl Annabel Crabb would have it. Perhaps she could run a new hit TV series: “Kitchen cabinet makeovers you can safely enjoy at home.”

As it is, Turnbull makes a typically, ill-judged, call. Rattled by the jungle drums of the Dutton camp, amplified in True HD Dolby stereo in the Murdoch media, Turnbull demands a Liberal leadership spill, Tuesday. It is his undoing.

He gains 48 votes, 57.8 percent of all ballots cast. Making public his meagre victory, however, serves only to advertise how many oppose him. It helps prematurely end his own vexed term as the 29th PM of Australia by Friday; a mixed blessing.

Dutton says he’ll challenge again, (and again) Turnbull demands his Home Affairs Supremo supply 43 signatures by Friday.

Calling a spill may throw Dutton off-guard, but with Turnbull’s modest support now public, his insurgents have some useful vulnerability to work with as they hit the phones, twisting arms, tweaking role descriptions, even promising portfolios.

Don’t be sucked in. Monstrous, soulless, merciless, the Coalition is a horror-show, Labor Deputy, Tanya Plibersek warns the house.

“This is a Frankenstein’s monster of a government

“This is a Frankenstein’s monster of a government. It has the face of the member for Wentworth, the policies of the member for Warringah and it has the cold, shrivelled soul of the member for Dickson.”

Others, out of right field, voice disappointment that Tuesday’s coup has not delivered Mal’s head on a platter. Or under a strappado. Some may be heard getting pilliwinks ready.

“… in its current state the Liberal Party cannot even organise an assassination, let alone run the country,” Catherine McGregor carps in Fairfax, disappointed that Abbott and his monkey-pod rebels or his Monash Mensheviks have been so overtly unsuccessful. Rasputin’s hit job is beginning to look more professional.

Rasputin was poisoned, shot three times, bludgeoned with a dumb-bell, before he was bound and thrown from a bridge through the ice and left to drown in the river Neva. Even so, when his corpse was recovered, the position of the hands suggested he was trying to untie the bindings. The Turnbull government is just as messily despatched.

The final twist of the knife, happens mid-morning Thursday. Three cabinet ministers claim publicly that Turnbull has lost majority support among his colleagues and that they have to bring the leadership dispute to a head. Had they not defected, their three votes would have been enough to thwart Friday’s spill. Turnbull would still be PM.

Ultimately, Turnbull is undone when his three loyal lieutenants desert him. Cormann, Fifield and Cash all defect to the enemy en masse. Why? There’s no logical reason to pull their vital support. “It’s just the vibe of the thing”, Tony Wright writes in Fairfax. Do the three musketeers nobly elect to go with the flow in order to purge their party?

True, the Liberal Party, itself, is paralysed by division; gripped in a “cataclysmic, existential” fight, as Liberal shill, Terry Barnes, adviser to former Health Ministers, Abbott and Medicare levy Michael Wooldridge, hypes party discord to Fairfax.

Malcolm’s political miscalculation; misjudgement plays into Labor’s hands

Malcolm’s political miscalculation; misjudgement plays into Labor’s hands: Shorten calls a vote of no confidence. Pity there’s no vote of over confidence.

“The conduct of this narcissistic government is both shocking and selfish and undervalues the Australian people.”

This house should vote for no confidence because the prime minister has no authority, no power and no policies. And the reason for that sits behind him. If nearly half of his own government do not want him to be prime minister, why should the rest of Australia put up with him?”

Shorten echoes former Howard adviser, former QLD and SA state Liberal Party President, Geoffrey Green, a “senior Liberal” strategist who told The New Daily astutely and fearlessly last year that,

“The Turnbull government is at war with the people. This is a government which hates their own constituents. The Liberal Party has lost touch with what it stands for and will be decimated unless it changes tack.”

“The Turnbull government has attacked every core constituency, small business, superannuants, pensioners, families with children, all because they have a budget that is out of control.” OK there’s a class war they have to win too but he leaves that out.

“They have not done anything about their own backyard. Public servants still fly at the front of the plane.” Or anywhere in the plane if it’s a chartered RAAF jet to the football.

Far from having his knuckles rapped, Greene, moreover, now runs Peter Dutton’s campaign in the seat of Dickson which he holds by a margin of 2%. But he’s going to have to hose down Spud’s coup-mania, or his urges toward auto da fe.

Tuesday’s botched right wing coup is a colossal cock-up

Even for the modern Liberal Party, an oxymoron which rivals “Turnbull government” as a contradiction in terms, Tuesday’s botched right wing coup is a colossal cock-up. It sets in train a farcical series of miscalculations, aided and abetted by Murdoch’s media, Australian politics king-maker supreme. And by its own, internal fifth column.

Be it group madness or poor arithmetic, or Turnbull’s sheer bloody-minded revenge on Dutton, Scott “where the bloody hell are you?”, Morrison wins narrowly 40-45 against Dutton, Friday, after Julie Bishop is unfairly eliminated first ballot with only eleven votes.

A leaked WhatsApp reveals the party is instructed not to vote for Bishop in round one as this is a ruse to enable shonky Morrison to drop out and give all his votes to Dutton.

Dirty Tricks? Morrison is victorious 40-45. The MP whose capacity to foster racism and resentment makes him the “greatest grub in Australia’s political history”, according to Peter Hartcher, is sworn in as Prime Minister, Friday.

A divided, dysfunctional, party musters all its sublime ineptitude to transform chaos into catastrophe. Above all, as David Marr argues, the fiasco reveals an atavistic right wing desperate to wrest control of a party it doesn’t reflect.

Trouble is already brewing for Morrison if it is true that Peter Dutton, is – or was a stalking horse for Tony Abbott’s own return from exile. Morrison has already wisely excluded Abbott from his cabinet, fobbing him off with a job as Coalition water-boy.

The latest Newspoll shows a massive blowout in what Turnbull bragged, this week, was a closing of the gap – but which is more likely to have been an aberrant result. The two party preferred split showed a slim two point gap of 51/49 in favour of Labor a fortnight ago. Now it’s blown out by twelve points. Labor now leads 56/44.

For the first time since 2015, Bill Shorten emerges as preferred PM, reversing a 12 point lead by Malcolm Turnbull, two weeks ago, into a six-point lead (39/33) for the Opposition leader over Morrison.

… popular support for the Coalition has crashed to the lowest levels in a decade …

As The Australian’s Simon Benson puts it mildly, popular support for the Coalition has crashed to the lowest levels in a decade with the newly elected Prime Minister Scott Morrison now faced with leading a shattered government out of the wreckage of last week’s leadership coup and rebuilding a Liberal Party in crisis.

Yet there’s a lot to Morrison’s rebuilding of his own background before we even get to his party leadership or to his fitness to be Prime Minister. His success as state director of the NSW State Liberal Party 2001-4. His subsequent $350,000 PA post as head of Tourism Australia, bestowed by a grateful then Tourism Minister, Joe Hockey, is widely seen as cronyism or part of the Liberal tradition of jobs for the boys.

Morrison soon, however, ran into trouble with the nine man board of Tourism Australia inspiring complaints which echo those from Immigration Department Officials when he militarised the nation’s compassion by setting up Border Force in what it suited the xenophobic Abbott government to pretend was “strengthening our borders”.

Nick Bryant reports of Tourism Australia in The Monthly, “Its members complained that he did not heed advice, withheld important research data about the controversial campaign, was aggressive and intimidating, and ran the government agency as if it were a one-man show.”

His contempt for then Minister, Fran Bailey, also reveals qualities of mind and spirit that do not augur well for any neophyte Prime Minister. Morrison boasted that “if Bailey got in his way, he could bring her down”. In the end Howard backed his minister. Morrison was paid out in an “agreed separation” believed to have been A$300,000.

Much of the secrecy and the absurd officialise and bureaucratic jargon of “operational matters” and “on-water” matters are part of Morrison’s lasting legacy to obfuscation if not secrecy. Morrison’s incoherence owes a great deal to meaningless jargon.

Morrison failed in his responsibility to act in the best interests of children in detention during his time as minister

Morrison’s dealings with the media and accountability to the public have been widely criticised. A 2014 Australian Human Rights Commission report to government found that Morrison failed in his responsibility to act in the best interests of children in detention during his time as minister.

In 2014, he also succeeded in passing a bill through parliament which gave him more power than any previous immigration minister. He could now return asylum seekers to their place of origin, detain asylum seekers without charge, and refuse any asylum seekers who arrived by boat. No-one made much of a fuss. Unless it was all hushed up.

In his two-year career as Immigration Minister Morrison saw at least one major incident where he was shown to lie about an attack 17 February 2017, on a 23 year old refugee Reza Barati, who, Morrison maintained for days, was outside the compound of the Manus Island detention centre, until incontrovertible evidence emerged later that the young Iranian man was in fact attacked by a gang of guards inside the compound.

Witness and fellow Iranian refugee, Behrouz Boochani writes: “Even though four years have passed, the killers have yet to be brought to justice, and there are still no clear answers to the fundamental questions concerning the riot.”

Reza Barati’s parents still hold Morrison completely accountable for their son’s death. A senate inquiry found the cause of the riot to be a failure to process asylum seeker claims, stating the violence was “eminently foreseeable”.

It also found that the Australian Government failed in its duty to protect asylum seekers, including Barati. Morrison accused Labor and the Greens of using the report “as a blatant attempt to whitewash their own failures in government”. Nice.

Many similar miscarriages of justice and neglect of duty of care are documented in the 2000 leaked reports which detail the abuse of women and children on Nauru Island during May 2013 to October 2015. Morrison was Minister for Immigration and Border Protection 2013-2014.

Other examples of Morrison’s behaviour suggest that he is not a fit and proper person to be Prime Minister.

When 48 people died in the Christmas Island disaster of 2010, Morrison objected to the Gillard Government offering to pay for families’ fares

These include politicising suffering. When 48 people died in the Christmas Island disaster of 2010, Morrison objected to the Gillard Government offering to pay for families’ fares to the funerals in Sydney. The cost of the fares would have amounted to a few cents per Australian taxpayer.

Morrison did admit later that his comments were insensitive and inappropriate. But how many incoming PMs have hung with Hun Sen? Or sipped champagne with Pol Pot’s former Khmer Rouge battalion commander, a mass murderer and his cronies in Phnom Penh, just four years ago, as he sealed a bargain A$55m deal, whereby they would take five of our refugees off our hands?

The corrupt regime got A$40 million vaguely described as “development assistance’. In other words we bribed a corrupt Cambodian government to take our refugees, aka “illegal maritime arrivals”, whom our domestic political theatre has been taught are illegal aliens, persons we cannot accept because of their links with Islamic terror and their capacity to encourage demon people smugglers and other monsters of our leaders’ febrile imagination.

Finally, together with this selective account, offered as a clue to “Scott Morrison: Who the bloody hell are you?” (as Nick Bryant entitles his Monthly essay) must be included the means by which Morrison secured preselection for the safe Liberal NSW seat of Cook, prior to the 2007 federal election.

