Looting taxpayers for campaign finance

The shady dealings of the Health Services Union are now just a daily serial about the cupidity of those who have got into positions of influence by purporting to champion the ‘common man’. 

Such venal corruption of those attaining elected office has a 2000 year history.  Somewhat less traditional and little known 100 years ago is the employment of public funding by those in office to persuade the electorate to continue supporting them. 

The new acting speaker, Anna Burke, is a veteran ALP crusader. Perhaps coincidentally, she is on the Board of Climateworks, alongside its Chairman, former Victorian Minister, John Thwaites, and former Keating adviser and reconciliation activist, Sam Mostyn . Climateworks is a pseudo-science campaigning outfit that promotes the need for renewable subsidies and is housed within Monash University’s Monash Sustainability Institute.

Ms Burke joined the board of Climateworks in April 2011, replacing Mark Dreyfus, and six months later the agency got a $424,000 grant from the Department of Climate Change to promote its Low Carbon Plan regionally. That is only part of its government funding. The Monash Sustainability Institute indicates that an additional $781,000 was provided by the Victorian and Commonwealth governments during 2010.

There has to be at least a scintilla of interest conflict here. Something is not quite right when a Government Parliamentarian joins the board of a political advocacy agency that happens to be promoting a policy favoured by the Government and receives funding to prosecute that agenda.

Perhaps though this is the new standard. When a political party occupies the Treasury Benches, perhaps it has obtained the right to loot the country and use the money to reward its loyal followers and to provide ammunition in the public debate to promote its re-election.

Both the Chair and the Executive Director of Climateworks got two places on the Government’s NGO Roundtable on Climate Change. Others on the Roundtable receiving Department of Climate Change funding included the ACTU ($93,000); the Climate Institute ($250,000) and the ACF ($398,000).

There were dozens of other NGO’s, universities and semi-government bodies who also got Department of Climate Change funding to promote the line favoured by the government. In the year to end March 2012, over $40 million was dispersed, most to the research and its dissemination undertaken by universities, CSIRO, and BoM. These government institutions of course received far more than this from other government sources. Considerable sums from the Department of Climate Change also went to local community organisations, “To raise awareness of activity that is reducing carbon pollution and helping to build a clean energy future,” and to local governments to promote adaptation of coastal areas facing the oceanic inundation so heavily spun by luminaries like the richly compensated Tim Flannery.

The government has made it difficult to tot up all the spending thrown at promoting climate alarmism, funding of which is at the epicentre of the slogan “your taxes at work” . There is surely something morally offensive about the government seizing taxpayers’ money and using it to recruit people to promote its own propaganda but nobody seems to mind any more.

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29 Responses to Looting taxpayers for campaign finance

  1. H B Bear

    The annihilation of the Department of Climate Change will be the easiest budget savings the Abbott government will ever make. Only need to keep a couple of them around to wind things down, just like Mr Anna Bligh in Queensland.

  2. Infidel TIger

    All AbbottAbbottAbbott needs to remember is that you cop as much flak for firing one public servant as you do for firing 1000.

  3. brc

    Scrap all renewable energy targets, stop issuing any REC. Pass a law that says any windfarm has to keep in trust enough money to remove the turbines when their life is ended or the company goes bankrupt.

    People need to start being prosecuted for this type of behaviour, or we will just end up like every other corrupt nation where the politicians are on the take and everybody disregards the rule of law.

    Disband and defund all climate programs, everywhere. Keep the dept climate change as a 2-man operation in the Dept of Environment, and charge them with reporting back what the IPCC says.

    Enough!

  4. Feral Abacus

    I wouldn’t mind a job at the Dept of Climate Change after Abbott downsizes it. I can be the guy that sticks his head out the window each morning and reports whether I can feel any changes.

  5. Gab

    You’ll need several higher degrees to do that, Feral, to gain any credibility.

  6. marg

    Thank you Alan for shining a light on how this government is using large amounts of taxpayer’s funds to advance its own agenda without any transparency or accountability.

    A while ago I had a bit of a look at some of the projects and organisations funded by the Department of Climate Change and was shocked at how much money has been siphoned off for the purpose of propagandandising its own agenda.
    One such project was “Dirtgirl,” which is an ABC TV program for young children. One episode I saw had the main character, proudly at the end make vows such as “I choose to only use power from clean sources like the wind and sun.”
    This program has been a great commercial success, giving rise to a whole industry (licensed products etc.), and I think grants for it have not been confined to just those from this Department (I think it has also received arts grants as well).

  7. blogstrop

    Brought to you by the windy energy of Windsor & Oakshott.

  8. The only way to stop this looting is to cut it off at the source: abolish income and capital gains taxes.

  9. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Scam, scam, scam, scam, scam, scam, scam: I am so sick of this climate change scam and more scam.

    Give me my taxes back!!!

  10. John Comnenus

    Delingpole reports its a $500,000 subsidy per wind turbine p.a. Each turbine costs about $3,000,000 and earn around $150,000 p.a. from generating electricity. So the tax payer cuts the time to break even from 20 years to six. And who is funding these windfarms according to Delingpole? Industry super funds i.e. the Unions. More taxpayer loot to the ‘ruinions’ to help fund the ALP. Another good reason for Abbottabbottabbott to cut this off at the knees and leave industry super taking a big hit. STOP all this looting now.

  11. Token

    Thanks for the update.

    It is good to know that the $10 billion that has been taken away from the budget bottom line is being spent on important projects that will help the climate.

    It appears our parliament will be in good hands while Slipper is unavailable.

    ;sarc off;

  12. Rabz

    … but nobody seems to mind any more.

