Abbott’s outstanding environmental record

I like to have a bit of look-see around the weekend newspapers and came across this doozy in The Saturday Paper.  (The New Daily – what a joke.  On this, later.)

The comment piece was written by Nick Feik, who evidently has been promoted to be editor of The Monthly ( a very sexist title, by the way), the title of which is:

MEAN GREEN GOVERNMENT

I would simply change this to:

ABBOTT’S OUTSTANDING ENVIRONMENTAL RECORD

The piece actually contains a useful summary of the many outstanding environmental initiatives undertaken by the Abbott government, notwithstanding the fact that Greg Hunt is Environment Minister.  (Mind you, Hunt really took down Faine last week as Faine wanted to link the carbon tax and Palmer’s blackmail in respect of the veterans’ children allowance.  Of course,the link was to the mining tax, which Hunt politely pointed out.)

I am a bit afraid that the RET review will be a bit watered down – you know sovereign risk for the renewable energy rent-seekers (hang the write-downs foisted on conventional energy firms, I guess).  And don’t forget the Coalition backed the souped-up RET, given the insistent support of Hunt.

But a very good start.  Here is Feik’s piece:

The first months of the Abbott government were widely recognised to be difficult. Everything turned to muck, from GrainCorp to Holden, Indonesia to China, travel rorts to Gonski. Its political “messaging” was confused – the new leadership appeared to be economic protectionists one minute, rationalists the next, ideologues some days but pragmatists on others. Which is to say, the government resembled many of its predecessors in their early days.

On one front, however, it was a model of clarity and focus from the start. Australians were aware before the election that the Coalition might not be great defenders of the natural environment. Their policy pledges were probably gilding the lily a little. Most campaign promises do. Abbott’s attack on the carbon tax could be seen to indicate his attitude towards the environment more generally. Environmental protection was likely to be subordinate to commercial interests – certainly to a greater degree than under the previous government.

But the brute efficiency of its program to damage environmental interests has been breathtaking.

In fact, the Coalition ditched a key promise before the election was even held. Abbott was quite open in saying his government would spend no more on Direct Action than the $3.2 billion it allocated, regardless of whether a 5 per cent emissions reduction was achieved.

As it prepared its first legislative bill, to repeal the carbon tax, the Coalition began rolling out its plan to defenestrate environmental organisations. It informed the Climate Commission that Australia no longer required its information or advice on climate change. Funding to the Environmental Defenders Offices, the Caring for Our Country, Low Carbon Communities and Energy Efficiency Opportunities programs, and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency was cut. Environment Minister Greg Hunt explained that he would instead be relying on the advice of the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO, which announced a hiring freeze soon after, due to lack of funds.

The Council of Australian Governments environment ministers’ forum was axed after 41 years. The Biodiversity Fund faces shutdown as part of the carbon tax repeal bill, as does the Climate Change Authority. The Coalition also attempted to scrap the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, even though it was generating profits, but was prevented by the senate.

Its new “streamlined” environmental approvals process quickly cleared the way for a projected fivefold increase in coalmining in the GalileeBasin, to dig quantities that when burned will produce more greenhouse gas emissions than Australia’s total current output. The coal will be exported via Abbot Point, set to become the world’s biggest coal port – as soon as dredging is finished and up to 3 million cubic metres of spoil is dumped in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

In December, the government tore up the management plans for the world’s largest network of marine parks, created just the previous year by the Gillard government. This would reverse Labor’s “plan to lock out recreational fishers”, explained Hunt.

In January, Hunt sought to wind back the World Heritage listing of Tasmania’s forests, requesting a “minor boundary adjustment” affecting 74,000 hectares, thereby threatening to reignite the forestry wars that had only just ceased. Abbott explained it differently last week: “We have quite enough national parks. We have quite enough locked-up forests already.”

Hunt also approved the West Australian government’s controversial plan to catch and kill sharks to protect swimmers, exempting it from national environment laws. He reasoned that “a loss of confidence in water-based activities impacts on tourism and other leisure-based businesses impacting on the Australian economy”. Conservationists were understandably furious (as were guardians of the English language).

Meanwhile, the customs vessel Oceanic Protector, which Hunt had promised would be used for monitoring Japanese whaling, was instead sailing our northern reaches on the lookout for asylum seekers.

Even Foreign Minister Julie Bishop joined the government-wide poleaxing, cancelling Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade funding to help save the Sumatran rhinoceros from extinction. Although it was only costing $3 million over three years, their age of entitlement is over, too – all 100 of them.