Michael Towke, a Lebanese Christian from the right faction, won with eighty votes. Morrison managed only eight. Four days later, amid allegations of branch stacking, Towke became the victim of a smear campaign, suggesting he’d inflated his CV, along with a series of damaging personal stories alleging his family has unsavoury connections leaked to the Daily Telegraph. (After mounting a legal fight, News Limited offered him an out-of-court settlement).

A Lebanese Australian could never win a seat that had recently witnessed the Cronulla riot, it was muttered. Consequently, the NSW state executive refused to endorse Towke’s nomination, and demanded a second ballot. The beneficiary was Scott Morrison, a cleanskin in the factional fight, who was parachuted in as a unity candidate.

Turnbull looks relieved. In part he is happy, no doubt, to see Dutton come unstuck. Some part of him also must be relieved to be rid of a role no-one could master; a straightjacket imposed by the Nats’ former leader, Warren Truss who, in the secret Coalition Agreement, dictated Turnbull’s Faustian compact: Malco could be PM just as long as he was never himself – especially on such matters as climate change, energy, water or same-sex marriage.

Yet quitting office is quite the best thing Turnbull’s done to date …

There’s a lot of the thespian in the PM; a ham actor. Yet quitting office is quite the best thing Turnbull’s done to date, a measured, if not restrained performance, not that he’s likely to get any thanks for it. The right wing mistrust him as a dangerous leftie, a threat to the purity of their Menzian ideological mish-mash. He’s not one of them.

Our media, once again, rush to air with “vox pops” interviews with “ordinary Australians” (there is no such thing as an ordinary Australian” – “ordinary people” are extraordinary – but that heresy is never part of the narrative).

The narrative is to deplore the change of Prime Ministers. In the next breath, it is time to bag Labor. Sheesh, the Coalition’s caught the Labor disease. Enough said.

Yet for all the truth that people like to get the PM they vote for and for all they suspect that a change means they’ve been sold a dud, the notion of betrayal is nonsense, a cheap and easy way to expose a raw nerve. We all know that our pollies our parasites. How much joy it gives to express our futile righteous indignation. And envy.

Aussies love to take the mickey out of those with tickets on themselves – even if we’re paying for them. We love to puncture the pomposity of the over-exalted. There’s nothing wrong with that. But Shorten’s on to something when he claims Turnbull’s government undervalues the people. We’re all ripped off.

The popular narrative has two skeins. Men and women in the street obligingly decry the incessant changing of our PMs, while behind our backs, other parts of the media find virtue in a new pretender, a process ScoMo helps with a brilliantly timed set of releases including a puff piece in the Australian Women’s Weekly that takes the cake.

You have to hand it to Morrison. His knack of being in the right place at the right time, his Zelig-like shape-stealing self-camouflage, his overweening ambition, his lust for realpolitik and his PM’s backing all help him see off his rival. ScoMo riskily insinuates himself between Dutton’s coup and victory; snatching the nation’s thirtieth Prime Ministership all for himself. For now at least.

Dutton is undone. ScoMo robs an ugly mob of reactionaries, opportunists, and the malignant malcontents of the monkey pod room, Monash groupers, a scurvy crew of climate change deniers orchestrated by Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin in league with Sky, The Australian and other Murdoch media outlets out to depose Turnbull.

Just how many days will it take before they turn on him? How long before telling the truth about a prime or any other minister will become an indictable offence?

*David Tyler (AKA Urban Wronski) was born in England, raised in New Zealand and an Australian resident since 1979. Urban Wronski grew up conflicted about his own national identity and continues to be deeply mistrustful of all nationalism, chauvinism, flags, politicians and everything else which divides and obscures our common humanity. He has always been enchanted by nature and by the extraordinary brilliance of ordinary men and women and the genius, the power and the poetry that is their vernacular. Wronski is now a fulltime freelance writer who lives with his partner and editor Shay and their chooks, near the Grampians in rural Victoria and he counts himself the luckiest man alive. A former teacher of all ages and stages, from Tertiary to Primary, for nearly forty years, he enjoyed contesting the corporatisation of schooling to follow his own natural instinct for undifferentiated affection, approval and compassion for the young.

Kevin Rudd, The Age: Cancer eating the heart of Australian democracy

Tim Colebatch, Inside Story: Turnbullism without Turnbull

Will Hodgman: Federal Ministry

ABC, Michelle Grattan for the Conversation: Furious voters deliver their verdict as Scott Morrison’s Government plunges in the polls

ABC: Conservative Liberals moving against newly promoted moderate Richard Colbeck

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Mjf

    September 9, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    #87, Halton … Morrison hasn’t dumped Paris. He has dumped the NEG and any proposed policy legislation.


    Committing to Paris is a significant milestone so far.

    #88 … I bet you could google your own mini reactor research Keith. Here’s a start:


    I do like max’s idea of a bomb in the backyard though. “Beware of the Dog” signs could pale into insignificance.

    My panels are working awesomely today. Just waiting on revised quotes for a battery wall.

    Hoping to get off this treadmill soon.

  2. Peter Bright

    September 9, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Max at #89 says [i]”Rob, The Liberal government, along with Labor, have sold us out. Call it ideology, stupidity or treason, they have sold us out.”[/i]

    Worse, perhaps this traitors’ government has even given us away.


    On ABC radio this morning I heard the Greens’ Larissa Waters telling us that [b]the Liberals have betrayed us into the hands of corporate interests.[/b]

    It startled me, on reflection, to realise that she is absolutely right. Big Business rules, but it’s not OK.

    Why would the Liberals betray us?

    It seems to me that they betray the nation for what personal gain can be secured by that betrayal, and by association with Big Business, part of that gain is a reward much larger than thirty pieces of silver.

    After the disciple Judas betrayed Jesus for that sum, he was so wracked with grief that he suicided.

    [i]”Judas Hangs Himself

    (Zechariah 11:10-17; Matthew 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11)

    Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? See thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.”[/i]

    I’m confident that Australia would do well if the Liberals and their ilk followed suit. It’s really comforting to me that they have recently begun this entirely splendid task so well.

    I feel it’s our civil duty as caring voters to enhance their efforts.

  3. max

    September 9, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    # 87 … Rob, The Liberal government, along with Labor, has sold us out. Call it ideology, stupidity or treason, they have sold us out.

    Where is our once independence on imports? Our once industrialised nation has been traded in on free trade. The countries from which we were once independent now have us by the throat. We are now at the mercy of countries like China. If they stopped trading with us we would die as a country. They own our land, utilities and even water. They no longer need us, but we have become dependent on them.

    Free trade is two edged sword, and Australia is not holding the hilt.

    Unfortunately Morrison is not the saviour. He has sold us out to Indonesia along with all the other countries that are eager to make our goods and build their army with our minerals.

    [i]“Unfortunately for those hooked on climate the future would be far bleaker without electricity, and weakening our national security would be at our peril”.[/i]

    Who owns our electricity? The Libs sold it, and if a coal fired power station was built it would be foreign owned .. and we would still be at the mercy of the owners. Our security is at the mercy of others. Trump is trying to untangle the mess his country is in with free trade. Would he come to our aid, or better still, [i]could[/i] he come to our aid?

    Our governments have sold us out, so if you want to keep the lights on, buy rooftop solar modules from China. At least you will have control of your own lights.

  4. Keith Antonysen

    September 9, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    At the time of the major hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, there was discussion of the vulnerability of nuclear power plants to storms. Hurricane Florence is currently off the East Coast of the US, and there are 5 nuclear power plants which could be hit by the storm. Fukushima had been overwhelmed by flooding.


    It would be helpful Rob, if you produced references to micro power plants.

  5. Rob Halton

    September 9, 2018 at 9:29 am

    #83… Max, I agree the Berejikian/Braid government in NSW appeared as foolish to sell off the Vale power station for $1 M.

    Baird tried to sell of the wires and transmission lines to the Chinese, but he was stopped in his path and has since exited politics.

    NSW State election March next year could see Berejikian lose government over poor handing of public asset sales, etc!

    Coal is now more attractive than gas whose price has rocketed off the planet.

    Morrison is setting out his social conservative agenda, including scrapping the NEG and the Paris agreement.

    From what I can see this is not a popularity contest to appease all Australians, but is one of practicality to avoid the continuing de-industrialisation of the nation as well as providing confidence for business and domestic users given electricity has become not only more unreliable, but price wise is becoming more unaffordable.

    Morrison has no option than weather the storm of climate science, and instead offer the nation reliable electricity from proven sources!

    Unfortunately for those hooked on climate the future would be far bleaker without electricity, and weakening our national security would be at our peril.

    Although I am expecting a storm of disapproval from the left, I am standing with Morrison to get the ball rolling to make every move to electricity security during his remaining term as leader!

    Give Morrison the chance to grapple with the energy mess to date, and to change the terms of reference to bring about reliable electricity available for all of us!

  6. Rob Halton

    September 9, 2018 at 1:58 am

    #85, Keith … please go ahead! I would appreciate that as I am only suggesting it should be available in the Renewables mix for Oz.

    Australia is such a large continent with vast distances and deserts without the geological plate shifts common in the Asia Pacific region.

  7. Keith Antonysen

    September 8, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    #81, Rob … I did a little research on your suggestion. In relation to nuclear, think Fukushima.

    But could you provide some references in relation to micro plants?

  8. max

    September 7, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    # 80 .. What a great idea, bury a small nuclear device, something like the ones that power American nuclear ships, and then hope. I wouldn’t trust the present government to run a chook raffle, let alone a small nuclear bomb buried in my back yard.

    It was Liberal ideology that created the power mess we are now in, and they still have the same stupid ideology without a clue on how to fix it.

    How can you continue to support these buffoons? “Insanity”, said Einstein, “is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

  9. max

    September 7, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    #79, Rob … In November 2015, the NSW Government offloaded Vales Point Power Station – an old, polluting coal-fired plant on the shores of Lake Macquarie, for $1 million. In 2017 it was valued at $730 million, and it is expected to make energy entrepreneur Trevor St Baker a billionaire. Over the past year, Vale Points’ owners gained $380 million from electricity sales from the power station, and now the federal government want to give them more.

    A Liberal policy of selling utilities .. and now a federal policy of possibly refurbishing a polluting power station in the face of climate change.

    I find it hard to applaud the the gross, sheer incompetence of the Liberals in their handling of power prices and climate change

  10. Russell

    September 7, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Re #80 … “The country has been left behind in the advanced nuclear revolution gathering pace elsewhere.”

    And another of Japan’s nuclear power plants has just been put on emergency backup as yet another earthquake follows another typhoon.

    The only nuclear reactors which can remotely be regarded as safe are thorium-based. They can be completely shut down at a moment’s notice without any fear of fusion runaway, and Australia has some of the largest deposits of thorium on the planet.

    But you’d rather kill the planet in the most filthy proven way.

  11. Rob Halton

    September 7, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Keith, Russell and Max … I thought that it might be something useful # 79 #80 to chew over during the weekend in order to maintain the government’s public interest for keeping the light on for a lot longer than puffs of wind and sunshine could supply.

    Nuclear is worth considering as we already have a small OPAL reactor operating at Lucas Heights. It’s the case that one nuclear reactor is allowed to produce medical isotopes in the SW suburbs of Sydney, but potentially even smaller reactors are prohibited from generating emissions-free electricity at a remote location industrial or mining operations.

