Australian news, and some related international items

Climate change now firing up raging fight in Australia’s Morrison govt, after Wentworth byelection fiasco


Wentworth byelection backlash reignites tensions inside the Morrison government over climate policy, Canberra Times, By David Crowe & David Wroe, 21 October 2018 A ferocious voter backlash has inflamed the Morrison government’s internal row on climate change as Liberal MPs call for stronger policies to assure voters that Australia can meet the Paris agreement to cut carbon emissions.

The government is reeling from a savage swing in the Wentworth byelection, sparking renewed argument over decisions including a sudden shift in foreign policy on Israel, and deepening fears of a wipeout at the federal election due by May.

As Parliament resumes on Monday, the Liberal Party was on track to lose Wentworth to independent candidate Kerryn Phelps, with an update on Sunday night giving her almost 51 per cent of the vote.

Dr Phelps had a lead of 1626 votes in the update posted by the Australian Electoral Commission at 6.45pm on Sunday. Even the best postal vote scenario for the Liberal Party over coming days would still see the independent win Wentworth.

The result represents an extraordinary 18 per cent swing against the federal government, one of the biggest in Australian history, but the Australian Electoral Commission is yet to count thousands of postal votes that could favour Liberal candidate Dave Sharma.

Government ministers and backbenchers told Fairfax Media they believed one lesson from the Wentworth result was to develop a stronger message on cutting emissions in order to win back voters concerned about climate change.

“I think we will, by the time of the next election, have to have a more credible answer on how we meet our targets,” one minister said.

“I don’t think it’s viable to remain silent on this between now and the next election.”

Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman said the Liberal Party’s own research showed climate change and the removal of Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister were the two biggest concerns for Wentworth voters……
The government believes the latest advice from the Energy Security Board is that generation from wind and solar will grow by 256 per cent over the next three years.  ……..

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg brushed aside suggestions the Morrison government needed to overhaul its climate policies, saying they were “settled” and were enough to “meet and beat” Australia emissions reduction pledges.

“It’s clearly an important issue for the people of Wentworth, but our policies have been settled for some time,” he told the Sky News.

An exit poll of 985 Wentworth voters commissioned by the left-leaning Australia Institute on Saturday found that climate action and replacing coal with renewable energy was the top issue that decided how they voted.

Among people who had abandoned the Liberal Party since the last election in 2016, the top reason why was the toppling of Mr Turnbull at 40 percent of voters, but climate change came second at 31 percent.

October 21, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics

1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on jpratt27.


    Comment by John | October 22, 2018 | Reply

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