The Australian government sent no elected representative to the United Nations climate summit in Warsaw. But it did find the time to announce yet another inquiry into the health impact of wind farms. Australia’s authority on medical health research, the National Health and Medical Research Council, recently completed another review of wind energy and health, again finding them clean and safe. It sits on the desks of Hunt and Industry Minister Ian MacFarlane, unacknowledged. So why commission another inquiry?

Probably for the same reason that climate change sceptic Dick Warburton was appointed to review the Renewable Energy Target. (Abbott’s top business adviser, Maurice Newman, also a sceptic, would prefer it to be scrapped altogether, but that would be too obvious.)

All that activity in just a few months, from a new government that at times appeared otherwise unable even to tie its own shoelaces. The legacy being created is formidable and will in many cases be irreversible: not only physically but also because there is legislation currently before parliament that will ensure environmental approvals made by the minister before 2014 will remain valid even if he ignored conservation advice. His decisions will be immune to legal challenge.

Most damaging of all has been the Abbott effect on the discussion of climate change. Australia will likely become the first country to scrap a price on carbon – and this is seen as a fait accompli. In the popular media, the carbon tax is almost never discussed in environmental terms, but only in relation to corporate profitability. Renewable energy is framed solely in terms of higher power bills, as if Australia will never actually need to develop the capacity to generate low-emission power. Abbott and Hunt blithely tell Australians there is no link between climate change and drought or bushfires, when the science says quite explicitly that it will bring natural disasters with more frequency and intensity.

With a coherence lacking elsewhere, the Coalition has been an unflinching, ferocious scourge on environmentalism and the environment. This may in fact be the Abbott government’s defining characteristic.

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Abbott’s outstanding environmental record

  1. deiseal

    So in essence we are going to make the environment serve the needs of Australians rather than bow down to the Green’s anthropomorphic view of humanity as a curse of the “Earth Mother”.
    Hopefully the reduction in green tape will reduce costs in the resources sector, which will otherwise hollow out under the challenge posed by resource rich nations who actually want to improve the lives of their citizens.

  2. Kaboom

    An excellent start, I think!

  3. Honesty

    What an excellent report card, Hunt is giving Morrison a run for the best Minister.

  4. Tom

    Can we borrow Fisky’s warcry on boaties to describe environmental policy under AbbottSatan? VROOOOOOMMMMM!!! Love the smell of head explosions in the morning.

  5. Geriatric Mayfly

    The Dark Ages will envelop us all, if the Greens’ ascendancy is brought low by barbarians. A few druids and sorcerers, stuck on Bass Strait islands, may keep the flame alive. But without the bags of money and influence to which they have been accustomed, the prospects of a rennaissance are forlorn indeed.

  6. Fred Lenin

    Stopping the alp/ groin influx of unwanted islamofascist criminal illegal migrants is good for the evironment too,a really good cleanup would involve the Deportation of large numbers who snuck in during the krapp/ giLIARd/more krapp so called guvmint ,as perfesser giLIARd would sai,This action would make Australia a much better place ,then start on frasers Leb gangsters ,strip them of citizenship and send them back where they really belong!

  7. David

    GM have you ever been to any of the Bass Strait islands? Apart from King Is and Flinders Is there is sweet f.a. on any of them and not even enough to keep a druid or sorcerer going – assuming of course that they are of an abstemious nature there would still be insufficient. On second thoughts they would be good places to send the Greens – could do Sarah Hopelessly – hyphen – Wrong’s waist line some good.

    Been there [the islands not S H-W's waist line] and anchored off a few of them but largely tried to miss them by a healthy margin.

  8. Neil

    “In December, the government tore up the management plans for the world’s largest network of marine parks, created just the previous year by the Gillard government

    Actually there is some deceit in this comment. I did not know but this network of marine parks was started by the Howard govt. Labor wanted to greatly increase the size of this marine park network and Hunt was against this

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/rooted/2010/08/19/the-tide-turns-back-towards-labor-on-marine-parks/

    The Howard Government delivered the world’s first Oceans Policy and major marine parks in the Great Australian Bight, Australia’s south-east marine region around Tasmania, around our sub-Antarctic islands, and greatly increased protection of the Great Barrier Reef. A number of Australia’s major fisheries were rationalized and restructured, underpinned with a multimillion-dollar package to provide the necessary graceful exits. One of the biggest legislative reform agendas in Australia’s history was delivered with the creation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Fish became recognized as wildlife not just a commercial commodity and hundreds of millions of dollars were invested through the National Heritage Trust in Australia’s first national program for coast and marine protection and rehabilitation.”

