Thursday 21st of August 2014

the vengeful dirty machine...


the dirty machine

For Prime Minister Tony Abbott, his was not so much a budget as a settling of old scores.

Cast your mind back to 2010, when Abbott was denied power in a hung Parliament by Labor, the Greens and two country independents who wished to advance policy on climate change and renewable energy. Ever since, Abbott and the right-wing faction that put him there — the people Paul Keating famously described as “right-wing nutcases” — have vowed revenge.

The proposed trashing of the $3.1 billion Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which under various guises has for years backed Australia’s world-leading solar research and demonstration projects for the energy technologies of the future, was the coup de grace.

The budget has provided Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey the opportunity to implement many of the 75-point wish list drawn up by the influential Institute of Public Affairs, which the government attempted to disguise by asking the Commission of Audit to prepare its 86 recommendations in its ham-fisted documents. Hence the attack on education, health funding and welfare payments that will affect the least advantaged, and the tax cuts for corporates.

But it is “green policy” and anything that resembles it that riles this government the most. Consider Hockey’s comments about wind farms being “utterly offensive”. With proposals to repeal the carbon price, dismantle the Climate Change Authority and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, and the dilution of the Renewable Energy Target already in train, the budget measures, which include the closure of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the dumping of the million solar roofs program (both contrary to election promises) and the research funding cuts at the CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology and elsewhere, means that the obliteration of the Clean Energy Future package will be complete — if it can get past the Senate.

The closure of ARENA, which still had $3.1 billion of funds to be invested over the next 10 years, appears the most vindictive, and like the move to pull the CEFC, a case of economic and environmental vandalism. The budget document talks endlessly about the need for “innovation”, for new investment and infrastructure. ARENA, like the CEFC, was able to leverage billions of dollars in private finance — a rate of $2.50 of private funds for every $1 invested.

Chief executive Ivor Frischknecht says that until the Senate decides otherwise, the agency will continue to work through its applications. It has more than 190 proposals worth $7.7 billion (two-thirds private money) on the table. He says that reflects not just the level of disappointment, but the “scale of investment that is unlikely to go ahead because of the proposed closure”.

ARENA has been branded as one of many examples of “corporate welfare”, but in reality more than 150 of its 180 projects already allocated are in support of research and development, a core competency of any advanced economy. Future funding of that research will be lost. Corporate welfare will continue to be doled out to manufacturers in other sectors.

“Instead, according to Abbott and Hockey, we are to build the roads of the 21st century. Welcome to the asphalt economy.”

ARENA was not the only victim of the budget axe. The million solar roofs program, once a $1 billion centrepiece of Direct Action to bring solar to lower-income earners and renters, has sunk without trace — replaced by a derisory $2.1 million program to install solar on RSLs and bowling clubs in seven marginal electorates (yes, really).

read more:


a lot of bullshit, cow-poop and dung beetle roll.

The Federal Opposition has launched a concerted attack on the Prime Minister's credibility and pre-election promises as the Government continues with the job of selling its first budget.

Key budget measures, including the introduction of a fee to see the doctor and cuts to welfare payments, have sparked an angry reaction from the Opposition and from lobby groups.

A number of the measures face a tough sell in the Senate where Labor, the Greens and the Palmer United Party have united in opposition.

State premiers are also angry over $80 billion in federal cuts to school and hospital funding that they believe is a "wedge" to get them to support an increase to the GST.

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For those who though the budget was not as bad as thought, one of course was lulled into believing Joe Hockey was delivering a respectful eulogy to the Australian democracy burial. When one looks at the fiddles and the accounting gymnastic one can see the horror of the underpants of this completely silly budget, only made to satisfy a few nutcases. On the global warming front, this is what Ian Plimer, the inspirational geologist to Tony Abbott's craziness on the subject, once said, while keeping a straight face:

Carbon dioxide has an effect on the atmosphere and it has an effect for the first 50 parts per million and once it's done its job then it's finished and you can double it and quadruple it and it has no effect because we've seen that in the geological past, and we've seen it in times gone by when the carbon dioxide content was 100 times the current content. We didn't have runaway global warming, we actually had glaciation, so there's immediately a disconnect. So carbon dioxide is absolutely vital for living on earth; it's plant food, all of life lives off carbon dioxide. To demonise it shows that you don't understand school child science.

Ian Plimer, interviewed on ABNNewswire, June 2009[28]
Anyone who has studied global warming, even in passing, would known that this is a lot of bullshit, cow-poop and dung beetle roll. 



cut pristine forests for loo paper. a liberal (CON) pastime.

An environment-focused group founded by the Institute of Public Affairs has lobbied countries to allow Australia to strip world heritage protection from large areas of Tasmania’s forest, it has emerged.

The Australian Environment Foundation, set up by interests including libertarian think tank the IPA in 2004, has written to each member of Unesco’s 21-nation world heritage committee calling on them to back the Australian government’s plan to delist 74,000 hectares of forest from protection.

An analysis conducted by AEF argues that the expansion of Tasmania’s world heritage area by the previous Labor government flouts international principles that natural areas should balance human needs with the protection of biodiversity.

The Coalition is looking to revoke part of Labor’s nomination, which has already been accepted by the world heritage committee, claiming that it unfairly “locks up” areas of degraded forest from the logging industry, constraining economic activity.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature is set to reveal its recommendation on the Coalition’s application to change the boundary of the protected area on Saturday.

A Senate inquiry, published on Thursday, concluded that the government’s proposed delisting is “fundamentally flawed” and should be withdrawn. The Senate committee stated that evidence shows only a small proportion of the 74,000ha could be described as degraded by previous logging, with 48% containing old-growth forest.

“It can only be concluded that the vast majority of the area proposed for delisting is intact native vegetation and not degraded areas,” the Senate report states. “The committee further notes that even though an area may be considered 'degraded', this does not, in itself, automatically justify its exclusion from world heritage listing.”


See also: 

Forest Policy (2005)


I was born yesterday under a non-cynical wandering star...


we've got [quite] enough of hypocrite tony...


stupefying stumping...


darwin was there...


my heart bleeds...


dress: private school tie...


for greg hunt, saving a few bucks is more important than saving the planet....


poor fellow, my country...


and read more of Gus' views in between...

Note: the IPA is a think-tank for ultra-right wing murky smelly sludgy brains and its "Australian Environment Foundation" is mostly a puce-green looking shop-front that hide axes, bulldozers and chain-saws. At the back of the store, the cement trucks are spinning 24/7.

the abbott regime claim was always fraudulent ...

The World Heritage Committee has been advised to reject a bid by the Federal Government to delist 74,000 hectares of forest in Tasmania.

Last year 172,000 hectares was added to Tasmania's World Heritage area under the state's forest peace deal.

But the Federal Government said the boundary extension had been rushed through and was therefore invalid.

It wanted 74,000 hectares delisted, claiming they had been degraded from past logging and should be opened up to forestry.

But a draft decision released in Paris overnight recommended the World Heritage Committee not approve changes to the boundaries.

Wilderness Society spokesman Vica Bayley says it is a major win for environmental groups.

"I think this is a win for common sense and a win for the facts and the evidence," Mr Bayley said.

"The Federal Government claim was always fraudulent in claiming that this area had been degraded, and that was always going to run counter to the World Heritage Convention and World Heritage principles."

Greens leader Christine Milne has joined Mr Bayley in calling on the Government to withdraw its application.

"I call on Tony Abbott to immediately withdraw Australia's application to adjust the boundary ... and not have it proceed to the meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Qatar in June," Senator Milne said.

"This demeaning act of environmental vandalism, which so damages our global reputation, should end now."