    It’s time for the politicians to re-evaluate whether this currently prohibited technology with this nation reflects the risks and benefits of nuclear power. Micro reactors could be of great benefit for off-grid communities and industrial applications. The argument is even stronger for a country that has large mining industries scatted over remote locations.

    Micro-reactors can be trucked or barged to locations, then buried in the ground and matched to local power demand. These micro-reactors require less equipment and maintenance to ensure safety than existing plants do, and they can run for years or even decades without refuelling. Micro-reactors could provide reliable electricity that is much cleaner and cheaper than today’s alternative fuels.

    In my opinion the technology on offer has to be considered in the nation’s renewable energy mix!

  12. Rob Halton

    September 7, 2018 at 4:14 am

    While Australia has been a leader in renewable energy technologies, the country has been left behind in the advanced nuclear revolution gathering pace elsewhere.

    Australia’s prohibitions on nuclear technologies are out of touch with novel nuclear designs such as small modular reactors and micro-reactors .. factory fabricated sealed reactors usually under 20 MW of power, about 2% of the size of a conventional nuclear plant.

    Every year Australia exports more than 400 shipping containers of uranium, enough to generate all of its own electricity with zero emissions, but instead of producing electricity at home, Australian uranium is used to produce vast amounts of clean energy in the US, the EU, South Korea, China and elsewhere.

    Despite significant investment in renewable energy, Australia still gets 95% of its energy from fossil fuels, with most of its oil imported.

  13. Rob Halton

    September 7, 2018 at 3:37 am

    Along with the PM’s intentions to keep the country from heading into darkness, I picked up this snippet of information today …

    Power baron Trevor St Baker has revealed a plan to extend the life of the ageing NSW coal fired plan the owns with billionaire Brian Flannery for another 20 years after surging electricity prices delivered the pair a huge profit and a bumper $41 million dividend from an asset they bought for $1 million from the NSW government.

    The Vales Point power station near Lake Macquarie, which supplies about 4% of power for the national grid, could receive a $750 million injection to ensure it runs until 2049, making it the nation’s last standing coal fired power station with other facilities due to be shuttered over the next 30 years.

    Vales Point had a bumper 2018 financial year, according to documents lodged with the corporate regulator and obtained by The Australian, with the asset making a strong $113 Million net profit from $505 Million revenue compared with a $35 Million net loss from $382 revenue last year.

    Mr St Baker, Sunset Power’s chairman, said the mooted investment at Vale Point would ensure the national electricity market’s most dominant fuel source would remain as an integral part of the country’s power mix and ensure power bills remain competitive as a surge of new wind and solar farms threaten to distort the grid and lead to a hike in prices.

  14. max

    September 5, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    # 73 and $74, Rob … You are a constant voice with a totally closed mind. #75 and #76 are trying to tell you the facts as they are, and as usual your close mind will ignore them.

    As for your comment on Gillard’s ill fated Carbon Tax which envisaged a tax of $29 per tonne. It was an ill fated attempt to do the right thing .. something else your closed mind dismissed.

    Something for you to ponder on: Unlike Australia, Norway has done well from its oil and gas. Unlike many resource-based nations, Norway has invested its petrodollars in such a way as to create and sustain other industries where it is also globally competitive. Australia is a resource-based nations which has sold the farm.

    With gas, oil, coal and iron ore, we could have been the richest country in the world .. and the Libs have blown it.

    Like your life in the forest industry, you continue to back the wrong horse.

  15. Russell

    September 5, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Re #73 … “Electricity prices will soar and gas and coal fired power stations will close if the share of wind power and solar increases dramatically, engineers have warned after analysing the nation’s energy supply.”

    Where’s your proof, Halton? Prices have already soared if you hadn’t noticed because fossil fuelled power is so inefficient and expensive to create.

    But keep going, you’re doing wonders for Labor’s chances of winning the next election.

  16. Keith Antonysen

    September 5, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Rob, the most frightening aspect of LNP policy is their business-as-usual plus approach. The “plus” comes from pushing for the development of new coal mines and extensions of old ones. The matter that renewables are subsidised in comparison to fossil fuels is a real furphy. The huge mistake made in the past was to privatise energy creating infrastructure, we are now paying the price. Ideology gone wrong, it is not only Banks screwing customers.

    The National Press Club presentations on Wednesday are well worth watching.

    A few key points …

    Politicians need a code of ethics.
    Knocking out Prime Ministers on basis of ambition is disgusting behaviour seen in both Labor and Liberal Parties. My comment here is that the Liberals are slow learners. They should have realised that their leadership spill would go down like a lead balloon.
    Shuffling of Ministers is unhealthy for Australians generally, as it takes some time to learn skills in new jobs.
    The lying, cheating and bullying are totally unacceptable.
    Entitlements should be dealt with in the same way as with other Public Servants.
    Politicians need to provide information on a regular basis about what they have achieved to the electorate.
    Currently, politicians are continually finding ways to ensure they remain in Parliament, with the needs of communities being neglected.
    Questions should only be asked by Opposition members during question time.

    Many areas politicians make decisions on are of a technical nature, hence former CEO of CSIRO suggested politicians need to do some preliminary education in statistics and STEM areas after being elected. Climate change would not be subsumed by discussion on energy prices if there was greater understanding of science.


    A figure from the last election was that just over 2 million people did not vote .. a figure suggestive of the lack of trust in politicians generally.

  17. Ted Mead

    September 5, 2018 at 11:34 am

    #73 … As I noted before, the only way to attempt to reduce power prices is to produce it cheaper in the first place, but if the government doesn’t control the energy markets then there is little hope of doing so.

    Also, you have to include the network system costs, of which much has been privatised. The squeeze will be on the network suppliers as more domestic renewables and micro-grids get established.

    The only way the network suppliers can recover their costs will be to up their charges.

    Lower power prices won’t come easy, if at all.

  18. Rob Halton

    September 5, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Under Labor’s plan electriciry bills are likely to soar 84%, or about $1400 pa for a typical household,if wind and solar powered supplied 55% of the national market.

    The analysis by a group of veteran engineers, written and funded by five mechanical, electrical and nuclear engineers with decades of experience in the power industry was sent to premiers, federal cabinet ministers and shadow cabinet last month.

    It contrasted the costs supplying electricity in the national electricity market under different mixes of generation. This included the AEMO forecast for the year 2040 of 65% renewable energy including hydro as well as five other scenarios including replacing coal fired or gas generation with nuclear power

    Then comes the question of what a mix of renewables will actually achieve in terms of reliablity with the “technology agnosticism” that ignores the “complexities of power system engineering”

    The study recommends ceasing subsidies for renewable energy and ending the ban on nuclear energy. the fact is poorly informed choices such as NEM can lead to expensive mistakes that can bedevil our prosperity!

    Its worth considering but the introduction of nuclear power to replace coal fired generation would reduce emissions by a far greater amount at an abatement cost of $27.50 per tonne.

    The AEMO scenario of 65% renewable energy by by 2040 would reduce emissions cost of $365 per tonne of CO2.

    Gillards ill fated Carbon Tax envisiged a tax of $29 per tonne

    Even if you allow for the reductions in costs of batteries,ect it doesnt make much difference to the total cost because of the extra transmission costs.
    By placing a whole lot of new wind farms into the system means spending extra money to support a transmission system that provides intermittent power!

  19. Rob Halton

    September 5, 2018 at 1:56 am

    Energy is forcast be an expensive hard sell as Labor’s Bill Shorten is allowed to take centre stage prior to the Federal Election.

    Electricity prices will soar and gas and coal fired power stations will close if the share of wind power and solar increases dramatically, engineers have warned after analysing the nation’s energy supply.

    The analysis casts doubt on Labor’s claim that a 50% renewable energy target, the centrepiece of the opposition’s climate change policy, would reduce electricity prices.

    Be aware, Scott Morrison is ready to fight bill Shorten’s populism with his own brand. He will be governed by politics ,and not glorious policy reforms.

    So you have got it. Australians on the whole vote for hip pocket reform. This will be an interesting case as the PM with his sporting brand baseball cap image hardening up against a hand wavering soap box boring comic (only if he could see himself) who is offering the public agonising changes to suit the alternative electricity industry which will drain the country dry for subsidies showing little in return, while electricity becomes even less reliable.

    Setting the record straight, Renewables will steadily follow fossil fuel generation otherwise Shorten’s policy will see more diesel generation literally displacing coal and gas generators to keep up with the mid-summer demand for electricity!

  20. Keith Antonysen

    September 4, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Rob … once again you make comments about climate change when you produce not a skerrick of evidence.

    History tells us a lot of things, Rob. For example, that in 2017 all continents were impacted by extreme events. You mentioned drought in Egypt, though your point is meaningless without evidence that other parts of Earth were also being hit hard by extreme events.

    It would appear that the same is true for 2018 where world wide extreme weather events are happening on a very regular basis.

    Charlie Veron, retired Marine Scientist, has the distinction of naming more corals than any other scientist. He has very clearly stated that bleaching of corals has a huge impact on marine creature stocks reducing, creating a major loss of food resources which many island people rely on.

    A Utube series operating for a few years has been providing films about extreme events happening world wide where lives are lost, businesses destroyed or badly damaged, houses lost or extremely damaged, cars being washed away in floods and agriculture being hit hard.


    The film shows events happening between 17th-28th August 2018, including:

    India: Kerala floods
    China: Typhoon Rumbia
    Typhoons Soulik & Cimaron
    Thailand: Nan State floods
    Taiwan: Southern floods
    Hawaii: Hurricane Lane
    Mexico: Nogales flash flood
    Venezuela: Junquito flash flood
    Ukraine: Lviv flood
    Australia: NSW bushfires
    Canada: BC wildfires
    Temperature Data

    Typhoone Jebi has since hit Japan.

    Robert Scribbler states there are some Atlantic waters at Latitude 40 N off the Eastern Coast of the USA that are as warm as those at Latitude 13 N. Those hot spots provide an avenue for potential Category 5 storms to hit the US North of where they are normally expected.

    Hurricanes/Typhoons require hot sea surface temperatures to form. Rain bombs associated with extreme storms require excessive CO2.

  21. max

    September 4, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    # 70, Rob … So there were droughts in ancient times. I never said that there were no variations in the climate from year to year. The question I asked you was .. ‘If the climate was relatively stable for the last 4,000 years, what is causing this sudden and alarming change?’ As usual no answer .. but a swerve to the right from the too hard question.

    China is a problem and free trade has created it, and now you are in full support of another with Indonesia.

    The use of fossil fuels is creating climate change but you have constantly refused to except this fact, but the whole world is accepting the fact except you and the Libs.

    It isn’t those pesky lefties that are creating climate change, it is Big Business, and its need for profit.

    There is this simple fact: Renewables are renewable. Fossil fuels will run out but Big Business has a big investment in them and will exploit them to the bitter end, no matter the cost. Australia could be in the forefront of the renewal industry, but like all our industries they will let it go to other countries because of free trade.