  9. David, Cape Barren Island was recently in the news:

    A Tasmanian Aboriginal leader is claiming a small island off the state’s north coast is in a state of lawlessness.
    Michael Mansell says Cape Barren Island is in anarchy with chronic levels of assaults, road crashes and domestic violence.
    About 60 Aboriginal people live on the island which, he says for its size, is one of the “most drug and alcohol-fuelled and violent Aboriginal communities in the country”.
    He has family on the island and says he is speaking out to campaign for a temporary police presence.
    Mr Mansell says the island is in chaos.
    “I hate to admit it, but Cape Barren is completely lawless. It is an island of anarchy,” he said.
    “Women are bashed regularly and intimidated by men.
    “There is just a lawless community there who have been screaming out for help for some time and they just haven’t been able to get it, which explains why I’ve suddenly – out of frustration – gone public.”

    Michael Mansell, a man who pretends to be a Tasmanian Aboriginal, is one of those who fought to have Cape Barren Is. (which has an area of about 478 km2) “handed back” to the Aboriginal community, and he notoriously wants governments to have nothing to do with such Aboriginal communities—except when things go wrong, as they inevitably do.

  10. Toiling Mass

    Please tell me Feik’s name is pronounced ‘fake’.

    The first paragraph is hilarious.

  11. Grigory M

    What an excellent report card, Hunt is giving Morrison a run for the best Minister.

    Absolutely. Greg Hunt is an excellent Environment Minister. Eloquent, coherent, and with an air of quiet confidence – he seems always to be well in command of his portfolio. He has achieved a great deal in a very short time.

  12. Walter Plinge

    I see Feik is another lily gilder. About what you’d expect.

    To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
    To throw a perfume on the violet,
    To smooth the ice, or add another hue
    Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
    To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
    Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.

  13. Greg Hunt is an excellent Environment Minister.

    No, he’s not. He foolishly insists that life-giving carbon dioxide is “pollution”. He might perform well in the House, at times, but he can’t spot, for instance, that giant whirligigs and Greens are quite bad for the environment and ought to be exterminated with extreme prejudice.

  14. johanna

    Had some dealings with Hunt in another life.

    On the plus side, he is very smart, diligent and personable.

    On the minus, he is Malcolm Turnbull-like in his beliefs, and has no doubt had to be prodded by Abbott to take a hard line against environmental extremists. He wants to be loved, and has swallowed the Kool-Aid about a lot of shibboleths promulgated by the greenies.

    As a manager, I would rank him as “talented, but needs close supervision.”

  15. Andrew

    The man behind Direct Action for the best minister? Please…

  16. Johno

    Nick Flick can make so little sound like so much.

    Hunt has put the brakes on few things and got rid of some other stuff. A useful start, but nowhere near enough.

    Until he calls BS on the Great Global Warming Scam he will have failed Australian people.

  17. Johno

    A mark of Hunt’s failure as a Minister is that this moron can get away with ‘when the science says quite explicitly that (climate change) will bring natural disasters with more frequency and intensity’. If Hunt had been doing this job, he would have made dire everyone would know that this is BS. The fact the the Left can still get away with this shows how ineffectual he is.

  18. politichix

    Johno
    #1234974, posted on March 22, 2014 at 4:32 pm
    Until he calls BS on the Great Global Warming Scam he will have failed Australian people.

    +1

  19. Greg James

    Greg Hunt is most certainly NOT the best Environment Minister.

    He is a just another soft cock leftoid warmenist in the mold of Lord Wentworth, and Abbott should never, ever, have kept him on his present position after gaining leadership of the Opposition.

    If Abbott was serious about things he’d sack Hunt and replace him with Dennis Jensen.

  20. and replace him with Dennis Jensen.

    Yes, Dr Jensen is the best, most qualified member of Parliament to be Minister for the Environment, and he’s one of the few MPs honest enough, and knowledgeable enough, to explain that the pseudo-scientific conjecture of CAGW is a scam.

  21. Infidel Tiger

    Yes, Dr Jensen is the best, most qualified member of Parliament to be Minister for the Environment, and he’s one of the few MPs honest enough, and knowledgeable enough, to explain that the pseudo-scientific conjecture of CAGW is a scam.