    I certainly mind, thank you very much.

    As I’ve stated here and elsewhere before, a large number of arrests, lengthy jail terms, confiscation of ill gotten gains and enforced bankruptcies will put a stop to this flagrant criminal arrogance, quick smart.

    These scum are answerable to us. This is supposed to be a democracy, not a pillockracy.

  13. RoS

    The only thing that will sink this Carbon Tax is to investigate the Union/Pacific Hydro rorts of renewable investments. How much do they have invested in renewables and how much do they hope to achieve. If they are indeed using Super Funds to invest, where else would they get the money, are all the profits going to the members or will it be diverted?

  14. thefrollickingmole

    Rumour has it each of the mills is worth 40,000 a year to the landowner… (for our local farm anyway)

    Might be worth a snuffle around to see who actualy owns the land under some of these things..

  15. Louis Hissink

    I wonder how many “windmills” the Netherlands has feeding the grid ?

  16. cohenite

    Good article Alan.

    For what it is worth, I mind.

  17. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    I definitely mind too. Rabz’s prescription is a good one.

  18. sam w

    Does anyone know of any other articles about windfarm /unionfunded /taxpayer ripoff/schemes?

  19. manalive

    ….she is on the Board of Climateworks, alongside its Chairman, former Victorian Minister, John Thwaites……

    Good ol’ no-dams Thwaitesy. Some people have a natural talent for it, don’t they.
    Thwaitesy is best remembered down here for his rejection of dam building during the last drought in favour of a desalination plant with the entertaining comment (paraphrasing): ‘more dams won’t make it rain’.

  20. Token

    ‘more dams won’t make it rain’

    Comedy gold.

    I’m guessing the presstitutes didn’t ask a follow up whether a desal plant he was planning to locate on the flood plain will…

  21. AML1618

    Is it possible to find out specifically how much “our” Governments have spent on supporting the “Climate Change” religion ? would love to see a complete list of money distributed by the Governments on this… eg, payments to
    – Flannery et al,
    – Various departments of climate, global warming, sustainability etc etc
    – Support those travelling locally and overseas to various IPPC and other UN and NGO meetings
    – Advertising
    – CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology for research
    – University and others for research
    – etc
    – etc
    Just how much has been spent on this boon doggle ??

  22. Splatacrobat

    I wonder how many “windmills” the Netherlands has feeding the grid ?

    Whatever clean energy savings are generated in the Netherlands they are cancelled out by the loss of carbon capture and storage every time they cut a tree down to make fecking clogs

  23. marg

    Just to clarify my earlier comment – the ABC TV childrens’ program is called “Dirtgirlworld” not “Dirtgirl,” and the production company to whom the grants were given is called “Mememe.”
    The link below shows the company was given grants not just from the Department of Climate Change in order to help it spread the government’s climate change message:

    (http://www.australiangovernmentgrants.org/articleview.php?id=159&t=production-company-develops-interactive-garden-app-for-children-with-50000-in-funding)

  24. John Comnenus

    The Greens and climate alarmist carpet baggers have voted themselves the treasury.

  25. cohenite

    Wind is useless, solar is worse.

    Tom Quirk did a nice piece on South Australia’s wind farms.

    The important thing to note is that wind and solar produce far less power than their installed capacity [IC], what they would produce if they were running 24/7. The actual power they produce is called the capacity factor [CF] and is expressed as a % of the IC.

    So, if the CF of windfarms in South Australia is 33% that means the actual power produced is 33% of what the IC is.

    But even the CF does not tell the whole story. CF is the average over a period, usually a year. It ignores the fact that wind [and solar] can and do vary from minute to minute; that is, one minute the wind farm may be producing power at near the IC while the next the power may drop to zero.

    This complete unreliability means that no plans based on wind and solar can be made because there is no guarantee that power from wind or solar will be available at any specific point in time.

  26. 2dogs

    “There is surely something morally offensive about the government seizing taxpayers’ money and using it to recruit people to promote its own propaganda but nobody seems to mind any more.”

    It sets a precedent. The Left will be shocked when the precedent is applied against them, but to no avail.

  27. Alice

    Oh hand on a minute – so you think pork barrelling favaourite intellectual pursuits is a problem restricted to lefties?
    My God – when Howard was in power how many “policing a anti terrorism theory units” opened up on campuses and how many have since closed down and how many were given BIG handouts. As well as any research that had the words “global and strategic: in it

    How about the uni of Armidale back then who suddenly morphed into “Australia’s regional global university”

    Offer money with palms outstretched to their favourite ideologues?

    Not restricted to Keating types you know…
    (I still wonder why he didnt open a centre for the study of Armani and artworks and Cultcha”)

  28. Sienna

    You know you’re wrong on climate change don’t you. I mean you do realise that. Because otherwise this is just incredibly sad. The overwhelming weight of rational peer-reviewed scientific evidence is dead-set against you and yet here you are parading like you have the higher moral and intellectual ground. Incredible how convinced people can be of their own righteousness when they have it so incredibly wrong.

  29. Alan Moran

    Sad Sienna,
    You will excise these words from your memory when climate change disaster is seen as just another discredited notion conjured up by activists as a means of employment of the intelligentsia and a way they may control economies. Unfortunately you will likely have latched onto the Next Big Thing to replace climate change and provie a platform for clever people like you to massage the economy in ways that blind capitalism fails to do.

    Meanwhile we should best proceed by doing nothing and accepting our modest role in the world, thereby avoiding the collosal costs of carbon taxes etc. but being ready to implement them if the world as a whole so moves.

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