    Trump will, I hope, kick us back into the reality of free trade and its detriment to the workers of Australia.

  22. Rob Halton

    September 4, 2018 at 9:36 am

    #68, Max … History tells us that the Egyptians also had periods of droughts when population numbers were curtailed, same applies to the mesopotamia and Euphrates region as well as among the advanced societies of Meso Americas.

    You are really fixated on the end of the world, its not so much climate changes that we would should be worried about but a wiser use of land and sea resources as well as bolstering our ties with our closer neighbors.

    China poses a much bigger threat to our nation than climate changes does, a recent move by the Chinese to build a major multi use port in PNG at Manus Island (of all places) is strategically positioned on the north coast of PNG.

    Wake up there is a full on Chinese play to control the key strategic approaches through the Pacific to the Chinese mainland.

    PNG government is understood to be looking for co financing for four big port upgrades Manus Is, Wewak, Kekori and Vanimo using foreign investment.

    Australia needs to snap to and assist as PNG is still considering looking for Chinese help.

    A PNG government official during a visit to China has already signed china’s , One Belt ,One Road Initiative which has sent alarm bells inside the Turnbull government.

    PNG is to host this years APEC meeting this November and Mr Xi has already flagged plans to host a special meeting prior to the summit to be held in Port Moresby.

    In terms of national security, worrying about CO2 emissions from coal is peanuts!

    Australia while it can needs to urgently invest into reliable electricity sources, coal comes to mind in order to maintain our metallurgical industries including bolstering manufacturing here onshore seen as an essential need to retool the nation.

    Reliable energy is the engine room for Australia to be able to cope with the global changes that are surrounding us as well as sustainable population growth which will mean curtailing some elements of immigration.

    Scott Morrisons recent visit to Indonesia to sign on trade deals could be seen as a positive step for having a reliable neighbor as a buffer against Chinese interests.

    The next Federal election must focus on activating a plan for reliable energy to be less costly for the consumer but the overriding factor is Australia must engage with measures to directly benefit our nation and not to appease those pesky lefties both here and on the world stage.

    My warning is the next Federal election will be the most important one since the lead up to WW11, maintaining peace in our region may come at a price!

  23. Ted Mead

    September 4, 2018 at 12:14 am

    #64 … You are determined to display to us all that you know just as little about fossilised forests as you do about living ones.

    Where is all this lignite in Queensland that Adani plans to dig-up and export?

    As for your views on the GBR, the preceeding comments have set you straight on that.

    Whilst an environmental protection code for QLD coastal riparian zones is a good idea, you certainly would hope that it would have more credibility than the Tasmania’s Forest Practice Code!

  24. max

    September 3, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    # 64, Rob … Since the last ice age the climate has been relatively stable, and without a stable climate it would have been impossible to develop an agrarian society.

    4,000 years ago when the Egyptians were building the pyramids, they had an agrarian society or they would not have had the food or the time to build them. So why is our climate going off the rails in the last 25 years. If it isn’t CO2, give us your thoughts.

    The changes in water temperature of the GBR and the Eastern seaboard of Australia is a new thing. As I said, for 4,000 years we have had stable temperatures. For fifty years I sailed this water and it is only in the last few years that the water has been warming. The sediment is not the problem. What is the point of stopping the sediment if the reef is dead or dying?

    There is the possibility of no mangroves and no coral from warm water .. and the government is throwing money at the GBR to stop some run off. They have to be joking, or brain dead or trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the gullible.

    Ta Ann is destroying any future for the Tasmanian forest industry. It has our little government by the throat and it does Ta Ann’s bidding. It is the same with the federal government, only this time it is the fossil fuel industry. It isn’t about coal for cheaper power .. it’s the power of the coal industry.

    Sometimes you think you take the middle ground, but what is the middle ground when we are talking about the end of the world?

    You need to look left and right when crossing the road .. as you were taught as a child. There is a bus tearing down the road you are crossing .. and it is called climate change.

  25. Keith Antonysen

    September 3, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Rob #64 … There is no middle ground with science.

    The climate has changed in past epochs. Dr Benjamin Burger provides a detailed analysis of the end Permian period. Greenhouse gases almost destroyed all life at the time. Greenhouse gases were created by the ignition of coal seams.

    Oceans act as a heat sink, but it is the excess of greenhouse gases that are creating that warmth. The science says that extra infra-red radiation causes molecules in the atmosphere to internally vibrate to a greater extent, creating warmth when all such motions in the atmosphere are taken into account.


    The generous funding by the Federal government does not take into account warming waters on the GBR created through more greenhouse gases poured into the atmosphere.

    Recent information from emails and Face Book …

    *A recent Barent Observer, 31/8/’18 has an article about increased methane being voided from mounds, such mounds (pingos) have exploded in the past.
    *Tamino, a Mathematian has stated that the Arctic is warming more quickly than generally being broadcast using information from Cowtan& Way, and NASA.
    *The Guardian has an article about how the large economy of California has a major program in promoting renewables. The percentage of renewables being used are already greater than the supposed goal Australia has set for the future.
    *Research by 42 scientists indicates nearly every terrestrial ecosystem on Earth will be impacted by climate change.
    *CNN has interviewed Charlie Veron, world expert on corals about his views on the GBR. Charlie Veron clearly states that coral bleaching has an impact on the loss of other marine life forms.
    *Reuters has stated that countries generally are not keeping their promises to reduce emissions.
    *Landslides between 2004 2016 have killed 50,000 people, at least 700 of those slides have the finger print of humans.

    Parents would not send their children on a trip on an airline, train or bus if the risks were as high as being presented by climate change. The LNP has a shambolic, completely reckless policy. Labor doesn’t come out all that well either when taking into account their view on Adani and other new coal mines in the Carmichael basin. The Greens have a better policy, but will not form government.

    We need to keep fighting to ward off the worst of what anthropogenic climate change can create. The LNP is useless in this regard. With food prices going up, what might be gained in reduced power prices is taken up by food costs and other costs.

  26. philll Parsons

    September 3, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Correcting myself … there has been at least one change of climate that appears to have been rapid, and that was at the end of the Permian.

  27. philll Parsons

    September 3, 2018 at 11:21 am

    #64 should note the climate also changed in prehistoric times, with the rate apparently slower than we are experiencing under human inducement.

    He should also note the location of coal-fired power stations outside is a modern phenomenon relating to the ability to transit the power over longer distances rather than the coal.

    He should also note than history is yesterday, but that does not negate the fact that the changes in water temperature in the GBR coincide with the rise in ocean temperatures world-wide that the science relates to human induced climate change.

    The majority of the funding for action on protecting the GBR went to a private Foundation.

    Rob is correct in how to address sedimentation, although the re-vegetation of watercourses has been shown to have multiple benefits including for cane farmers but the uptake has been glacially slow.

    A code would be a step forward.

  28. Rob Halton

    September 3, 2018 at 3:47 am

    #62 Max, some times I take the middle ground as when I see things clearer and Adani is one of those projects that involves exporting low grade brown coal by a company who does not have lots of credibility within India.

    My view is the stuff is best left in the ground instead of offloading masses of potential air pollution somewhere else, leaving it alone mean less land cleared and Australia must where possible make more effort to leave our nature, agricultural country and water resources intact.

    Back to the GBR, the climate is shifting as it has done in the past throughout recorded history, using modern measures to reduce air pollution in big cities of the world to make the places more liveable I could not agree more.
    We obviouslty dont build coal fired power stations too close to our major cities.

    The changes in water temperature of the GBR and the Eastern seaboard of Australia are basically related to the effects of historical climate shifts.

    As for the sedimentation it continues each time a new crop of sugar is grown as does the effects of continuous use of farm chemicals heavy rainfall and frequent cyclones increase those levels.

    Queensland especially now with the generous funding for the GBR authority by the Federal government should be looking at some sort of riverine restoration plan that could involve a buy back scheme for affected properties especially bordering the flood plains of the bigger rivers.

    Reestablishment of native trees to the region, in the case of cattle raising fencing off of major streams before entering the rivers systems to lessen the effects of sedimentation which over time will only get worse.

    Something along the lines of the Forest Practices Code that outlines the protection of soils and water needs to be brought into the agricultural industry to prevent further degradation of our natural environment.

  29. philll Parsons

    September 2, 2018 at 11:41 am

    MjF asserts an overnight shutdown of coal when that is not what a planned transition to renewables looks like.

    What we have now is no plan, just the closure of old crock coal fired power stations because they cost too much to maintain on the back of a government policy-free zone creating chaos.

    Time for a change to that ,and no, Rob Halton [aka Robin Charles Halton] it will not be a sudden turn to coal under a government that “has our back” and is “looking after” us because the most likely result is that they will destroyed themselves.

    Of course that is not guaranteed, voters being the capricious beings they are, gulled by Abbott-like promises of a Nirvana .. only to awaken to a debt and deficit nightmare.

  30. max

    August 30, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    # 60, Rob … I am in full agreement on the car industry, but not on the GBR.

    I dived almost the full length of the reef in the 60s and there was the cane fields and the run-off then. Close to the shore coral was affected by run-off and fertilisers. I doubt that this is much worse now.

    The big problem for the reef is bleaching from warmer water as it kills coral and the mangroves. Without the mangroves, sediment run-off will be a factor, but out on the outer reef it is warm water.
    No matter how much the government fiddle around the edges and pretends it is doing something with run-off to save the reef, it is a ploy to divert the truth .. and the truth is that global warming from CO2 is heating our oceans.

    We are now catching tropical fish in Tasmania. The east coast current is now bringing warmer water south to Tasmania.

  31. max

    August 30, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    # 59, MJF … Instead of attacking like a rabid attack dog, please reply with facts that can be checked.

    If the Commonwealth Department of Employment got its facts wrong on the coal mining industry, show me where it was wrong. The total number of employees at BHP Billiton in Australia in 2017 was 15,906 not coal miners the total number.

    On the car industry, where did you get the absolute nonsense of “It wasn’t forced on them by the climate change apparatchik”? Perhaps if it was, we would have a booming electric car industry by now.

  32. Rob Halton

    August 30, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    #59, MJF … The loss of the car industry was a disgrace it means that the nation is open for invasion as retooling would have been the easier option but to remove everything and the skilled operatives is a backward step in allowing overpopulated and ruthless Asian takeovers penetrate into our domain.

    Its not only the coal industry operatives who are the walking dead there appears to be so many more who are suffering from blue collar employment downturn.

    We simply cant live off service and retail industry employment, we need production industries, hopefully the CSIRO can establish more practical technologies to support hi tech manufacturing, food production and more conscientious use of the environment.

    Although I am not a huge supporter of the Carmichael project but its direct impact may have little to do with the GBR.

    As an observing Forest Practices Officer, both the Sugar industry and the Cattle industry have far greater impacts on the reef with water run-off causing sedimentation and the use of farm chemicals.

    I have traveled extensively within cane growing regions and dairying regions of the Atherton Tablelands it is very obvious that the main rivers near the coast and inland streams lack vegetated riparian strips to arrest run-off.

    Landowners in the flatter and drier parts of Qld appear care less about cattle wandering in around streams muddying up the waters!