    Which is exactly why he’s sitting on the back bench, blackballed from ever moving forward. Poor bastard still has to fight pre-selection all the time from the doctor’s wives who want him out of Tangney and someone more in tune with progressive thinking installed.

  22. Grigory M

    Tangney? FFS – what part of Seth Efrica is that in?

  23. Le Chiffre

    Meanwhile, the customs vessel Oceanic Protector, which Hunt had promised would be used for monitoring Japanese whaling, was instead sailing our northern reaches on the lookout for asylum seekers.

    bwahahahahaha………

  24. James B

    Greg Hunt is a piece of shit and belongs in the Labor Party.

  25. Alfonso

    Excellent. And I thought he was just another Howard.
    Now make the case to the suburban public Tone……..because the standard ABC Fairfax headline is ‘Abbott denies’ or ‘Abbott defends’.

  26. Grigory M

    Contrary to the views proffered by many here on the Cat, I also think that Tony Abbott is doing an excellent job.

  27. Notafan

    Not much more Abbott can do with a hostile senate.
    Hope WA sees the light and delivers 3 LNP senators. Four would be better.

  28. Anne

    Maybe it’s not a bad thing to put some space between getting rid of these warmy, luvvie bureaucrats and bringing on the uncomfortable jolt that AGW is a scam. If they’re out in the real world they have no platform from which to sprook.

  29. nerblnob

    Abbott hasn’t “done” anything to the environment. He’s merely cut funding to some people that were not “doing” anything useful either.

  30. Rabz

    Greg Hunt is an excellent Environment Minister. Eloquent, coherent, and with an air of quiet confidence – he seems always to be well in command of his portfolio.

    No, he’s a soft cocked greenfilth warmy numptie who should be relegated to the back bench toot sweet before being disendorsed.

    I’m very pleased that peoples have been busy pointing out this inarguable fact above.

  31. littledozer

    Could never understand Abbott keeping Hunt when he became leader considering Hunt was so in lock step with the ETS.
    Just one of many soft left weak members of the Vic Libs

  32. Alfonso

    Indeed, the hopeless Hunt trooly rooly believes in CAGWarming that needs to be abated by planting trees and spending $3 billion + although that will have zero measurable influence on even the ideological temperature predictions…….but then again, so does Tony…… it’s official Liberal policy after all.
    Watching what Tone does not what he says.

    Hunt would be personally happy with Labor’s CAGW hysteria tax / ETS and Malcolm as leader.

  33. Cold-Hands

    Actually there is some deceit in this comment.

    Pull your head in Neil. There is nothing wrong with a few marine national parks established after consultation with the fishing industry as established by Howard. What the Rudd/Gillard/Greens wanted to do was to lock up the best fishing areas, establishing marine parks in the very areas that the commercial fishers wanted excluded, as well as many of the most popular recreational fishing areas, greatly expanding the area locked away.

  34. duncanm

    Climate Commission .. Environmental Defenders Offices … Caring for Our Country .. Low Carbon Communities .. Energy Efficiency Opportunities programs, .. Australian Renewable Energy Agency

    for christ’s sake.. WTF were all these boondoggles doing?

  35. David

    G’day Deadman,

    Haven’t been into Cape Barren Island since 2005 when it was handed lock, stock and barrel to the allegedly indigenous.

    Used to be a reasonable anchorage there but better just across the water at Lady Barron.

  36. Baldrick

    With a coherence lacking elsewhere, the Coalition has been an unflinching, ferocious scourge on environmentalism and the environment.

    Feik off!

  37. J.H.

    nerblnob ………… Abbott hasn’t “done” anything to the environment. He’s merely cut funding to some people that were not “doing” anything useful either.

    Which I think is a damn good start….. Much more to be done to be sure…. But a good appetizer. :-)

  38. entropy

    They haven’t done anything’to’ the environment. So far, all that has happened is a few snouts have been slapped as the went for their usual dive at the trough.

  39. Toiling Mass

    Abbott hasn’t “done” anything to the environment. He’s merely cut funding to some people that were not “doing” anything useful either.

    Precisely, nerblnob. Contrary to the perennial refrains the populace has been conditioned to nod agreement with – “Why doesn’t the government do something?” and “What is the government going to do?” (they aren’t really meant as questions) – it would be so refreshing to find a government whose policy was to determinedly…do nothing.

  40. wazsah

    Not forgetting the Tasmanian Liberals who seem headed to correct the worst Green excesses that have stymied that resource rich State.

