When in 2007 then environment minister Malcolm Turnbull put in place a phase out of incandescent light bulbs in favour of compact fluorescent bulbs (CFCs) he was applauded by the greens and the environment lobby.
This cost many households a significant sum as they moved to expensive, mercury laden CFCs that never seemed to last as long as claimed. Meanwhile other households had halogen lights which ran very hot and had been known to cause fires. The CFCs were never that bright and took a good deal of time to reach maximum brightness.
The whole scheme has been a tragic and expensive farce. Because along comes LED lights that turn instantly on, last more than 40 years and consume 3 to 5 watts each. They come in a variety of colours and forms and run cool.
The growth of LED lights, which continue to fall in price, had nothing to do with Turnbull’s lightbulb ban. It was simply the private sector innovating a new technology which was attractive to consumers.
The ban simply caused people to throw away money, increased Commonwealth spending on administration and staffing and achieved no benefits.
Surely yet another lesson for the petty bureaucrats trying to run our lives?