    * MJF, By the way I checked out the Chauncy Vale stream contravention, its a disgrace that anyone with an eye for basic natural waterway conservation would allow such a thing to happen!

    No respect what so ever for stream integrity or the natural wooded surrounding land.

    Worse still no mechanical action was necessary to protect an old Mussett hut used as shelter and “community” gatherings from being threatened by one in a 50-100 flood.

    The closest point of the embankment of the steam is at least 20 meters away from a wooden landing near ground level.

    Anyone with some basic knowledge of land forms and geology would immediately recognise that it would take hundreds of years before the stream actually redefines its course through the flat valley.

    Some planting of native species was recently carried out on the eroding stream bank, in my opinion that was all that was required!

    The fun and games are yet to come when the next big flood tears its way down the narrow diversion channel taking with it all the soil to cause massive sedimentation downstream !

    The Nan Chauncy homestead of historical value is well situated on the sunny bank well above the valley floor nearby.

    The recent major incident of stream disturbance is an utter disgrace upon the surrounding natural environment.

    I also noted that former vehicular tracks up through the valley floor are now grown over and appear to had very little impact on the stream when in use.

  33. MjF

    August 30, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    #54 … More rubbish. Ford, Holden and Toyota chose to close down their local manufacturing because they believe they can make more money manufacturing offshore. It wasn’t forced on them by the climate change apparatchik.

    You, on the other hand, want to close down a vibrant, expanding, highly profitable industry and throw thousands of people onto the street for no tangible reason other than climate change. Your argument is not even based on economics. I’m happy for this country to make concessions .. as long as someone comes up with a reasonable transition plan and forces the major emitting countries to also play the game.

    Car manufacturing and coal are totally different arguments and cannot be equated. We might as well debate the merits of Blundstone making boots in India.

    Your statistics are a joke. 20,000 people employed in coal mining in Qld ? BHP employ and engage 20,000 in their coal operations alone. Don’t insult me Max, with this crap.

    Go off and start Googling again. I give you more credit generally to mount a reasonable argument than say Mr Mead, who regularly presents here as a simple bully. But on this occasion you’re out of your depth Max, and clearly have nothing to add apart from introducing red herrings.

    Adani won’t get up because it can’t finance. I have no opinion or insight into why .. other than it’s been seen as too risky a play by potential backers. I foresee a commercial arrangement over part of their lease being done longer term with someone like Clive Palmer, a Chinese JV, or even another Rhinehart operation. There’s plenty of miners who would love to have a crack at this shallow, high grade resource with most of the hard yards already done.

    So yes, someone will export the Charmichael coal sooner or later.

    TAT – different discussion.

    #55 … Good opener Mr T. Up to your normal play-the-man standard I’d say. Feeling empowered ?

  34. Russell

    August 30, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Re #53 … What? You’re as incoherent as Robin.

    Re #54 … Nothing will change regarding local job numbers if Adani gets up and running. Two Qld Councils want to build an international airport for Adani with their ratepayers’ money so that they can fly their slave labour force in from overseas direct to the work-site. Yes it’s a total scam .. even worse than Ta Ann.

    Re #56 … [i]”I am not that confident, in Barnaby as envoy, as I think his way of dealing with the man on the land is beyond him.”[/i]

    Make up your mind, you’re all over the place.

    The Lieberals are dead in the water.

  35. Keith Antonysen

    August 30, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Mjf … You say you are not an anthropogenic climate change denier. My question is, how do you weigh the number of deaths caused through climate change against jobs created in industries which are responsible for huge emissions of greenhouse gases?

    Pushing renewable energy creates many jobs from research and development, production of the hardware, and installation of the technology. Should the technology be created, jobs will become available in a developing technology used to draw greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. There is research and development occurring, though usable technology has not as yet been developed.

    Steffen et al have just published a paper in relation to a business as usual approach leading to a hothouse environment ultimately. Today the Washington Post has published an article about the rapidity of ecological changes should a business-as-usual approach continue. You do not need to be particularly smart to realise that major ecological change has a profound impact on agriculture and hydrology. We are already seeing greening within the Arctic Circle, something not discussed in the research.

    The IPCC has indicated that by 2040 we will have have a global increase in temperature of 1.5 C. The IPCC has been quite conservative in its predictions, for example, the state of Arctic sea ice was not expected to reach the current condition until decades ahead.

    Here’s a quote from the Washington Post. The article is more precise:

    [i]”It’s about to happen again, researchers report Thursday in the journal Science. A sweeping survey of global fossil and temperature records from the last 20,000 years suggests Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems are at risk of another, even faster transformation unless aggressive action is taken against climate change.”[/i]

    You might like to consider global dimming, where aerosols created by fossil fuels ironically have a moderating impact on global warming. It is a Faustian pact on the basis of the damage aerosols cause when there is a continuation of sending out emissions including aerosols.

    Another very recent published article: https://mashable.com/2018/08/27/earth-warmest-temperatures-climate-change/#VfD4_3_VCiqX

    Climate science is not a religion, or related to political ideology as conservatives often try and portray it as.

    Doing nothing, as the LNP is promoting at the moment, and we create a most terrible future for young people. Quite literally, the price of energy, as terribly serious as it is for so many people, is a minor problem in comparison. A changing climate will wipe out any price benefits that might be obtained in the short term.

  36. Rob Halton

    August 30, 2018 at 10:38 am

    #52, Max … What big super payout, unlikely just my entitlement just like any other ex public servant plus some pension like any body else!

    The Coalition is within the mid range re wages, the economy is slow, wages increase are all but steady, the nation is very much remaining within a turning point yet to undecided !

    Hence the political turmoil that continues to create uncertainty for governments, Rudd-Gillard-Rudd-Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison!

    Recently the banks and superannuation sector has been examined and should continue as required, many thanks to Turnbull for bringing it on!

    The unions have been no better, one only has to look back at the Kathy Jackson ripping of the HCSU workers! Shorten knows of the lurks with use of union funds and of labor hire manipulation! Trust Shorten to lead Australia definitely not!

    So where to now, Morrison has his team together, quick and done, we need to trust in his judgement as new leader whether you like him or not is irrelevant!

    There is no other option and hopefully he may break the cycle of revolving doors for PMs.

    The drought may mean change of farming practices for a start no more land clearing, pushing further into areas that experience long periods of aridity need to be halted to allow for recovery.

    Resting the land or in some cases government buybacks may be an option too. I am not that confident in Barnaby as envoy as I think his way of dealing with the man on the land is beyond him. He should go by the next election and the task be handed over to some one who is more up to date with farming practices of the future to the save the rural sector from itself before it is too late!

    Catch up on energy policy with practical and affordable application is urgent to get back to the days of more reliant BASE LOAD electricity supply. In my estimation there is already a need to allow existing coal fired generators to stay operational for as long as possible as the direction forward seems complex especially given the privatisation of assets has only advantaged retailers and wholesalers and driven up prices for electricity that has become less reliable for customers.

    The PM will be challenged there is no doubt about that with niggling Labor and the Greens taking on the electricity sector Morrison will need to be smart and swift as that we would expect of a government leader operating in peace time who takes “no prisoners”.

    Morrison must at least be determined to break the cycle of revolving PMs.

  37. Ted Mead

    August 30, 2018 at 1:12 am

    #53 … For the die hard, stick in the mud, inflexible fools who can only see progress as chop it down, dig it up, then their stone-age ideology ahead looks bleak.

    The future of rural employment won’t be more coal-mines, abattoirs, and woodchip mills.

    Renewable Energy will be one of the big employers of the future. Why? Because it is a cheaper energy source to develop. It is also a more ethical product that invites a promising return for investors, and so private investment will dominate over government policy.

    Australia is slow to move whilst our government clings to coal, but change will come and with it there will be ample employment.

    Here’s what’s happening with renewables employment versus coal employment in the USA: https://www.agweb.com/article/rural-jobs-coal-vs-renewable-energy-blmg/

    Trump has tried everything to inhibit renewables development, but all to no avail.

  38. max

    August 29, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    # 53, MjF … Let’s get a few facts on the table. All countries subsidise their car industries, in one form or another, and no country in the world allows car sales to their country without tariffs .. except Australia. How do you expect the car industry to compete against low wage country? If you do, tell STT as they have the same problem.

    • Coal mining now employs less than 1 percent of the people who work in Queensland.
    • Coal mining currently employs around 20,000 people in Queensland. This has fallen from a highpoint of 30,000 in 2013. There are 2.36 million people in work in Queensland.
    • Nationally, coal mining is projected to cut its workforce by 21 percent by November 2020, according to Commonwealth Department of Employment projections.
    • In Queensland, all parts of mining (coal, as well as gas and other resources) are projected to fall by 7,400 jobs up to 2020.

    If Adani gets up and running will this change, or will it be another scam like Ta Ann?

  39. Mjf

    August 29, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    #50 … There used to be 50,000 convicts providing free labour in Tasmania, and the place got ahead nicely if you ignore a bit of cannibalism, ship theft, murder, uncontrolled sodomy, a ‘black war’ etc. No big deal. That was until the anti-transportation league showed up and wanted it all closed down and hidden. Now we can’t get enough of that ‘heritage stuff’. Odd.

    Lets go back there.

    #52 … Rubbish. Shutting down outdated and long subsidised inefficient car plants because they couldn’t compete on a cost basis only resulted in an increased demand on social welfare and reliance on government support. What existing activities do you think provide the income for funding for those displaced workers to get by on ?

    So the best you can come up with is nothing. You never cease to amaze.

  40. max

    August 29, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    # 45 … Rob All I can say, you must have accumulated a big superannuation or payout in your career as a forester.

    The right wing has never looked after the workers, the handicapped, or the old. If STT, or their predecessor, hadn’t given you a big payout from the money they ripped off the taxpayers, you would be singing a different tune.The Liberal party is for the top end of town and the top of town is for the top end, not the workers, nor the old and poor. Tony proved that with a draconian budget. It cost him his job and the voting fools believed Turnbull, but will they believe your Scooter?

    #49 … My question remains .. “what are you going to do with 200,000 + displaced Australian coal workers?” Maybe it will be what they did with the car industry, or any of the other industries that were forced off shore.

  41. Russell

    August 29, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Re #46 … I don’t go around making threats to people like you do, Robin. And definitely not ones where you’re hiding behind someone else.

    I reckon you must have met Paul Kelly at some stage, Robin. He wrote a song about you.

    Google “Gutless Wonder lyrics” and I reckon you’ll quickly make the connection.

  42. Russell

    August 29, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    Re #49 … Tasmania (particularly north west) already lost Vesta, and all the jobs there.

    Manufacturers: If only the Australian Government and Institutions didn’t let so many of them seek to set up elsewhere like the Australian-trained now billionaire founder and head of the second largest solar panel manufacturing company in the world.

    Salespeople, designers, installers, maintenance personnel, etc.

    You’ll never have one machine doing the work of hundreds of people as in the resource extraction businesses.