  41. johanna

    It’s a tautology. If you employ people to find out what’s wrong with the Barrier Reef, they are hardly going to come back and say that everything is fine.

  42. wreckage

    Exactly. None of this has to do with environmental interests, defined as actual, measurable and scientific regard to environmental outcomes. It’s just one party cutting back another party’s power grab. As it happens, the party getting cut back uses the word Green to disguise its love of control.

  43. The Pugilist

    Just one of many soft left weak members of the Vic Libs

    It seems that if you look at the ‘talent’ spewing forth from both major parties, there’s something seriously fucked up going on in Victoria.

  44. David

    there’s something seriously fucked up going on in Victoria.

    TP you should try living here as a conservative. ’nuff to make a grown man weep. Effin socialist bludgers everywhere.

  45. JC

    TP you should try living here as a conservative. ’nuff to make a grown man weep. Effin socialist bludgers everywh

    Not south of the DMZ there isn’t. (South of the Yarra).

  46. David

    JC? Any relation of the bloke with the nail holes?

    Seriously I live in an electorate south of the Yarra currently held by Labour Lite [a.k.a the Liberal Party] and there are bloody socialists crawling all over it. In fact I hardly noticed the difference when Timid Ted’s lot won the seat. Napping Napthine has certainly done f.a in this area to encourage optimism.

    The small business people locally certainly don’t follow the ALP so it has to be all the latte sipping cretins that infest the coffee shops.

  47. CatAttack

    Abbott could resurrect the Tassie Tiger tomorrow with his own hands and it would not make one iota of difference to his green credentials as far as the left is concerned.

    The Green Left will just repeat his own words “We have quite enough forests locked up already. “Add an image of a demented Abbott with a photoshopped chain saw and this meme will circulate around Australia and spawn a hundred other similar posts.

    This is both the strength and weakness of social media. Brain dead fucktards forward on any anti Abbott material without the slightest hesitation or thought to what is being said. Brilliant. This stuff trumps any reasoned debate about forests or anything else for that matter. Everyone thinks they are an expert on forests because they read an article in the SMH or the Guardian. Enough said.

  48. stackja

    Liberty Quotes
    It is only the passionate pro-socialist zeal of mathematical pseudo-economists that transforms a purely analytical tool of logical economics into an utopian image of the good and most desirable state of affairs.
    — Ludwig von Mises

  49. nerblnob

    Exactly, CatAttack. The image of Abbott as a mad environment destroyer who probably hates trees because they are gay has infested my FB with seemingly everyone I know “liking” or commenting OMG hysteria . As someone who uses FB to keep up with the family diaspora I ignore it, but the nature of social media seems to encourage this kind of stacks on the mill group reaction. _”Yes, we are all individuals ”

    Should I comment, pointing out that he’s merely questioning some hasty legislation from the last days of a dysfunctional government? No, I don’t want to engage with people I otherwise like at that level.

    I did one raise my head above the parapet with some concerned greenies who were urging me to sign some petition or “like” some rant. “No, bugger off and leave me alone” I wrote. Oh well, might as well close my FB account I thought, but the next morning the only reactions were “likes”.

    What does it all mean anyway? Labor bet heavily on a social media strategy and lost. Young people are already deserting FB and Twitter .

  50. CatAttack

    Nerblnob There are basically not enough hours in the day to counteract the mountain of shit that I receive hourly on Facebook. Some of my friends passionately and maybe sincerely believe this stuff and I just want to respond are you bloody retarded to every one of their posts but civility and good manners prevents me from doing so.

    This is a serious point. The Left control social media. Sending out sludge accusing the rest of the population of being uncaring, racist, misogynistic, knuckle dragging, forest clearing troglodytes. And the response from the right on FaceBook muted acceptance.

  51. wreckage

    The problem is, if they’re friends or family on the left and you call them on their bullshit, there’s a 50-50 chance you’ll get disowned in a shower of histrionics and drama. Even if they’re making pig-ignorant comments and you only correct them.

  52. .

    wreckage
    #1236772, posted on March 24, 2014 at 3:47 pm
    The problem is, if they’re friends or family on the left and you call them on their bullshit, there’s a 50-50 chance you’ll get disowned in a shower of histrionics and drama. Even if they’re making pig-ignorant comments and you only correct them.

    Just do it and watch the metldown. For the lols.

    Trust me, the break and eventually they start saying the LDP are good and start thinking about being a LNP or Tea Party of Aus Senator “one day”.

Comments are closed.