    Forestry used to falsely claim that it employed huge numbers in Tasmania. It may have before woodchips. But the truth now is it’s way less than tourism on its own. Greedy CEOs, FT’s useless management and practices, machines and desk-jockeys took the place of many, many family businesses .. and look where that got Gunns and the non-profit parasitic woodchip industry.

  43. Mjf

    August 29, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    #48 … I’m not a denier, however I am keenly interested in how the transition rolls out and what the lost income stream into government coffers from royalties will be replaced with.

    My question remains .. what are you going to do with 200,000 + displaced Australian coal workers, a 3,000 km rail network, how much money in QR rolling stock and at least 5 dedicated coal storage/loading facilities.

    Presumably you will also close down Australia Cement at Railton which burns Fingal Valley coal, and turn what’s left of St Marys, Fingal & Cornwall into complete ghost towns. The emissions there are essentially the same as a power station. You provide no tangible answers.

    “Renewable Energy provides many jobs.” Awesome. Do tell. I’ve suggested one so far, mine more lithium. What have you got ?

    You say The Great Barrier Reef provides thousands of jobs. A Deloitte report I found from 2013 bears this out … 69,000 FTE positions across tourism, recreation, commercial fishing and scientific research. But then you add the loss of the GBR is now pretty well ensured so presumably none of the 200,000 + displaced coal industry employees will get a look in there.

    I realise all these little issues are just annoyances in the grander scheme of things Keith, but they have to be considered and addressed.

  44. Keith Antonysen

    August 29, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    #43, MjF … we are now getting to the pointy end of the product of climate change denialism begun in the US from Reagan onwards. Nathaniel Rich wrote a 30,000 word article for the New York Times magazine outlining the history. It provided the base for denier groups such as Heartlands to promote pseudo science very successfully. Physics and Chemistry underpin climate science.
    The science of climate change was established almost 200 years ago.

    Lord Stern had written a Report some years ago about the cost of mitigating climate change. Costs go up as climate conditions become more extreme. Lord Stern’s prognosis has been shown to be true through the billions of dollars lost through extreme conditions experienced in the US alone in 2017. Dr Michael Mann has stated that we are in a crisis situation heading towards catastrophe through climate change.

    Renewable Energy provides many jobs. Fossil fuel emissions kill people, cause illness, and fuel a changing climate.

    Past use of fossil fuels has pretty well ensured the loss of the Great Barrier Reef. The main cause of damage to the Great Barrier Reef is warming marine waters that will persist with continued use of fossil fuels in Australia, and by other countries. Any coal Australia exports will ultimately come back and bite us. The Great Barrier Reef provides thousands of jobs.

    Rob #45 … the problem that the Liberals have created is that they have lost the trust of the community. The perceived view in the community is that they are too busy promoting their sponsors rather than the needs of the voters. They have been downright nasty to some sections of the community. The LNP need to be in Opposition to work out whether they are an odious extreme right wing party or a right wing party. The issue of women candidates has been dealt a blow through the harassment of women politicians when the leadership spill happened.

  45. spikey

    August 29, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    #37… Russell, just be thankfull he isn’t sending his well known imaginary gang of aggrieved southern foresters after you.

    When the shills are making idle threats, you know you’re on the right track, and they’ve nothing left in their spin doctors’ medical bag to bandage a situation.

  46. Rob Halton

    August 29, 2018 at 3:18 am

    #37 … Russell, you are well known to be on the public record. That is a fact.

  47. Rob Halton

    August 29, 2018 at 3:03 am

    Folks, the last thing we want is another revolving door of PMs. Scooter has to work hard to deliver his style of government for which I think will be taking hard decisions without withdrawing to suit the lefties, trouble makers and the ultra conservatives.

    He has witnessed the trial(s) of PM Turnbull, there must not offer pastoral care, not all will be smooth sailing on his ship there will be the mutineers who will go overboard at their own discretion and there will others like Julie Bishop will will survive the voyage.

    Now you lot, that is most of you lefties need to know that we dont want to see another revolving door of PM’s, that would be unreasonable as there is no time for down time in government for pandering and revolutionists, instead focus on Morrison getting it right.

    That said ‘We will make Australia great again. The lights dont go out that means investment in reliable electrictiy and not this hotch poch mess that we are experimenting with at present!

    Immigration levels are capped, sending new arrivals to regional centres where thet can incorporate the Australian way of life.

    And of cause national security which should mean less land sales to aliens and keeping the nation safe from both economic and racial invasions by the wrong types who only come here to make trouble or take profits offshore.

    With the right vote we can make Australia great again and enjoy all things Australian.

  48. Ted Mead

    August 28, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    #38 … More senile, head in the sand, delusional abstractions.

    How is the building of another coal-fired power station supposed to reduce domestic power prices? Coal energy is indisputably the slowest and most expensive option out there.

    The only way to obtain lower energy prices is to produce it much cheaper, that’s where Renewables lead the race.

    Do you know who controls the price of grid energy? Not the government. Try doing some research on AEMO.

    Read this also: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/heres-why-political-promises-that-youll-have-both-cheaper-electricity-and-no-blackouts-cant-be-kept-2018-8

    If the above doesn’t permeate into your highly daft grey matter then try the new drug BNC210. It may be your only hope!

  49. Mjf

    August 28, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    #41 … All the more reason to get started then.

    What are you going to do with all the Australian coal miners you’re happy to throw out of work ?

    If you include port, rail, and the innumerable service industries directly involved, popular research indicates upwards of 200,000 jobs will effectively stop by the week’s end if you shut it down tonight.

    Throw them all into digging up more lithium for batteries ? That’s a lot of Li every year.

    What are you going to do with Gladstone, Mackay, Townsville, Bowen, Blackwater, Dysart and Moranbah communities to name a few ? Tourism ? B&B ? Grey nomads’ free camping ? Eco-adventures ?

    What about the take or pay QR contracts to move millions of tonnes of coal annually? Force Majeure I suppose ? No worries, just bring down the curtain on a 3,000 km track network.

    Not to mention the income guaranteed into government coffers to underwrite our standard of living. But I will, anyway. What royalties do Renewables energy pay ? There must be something returned.

    Please reveal the transition plan Max. Time is ticking. This is a complex problem I agree, and it has not been helped by age old government procrastination.

    How can the ‘same’ government commit to the Paris Agreement and then urge to drop it 3 years later ? Maybe it was all too complicated for Tone at the time.

  50. Chris

    August 28, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Quack RH

  51. max

    August 28, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    #38, Rob … A backbench push for a new taxpayer-funded coal fired power station has been derided as “ludicrous” by energy analysts who believe it would cost at least $3 billion, drive up energy prices and take eight years to build.

    The decision to build the Datteln 4 coal power station in Germany was announced in 2004. Construction began in 2007 and after delays on account of legal challenges and engineering hiccups, it is not expected to come online until at least 2020.

    And you still have these out of date ideas on coal. Coal is no longer cheap. It is polluting and gives the workers ill health … and yet you still back it.

  52. Keith Antonysen

    August 28, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    #38, Rob … still no response to challenge.

    But, my question is why would Morrison offer one new coal fired power station?

    Before answering, read George Smiley’s great narrative at #39.

    In the past, I have provided articles from the US detailing how incredibly expense the so called “clean” coal fired power stations are to build and operate. When Australia is meant to be a market drive economy, why should Morrison have a “clean” coal power station built?

    Can you provide a definition of “base load power”? On RN radio after the Q&A program on Monday night, a respondent gave a completely different definition to the one provided by politicians and their conservative voting mates.

  53. George Smiley

    August 28, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Our internal self-interested ructions all over, a thumbs up a wink, ‘NOW we’ve got YOUR back!’ (to paraphrase a ScoMo visual/soundbite)

    Whatever ineffable thoughts are these people thinking? Not having been born yesterday, I felt the keen edge of a knife pressing between my shoulders instantly, and the carnage actually begins a day later with good old Barney re-birthed as clean-skin ‘special envoy’ to the drought stricken. Even as you are mixing your paraquat cocktail you feel this friendly hand on your shoulder.

    “I know just how it is mate, save it for the weeds – I’ll be fracking my own ground.”

    or “Don’t politicise this thing to anthropo whateverthehell warming like some kind of a halfwit matey, I’m here to help.”

    Tony, the Rhodes scholar, is a little more reticent about being offered up as the white armband gift to the black community.

    And Robin Halton, you are a brick. That’s in the English schoolboy sense. But I have been everywhere. If I had been an honours physics or chemistry total egghead it wouldn’t have happened, but from the mining industry at the Arctic circle to the outback and dairy farming, and even the Tasmanian Forest industry for a while .. I have seen it all, and in no uncertain terms I can say we are … ‘troubled’ (to avoid the TT auto-redact or whatever it is that only accepts euphemisms.)

    There were no roads, and we used to fly in and make camps on the cold northern lakes in mid June when the ice broke up. And the forests in the valleys that stunted their way up to tundra in the micro and macro view are going, going, gone because the winters don’t kill the bark beetles any more, and they are already burning by May. And there are roads, and those pristine valleys that were overshadowed by permanent glaciers, also missing in action, have been turned over by excavators for jade for the Chinese market, or access just to give the speculative bunnies a run for their money. And so the hunters have gained access and the moose that maintained the valley ecology are being wiped out by the indigenous remnant who couldn’t get in there before either. Their hunting privileges aren’t seasonal, as it is for everyone else, and you can’t afford beef from the baby check.

    You fly south down the coast from Vancouver. The great coastal forests are gone even to the mountain tops, as if the country has been done over by some mad barber. Logging still goes on however, truckloads of ‘peckerpoles’ are clear-felled long before anything worthwhile is allowed to grow back, and on the right there is a green cliff of giant trees of the tiny Olympic Peninsula which will likely begin burning again by March. But California is burning just about anytime by now.

    You have a better hand on Australia, but according to my own reckoning I will be DESTOCKING (again) in the next few weeks, selling some ewes with lambs, and hopefully closing up enough ground early enough to make some hay .. and that it has come to this, even in Tasmania, is pretty upsetting for the North Coast, but they know it well further South.

    As for ‘state of the art coal-fired’ .. firstly you can write off CO2 sequestration. Then there is a 7 to 10 year lead time, and the capital outlay blow-out that is going to make it difficult in an electoral time-frame. So only public money will be available (ironically amongst so many economic rationalists) but possible with the demise of Budget Repair in favour of the abject ‘what the Australian People want’ which didn’t include discipline or taxation.

  54. Rob Halton

    August 28, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Morrison must at least offer one new coal fired power station to be constructed for the voters at the new Federal election, and that is reality .. and not a threat!

  55. Russell

    August 28, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Re #32 … Lots of threats to many people lately, Robin.

    Be warned Robin, all your threats are on public record should anything untoward happen to any of us whom you have threatened.

    Perhaps you’re feeling a little freer with your attempted bullyings while having extremist racist right-wing thugs like Dutton, Hanson etc. as your favoured role models, all the while hiding behind someone else’s skirts.

  56. Peter Bright

    August 28, 2018 at 4:11 am

    I see the new PM as a glib chameleon.

    [b]Glib[/b] (of words or a speaker) [i]fluent but insincere and shallow.[/i]

  57. BREN

    August 28, 2018 at 2:11 am

    The liar from the shire is a slight improvement on the dark lord dutton , but not much. Just vote for the grown ups and get rid of these frauds and corrupt bastards.

  58. Rob Halton

    August 28, 2018 at 1:55 am

    Folks, I am putting my money on Morrison who must solve the energy crisis that has dragged on for too long to create policy that favours reliable electricity by keeping remaining coal fired power stations open for as long as possible and most likely to create investment into state of the art coal fired units to ensure adequate base load supply and maintaining our industrial users staying onshore.

    Most Australians are becoming sick and tired of shifting opinions by policitians who have no REALISTIC plan on energy.

    Gas and other Renewables can follow coal, but only when energy prices stabilise.

    The fact is that most Australians focus on the cost of living and I believe they are not prepared to see energy bandied around for too much longer.

    Morrison has to firm up with his plan, and Shorten with his .. and the Greens with theirs.

    Trust in providing RELIABLE electricity at a reasonable price will win the voters hands down.

  59. Keith Antonysen

    August 28, 2018 at 1:11 am

    Rob Halton … if you cannot critique the mega Report provided by the American Meteorological Society, then a mega Report presented by California may be easier:


    A little teaser provided a business as usual paradigm keeps operating … “The costs are in the order of tens of billions of dollars.”

    The Report is solely about California.

    Clearly, the costs of a business as usual approach jump right out. Do you suggest that you know better than the hundreds of authors of the 2 mega Reports and authors of references provided by the Reports? Both Reports have only recently been published.

    The NEG, and now the Morrison approach, pushes a business-as-usual approach. Not good for farmers or anybody else. You mentioned farmers in previous post:


    On the news in the last day or so was the warning that food prices are going to rise quite significantly due to extreme conditions experienced on farms.

  60. Rob Halton

    August 27, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    #28, Russell … Be careful how you accuse me of being racist. Watch your step, indeed watch your step!

  61. Peter Bright

    August 27, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Russell at #28 says [i]”Doing nothing about Climate Change and continuing to add CO2 to the atmosphere by supporting the filthy coal industry only ADDS to the frequency, longevity and severity of current and future droughts. Coal is caveman stuff.”[/i]

    There’s support for his incisive view here:


  62. Luigi Brown

    August 27, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    I liked the front page of the “Herald Sun” on Sunday that said of Josh Frydenberg: “He wanted families to know that there were no glass ceilings in Australia”.

    Except of course for his predecessor, Julie Bishop.

  63. max

    August 27, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    # 24, Keith … To understand the man you need to look at the background.

    If you are indoctrinated with anything such as religion and become a true believer it is hard to face the fact that what you believe is wrong. If you are indoctrinated, and believe, you may never recover. Rob believes that destroying the environment for a company to make a one-off profit is OK.

    To believe that destroying our habitat with fossil fuels is only a small step up from destroying forests and the habitat of animals and insects with napalm.

  64. Russell

    August 27, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    Re #9 … “Men of the bush” don’t support the theft of water from the rest of the Australian rural population in order to grow cotton.

    Touring the country, and handing out loans to farmers already in debt way over their heads, doesn’t do anything to prevent droughts .. or help those suffering from its effects.

    Doing nothing about Climate Change and continuing to add CO2 to the atmosphere by supporting the filthy coal industry only ADDS to the frequency, longevity and severity of current and future droughts. Coal is caveman stuff.

    The LNP is in for one almighty flogging.

    Re #15 … “Any old black fella” wouldn’t waste their piss on you if you caught fire, you racist! I DARE you to say that to their faces.

    Re #20 … “The ruthless exploitation of the Outback by the foreign investors will be in for a rude shock, growing cotton for example on marginal land.”

    WHAT? That’s already been done by your own ignorant and arrogant kind over the last 200+ years.

  65. John Biggs

    August 27, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    #9 [i]“Of course Newpolls are expected to be negative at present, something to be expected with a sudden change in PM!”[/i]

    [i]“Turnbull, great man for the people.”[/i]

    [i]“The energy sector will be high on the agenda as new Energy Minister Angus Taylor enters the scene to focus on real time energy solutions ..”[/i]

    Wrong, wrong, thrice wrong.

    Sudden changes in PM have hitherto resulted in higher polls for the government immediately afterwards. Turnbull was anything but a man for the people. His view from the towers of high business (and from his harbourside mansion) simply meant he hadn’t a clue on understanding how ordinary folk managed their business, and he talked over their heads except when emulating Abbott’s shrill insults. Angus Taylor, a climate change denier, is in no position to focus on the solutions that really matter to us, and yes .. even to the world.

  66. john hayward

    August 27, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Tawdriness is inflated to an epic scale in this cutting down of a PM in the midst of selling his kingdom out to save his political skin which he purchased in cash. His bumbling assassin loses out as well, when the crown is snatched by a huckster most noted for his prodigious production of pork pies.

    This is a hero-free story.

    John Hayward

  67. Tim Thorne

    August 27, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    #20 … Sorry to disappoint you Robin, but the desertification I referred to in comment #13 is one of the symptoms of what is generally called “climate change”.

    Unless the whole world (of which, at last observation, Australia was a part) stops burning coal and other fossil fuels, and eating lamb and beef and travelling in single-occupant, combustion engine-driven vehicles, the climate will soon become such that existence for many species, including humans, will become impossible.

  68. Keith Antonysen

    August 27, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    #19, Rob … You try to sidestep the challenge I put to you.

    If you are going to rubbish science, I will continue to challenge you on it. You simply do not have any science references that knock the science of climate change over. If you were a Professional Forester as suggested by Max, then you would have read scientific research in relation to Forestry. You clearly do not read anything of a professional nature in relation to climate change.

    For the first time ever I have seen the term RWNJS used to describe Abbott, Dutton, Abetz et al in an article in a daily paper. The term is so insulting that I will not translate it. In other words, while the Liberal Party still has the extreme right we will not be seeing much in the way of informed policy.

    Hopefully, the cross bench will create a situation where an election has to be called through a vote of no confidence in the House of Representatives.

  69. max

    August 27, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    # 21 Rob … You are sitting in the front seat of a play called ‘the end of the world as we know it’. The curtain has gone up, the lights have dimmed, and the play is starting .. but you are too preoccupied or blind and deaf and so are unaware of the opening. It appears you have always missed the beginning of every play and by missing the beginning have no idea of the play’s story.

    Blaming Roller, Gunns and Lennon is a feeble excuse as it started before that. If your career was focused and professional and with good leadership values on the main, why did you miss the opening moves? The opening move was when clear felling instead of selective logging was adopted, something that you still defend. If your career was well focused and professional with good leadership values you would have realised that clear-feeling was a ploy to rape the forests for wood chips, and that this was totally unsustainable. John Gay saw the opportunity to move into wood chipping and away from saw milling, and he exploited our forests .. and you as a professional forester went along for the ride.

    ‘Your envy of me for having a technical career in forestry speaks a lot of your insecurity’. No, I have no envy of your technical career in forestry. I had one of my own and I am still proud of the things I accomplished.

  70. Ted Mead

    August 27, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    #21 … The reason Tas partly moved away from native forestry is because there is a limited market that will accept non FSC products!

    You know, and I know, and they know .. that STT will never get FSC under the present criteria.

  71. Rob Halton

    August 27, 2018 at 8:28 am

    #16 Max, Your envy of me for having a technical career in forestry speaks a lot of your insecurity.

    My career was well focused and professional with good leadership values on the main – until Rolley the wrecker came along!

    Ever since Rolley, Gunns and Lennon took over our forests or what was our public forests the scene changed from wavering on reasonable to terrible especially with the move away from native forests.

    Max, how many times do I have to repeat that.

  72. Rob Halton

    August 27, 2018 at 8:07 am

    #18 Ted lay off, suggesting that I am drug addicted will be at your peril if you continue! As with my age related issues the same applies!

    I am aware of much of the history of the outback that you mention. As I have mentioned earlier water is a precious commodity, farming practices have to change of cease altogether in arid areas of Australia.

    Special rural envoy Barnaby Joyce needs to rethink the entire rural strategy of outback Qld and Nth NSW when he visits those drought affected areas.

    Tim Thorne #13, who obviously has some appreciation of the plight of the man on the land, has made some interesting suggestions without this ranting on about Climate Change! He mentions desertification and the fact that Barnaby could offer farmers a subsidy for de-stocking of the land!

    We must remember that Barnaby is a rough-edged conservative with a tarnished reputation, however the PM will expect that he performs in the best interests of the rural community, and that will be a difficult task to implement especially if rain arrives before the next election by March next year.

    Temporary grazing/cropping of these marginal lands could continue to occur on a much smaller scale using weather patterns and taking advantage of natural rainfall events allowing aquifers to retain their water capacity over time.

    I think the other mistake could be the sale of large holdings on the fringes of arid areas to the cash laden Chinese who are willing to invest in massive farming infrastructure projects that are water dependent on extracting water by draining natural systems to grow crop or stocking that are not really suitable for the areas.

    The ruthless exploitation of the outback by the foreign investors will be in for a rude shock, growing cotton for example on marginal land.

    The government has to lead by example, not allow these transactions to occur in the first place as Australia is not the land of plenty that can be considered as a reliable source to provide foods and other commodities for a increasingly unsustainable global population including our own.

    Something has to give and it could end up with more disputations with overseas buyers from Asia who lack any sense of sustainability given freer access to siphon of what we can produce in the long run at our peril.

    PM Morrison needs to seriously identify with the nation’s Food basket areas, the science and practice is already there!

  73. Rob Halton

    August 27, 2018 at 3:05 am

    #17 Keith, regardless of your convictions the next election which is only about 7-8 months away will be fought on energy policy and I will bet you any money that reliability and price will be the key issues for energy.

    It certainly won’t be over wind and solar that will win over voters it will come down to reliable cost effective base load power won’t it!

    All this stuff about climate change won’t make one iota on how the majority of Australians will vote you can be assured of that!

    Morrison is a man of his word and will not present the nation with Fake News.

  74. Ted Mead

    August 27, 2018 at 1:12 am

    #15 … More cave-dwelling absurd hypotheticals!

    “My advice is watch the water usage and don’t expect to expand into territory where the climate controls the outcomes. Ask any old black fella or cocky, they should be able to tell you!”

    OMG – With statements like that you must have been on a real bender over the weekend.

    You need to go easy on the donepezil, razadyne, rivastigmine or whatever you’re taking for those repetitive geriatric brain-fades!

    Here’s what’s actually happened in the outback since 1900+

    In the late nineteenth/early twentieth century when settlers moved west over the Great Dividing Range, clearing the forests, introducing hoofed animals and sucking up ephemeral water supplies like the magic pudding for agriculture, all they saw was land with an endless supply of abundance.

    Then came periodic droughts .. so what did they do? They began drilling bores into the artesian basin to source the water they needed for such an unsustainable practice of alien agriculture on marginal land.

    Thousands and thousand of bores that release water from the artesian basin were left to their own means of pumping water out across the landscape for much of the century. This resulted in lowering the normal levels in the underground reservoirs, and hence the natural aquifers failed to push water up to its regular sources.

    This went on until late last century when somebody realised that this water waste was madness, and then a process followed to cap these bores that were spewing out water to no use.

    According to the early explorers 1850 – 1900 ( journals I have read) outback Australia had lots of reliable water sources dotted across the landscape that the Aboriginal people used. But with agricultural encroachments, lowering of natural water supplies, and gradual climate change, things started to dry up.

    By the mid 20th century the land was slowly becoming marginal even for the indigenous people, and by the 1960’s big drought, the existence for these people was marginalised to the point that they accepted the help of missionaries to assist in their desperate plight, and began moving off their traditional homelands into settlements.

    Since then drought frequency has escalated, and all indications point that El Niño will be far more dominant than la nina.

    Climate change is here. Deny it if you want, like a true conservative, but it only clarifies that a fool only believes what he wants to believe .. regardless of the facts!

  75. Keith Antonysen

    August 26, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    #15, Rob … you deny anthropogenic climate change is happening, you have been challenged to provide evidence as to why scientists are wrong. Sophistry proves nothing.

    Challenge elsewhere:

    “I have yet to view really compelling evidence that those promoting a contrarian view of climate change have any real arguments to support their views. You make many comments Rob, so must have compelling evidence … please provide your evidence. I do read references provided by contrarians and follow up. Your evidence would need to have a “doi” prefix in the url.”

    I provided an example of a long Report you could critique in another comment.


    Without being able to provide anything, the question is why do you rubbish climate science when you clearly have no idea … you need to provide evidence using science.

    Per your comment “this thingo about Climate Changes has been going on since Adam was a boy, many historical events mention drought floods and so on in the past.”

    Have you heard about paleoclimatology, where proxies provide evidence of past climates? Ever heard of Physics and Chemistry?

  76. max

    August 26, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    # 15 … Rob, it’s not a new malady that you are suffering from, it’s the same one that let you blunder through a career in the forest industry. It goes under a lot of names, but to put it kindly you refuse to see past the end of your own nose. You have constantly proved your inability to see the big picture. It was forestry once .. and now it’s climate change.
    Ask any old black fella or cocky, they should be able to tell you! Things ain’t what they used to be.

  77. Rob Halton

    August 26, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    #12 … Max and others who are worried stiff about Scooter taking as Prime Minister, be buggered this thingo about Climate Changes has been going on since Adam was a boy, many historical events mention drought floods and so on in the past.

    As for Australia reporting of these events has only become prominent since the advent of modern media, not exactly sure when this started but probably 40-50 years ago as the media started to sensationilise these events making the public believe we should be looking at facing disaster type scenarios.

    Decades ago “the man on the land” generally lived through these events however today the move into the more arid regions of the nation for more intensive agriculture has posed new challenges for food production particularly in relation to water availability and rainfall which actually relates to the usual climate of particular regions.

    Combined with the urgency to aim for sustainable population targets as well as not expecting water to be available constantly for cropping and stock production within the broader area of the nations outback where climate has always been variable with rain then drought shifting from one to the other, its nothing new ask the old hands who have lived through it all!

    My advice is watch the water usage and dont expect to expand into territory where the climate controls the outcomes.

    Ask any old black fella or cocky, they should be able to tell you!

  78. Lynne Newington

    August 26, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    It’s fortunate that Tasmanians have Urban Wronski with his wits about him.

    And I love “Rasputin was poisoned, shot three times, bludgeoned with a dumb-bell, before he was bound and thrown from a bridge through the ice and left to drown in the river Neva. Even so, when his corpse was recovered, the position of the hands suggested he was trying to untie the bindings.”

    It reminds me of the mad pope Stephen: https://www.oddsalon.com/january-897-rome-the-exhumed-corpse-of-pope-formosus-is-put-on-trial-found-guilty/

  79. Tim Thorne

    August 26, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    As I have said on another thread, it is not drought we have to deal with. Droughts break. What we are facing in Australia’s drier areas and in many other parts of the world is desertification. These areas will no longer be able to support sheep or cattle, let alone grow crops.

    Given the role of cattle and sheep in contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, the best assistance Barnaby or anyone else could give graziers would be to subsidise a destocking program.

  80. max

    August 26, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    # 9 … Rob who are the usual suspects that are running around in circles crying panic as the world will end tomorrow, or the next day, and so it goes on! Rob you are good at innuendo, but you rely on your gut feeling – without regards to logic or evidence.

    We are entering another El Niño. The shift in rainfall away from the western Pacific, associated with El Niño, means that Australian rainfall is usually reduced through winter–spring, particularly across the eastern and northern parts of the continent.

    Nine of the ten driest winter–spring periods on record for eastern Australia occurred during El Niño years. In the Murray–Darling Basin, winter–spring rainfall averaged over all El Niño events since 1900 was 28% lower than the long-term average, with the severe droughts of 1982, 1994, 2002 and 2006 all associated with El Niño.

    We are still getting over the last El Niño and it looks as if we are going into another, the oceans are getting warmer and a warmer ocean may create a super El Niño with more crippling droughts.

    If your hero Scooter assesses the drought issue in QLD – Northern NSW, and does the Australian way, what ever that is, there will still be a drought and no relief.

  81. TGC

    August 26, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    #1.. “… he will not be governing for all Australians.” Who was the last Prime Minister (government) who (which) governed for “all Australians”?

    And #4 .. the knowledgeable people reckoned, at that time, that most would gladly sacrifice their say in order to save the money.
    And almost 50% will disagree with the outcome anyway.

  82. phill Parsons

    August 26, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    #9 is like many denial propagandists, if you can’t see it .. it’s not there.

    Fortunately, some of those who are some years into another drought, are fighting winter bushfires or are seeing the Great Ocean Road being eaten away by sea level rises, get it.

    A bit like German rearmament in the 1930s when the English government had its head in the sand, Morrison will hold everyone in contempt and ransom if he fails to comprehensively and adequately reduce emissions in a timely manner.

    No, it does not need to be tomorrow, or even next week .. just a believable plan implemented in spirit of tripartisanship.

  83. Rob Halton

    August 26, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    The usual suspects are running around in circles crying panic as the world will end tomorrow, or the next day, and so it goes on!

    The Morrison government’s first job is to assess the drought issue in QLD -Northern NSW which is the perfectly correct way to go .. the Australian way!

    Barnaby as Morrison’s special envoy, “as a man of the bush”, will need to remain focused in the field supporting the farming sector for its needs in order to keep the farmers safe from the banks, as well as holding onto their breeding stock. An essential role for government to maintain the nation’s food supply chain.

    The energy sector will be high on the agenda as new Energy Minister Angus Taylor enters the scene to focus on real time energy solutions .. instead of fiddling around with the anti-everything establishment who would see us living in the dark!

    I look forward to Scooter as PM. Of course Newpolls are expected to be negative at present, something to be expected with a sudden change in PM!

    By the way Malcolm Turnbull was a good PM within, but for providing pastoral care for his opponents within the Liberal party did not work particularly well.

    Turnbull, great man for the people, better than Bill Shorten would ever be .. but nevertheless Turnbull was not tough enough to deal with those who opposed him.

    Scooter will need to work hard and fast to maintain order at all levels as I would expect him to be lethal on those that opposed him both within and outside the government.

    The best man for the job, in my opinion. Enjoy your day folks!

  84. Keith Antonysen

    August 26, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    In relation to climate change, a drover’s dog might as well be our new PM. Past comments from the new Ministers for Environment and Energy suggest they are climate change deniers.

    The new LNP does not have the confidence of voters, according to the latest News Poll. An election needs to be held straight away. Hopefully, some of the trouble makers in the Liberal Party would then lose their seats.

    The way things are panning out we could see a split in the Party into the ultra right Tea Party and the right section of the Party. There are no moderates .. in comparison to the Liberal Party prior to Howard. At that time, the Liberals were just right of centre. Following Hanson has led the Liberals into the swamp.

  85. Russell

    August 26, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    Fancy giving a new role to former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce as “special envoy for drought assistance and recovery”!

    It was on HIS watch that billions of litres of water were stolen by cotton farmer maaates from the head of the Darling River system while everyone downstream dried up.

    What a disgrace!

    Liberals are in for a floggin’ in the coming elections.

  86. phill Parsons

    August 26, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    #1 … Comments on the Ministry.

    As referenced below we cannot expect a bipartisan approach to energy, leaving that area, and possibly the environment, Lieberal policy-free zones.

    Perhaps the morons expect the worry about the cost of living they caused will see the people return them to continue with the policies that know the value of nothing and the price of everything.

    The failure of the neo-conservative free market ideal is clear to anyone who remembers the time before Hawke/Keating, or who looks overseas at the Nordic and other nearby economies.

    Ref: https://reneweconomy.com.au/morrison-names-leading-anti-wind-campaigner-as-energy-minister-49560/

  87. Nigel Crisp

    August 26, 2018 at 1:47 pm

  88. phill Parsons

    August 26, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    But #3, the ‘voters’ would remain unhappy being robbed of a say once again.

  89. TGC

    August 26, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    The latest Newspoll shows clearly that there is no need for a general election. Following the irrefutable reasoning during the ‘Gay Marriage’ debate – no need for a postal ballot, the polls are clear – and so they are again.

    Labor will win in an absolute landslide and the reasonable thing would be for the Coalition to hand over now and give Bill Shorten a few months of ‘preliminary experience’ before an actual start in May, 2019.

    By using the Newspoll figures, seats could be allocated by the Electoral Commission and the usual drover’s dogs declared ‘In’! It would save a lot of money.

  90. philll Parsons

    August 26, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Describing Morrison’s past tells us not just what he was but also the lessons he may have learnt.

    Have they hardened his feet of clay as he seeks to be the new god-king of the people, defender of faiths and distributor of maundy money?

    Perhaps it was to be expected that the leader of the opposition would be more popular in the poll following the murder of the former leader’s popularity. It is certainly strange that they cabal of conservatives sacrificed their best card, a popular leader, in the hope they could return to the 1950s.

    Among the issues they will have to address is formulating a bi-partisan energy policy, when on the far end of the spectrum the Monash morons stalk the halls of the governing party, along with the entirety of the Coalition partner, ready to die for old king coal.

    Morrison will go to the drought affected inland as a first step to shoring up the Queensland vote. The Deputy PM is willing to admit on ABC RN it is getting drier, but not bell the cat.

    For all of us, it is the elephant in the room even if you put you head where the sun don’t shine as the morons have done.

    I wish us all well as we wait for judgement day sometime in the next 9 months. For those in the drought it will continue to be tough. For all but the morons, a hot burning summer appears to be ahead.

    Perhaps the few votes that are not tied to one of the old teams will initiate a change that we can see as positive, but how you do new investment and lower power prices will be a neat trick unless government intervenes, as Labor in Victoria has promised to do if re-elected.

  91. Keith Antonysen

    August 26, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    The new cabinet does not provide much confidence with two members caught with their hands in the till metaphorically, few women, and the Ministers for Energy and Environment might be described as the Ministers for the Rapture. Climate change has been ignored.
    Morrison has shown that he will not be governing for all Australians.

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