Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Warren Mundine, nuclear stooge, loses Gilmore election – the only Liberal loss in the country

The nuclear lobby was quietly gleeful when their puppet was chosen as candidate for Gilmore.  What a blow when this turned out to be a resounding defeat!

Federal election 2019: Labor bucks trend in NSW to scoop marginal seat of Gilmore  ABC News ABC Illawarra By Ainslie Drewitt-Smith  20 May 19,  Voters in Gilmore bucked the trend this federal election becoming the only seat in the country to turn its back on the Coalition and install a Labor MP.

Key points:

  • The seat of Gilmore in NSW has been held by the Liberal Party for 23 years but was won by the ALP after a 3.6 per cent swing
  • LNP candidate Warren Mundine conceded defeat on Sunday night
  • The National party candidate Katrina Hodgkinson says she’d love to stand for the electorate again

The seat on the New South Wales south coast has been held by the Liberal Party for 23 years but the ALP gained the marginal electorate following Saturday’s vote, with a swing of 3.6 per cent.

Fiona Phillips declared victory on the night.

It was her second tilt at federal politics after she previously lost her battle for Gilmore to former Liberal MP, Ann Sudmalis.

This time, Ms Phillips said she felt confident she had the support of the local community throughout the campaign.

“I think I’ve been campaigning since about 2014, I’m an absolute fighter for the community and that’s what I’ll continue to do,” Ms Phillips said…….

The Coalition put forward two candidates for the seat which was also contested by the Greens, an independent, the Christian Democratic Party and a United Australia Party candidate.

The Liberal candidate Warren Mundine was controversially hand-picked by Prime Minister Scott Morrisonto run in the regional seat after local branch members had already endorsed Milton real estate agent, Grant Schultz.

Mr Mundine refused to concede defeat until late on Sunday night……… https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-20/labor-scoops-gilmore/11130038

Advertisements

May 21, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is adamant that there will be no increase in climate action from this government

Our plan is very clear’: No climate revamp for re-elected Coalition,  Australians should not expect any change to the Liberal-National government’s climate change policies after their federal election win.   SBS, 20 May19

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has hosed down any suggestion that the Coalition will be going back to the drawing board on climate change after the government’s come-from-behind election win.

“Our plan is very clear and it’s the plan that we took to the Australian people,” he told ABC’s Insiders on Sunday. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has hosed down any suggestion that the Coalition will be going back to the drawing board on climate change after the government’s come-from-behind election win.

“Our plan is very clear and it’s the plan that we took to the Australian people,” he told ABC’s Insiders on Sunday.

Mr Frydenberg was among Coalition members who faced a swing against them on Saturday, in the face of challenges from independent or Green candidates campaigning largely on climate change.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott lost his seat to Independent Zali Steggallfor whom climate change was pivotal.

As the results rolled in, outgoing MP Julie Bishop said the Coalition must reassess its position on climate change and possibly revisit former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s signature energy policy.

“It will have to end the uncertainty and the National Energy Guarantee was the closest thing we had to a bipartisan position.” …..

Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek hopes the government finally grapples with climate and energy with a policy aimed at bringing down pollution, reducing power prices and boosting investment in renewables.

“How is this government going to manage that when they are still so broken inside with climate change deniers on one side and people who at least accept the science on the other side, but 14 different energy policies?” https://www.sbs.com.au/news/our-plan-is-very-clear-no-climate-revamp-for-re-elected-coalition

May 20, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Environmentalists shocked at election result, but resolute

May 20, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Crossbenchers put climate on agenda

SBS 20 May 19,  New independent MP Helen Haines says she doesn’t intend to operate in a bloc with other crossbenchers, saying she runs her own race in Indi., The Victorian seat of Indi’s likely new independent MP Helen Haines says she doesn’t intend to operate as a bloc with fellow crossbenchers, but expects they’ll work together on issues such as climate change.

Ms Haines looks set to take the seat that was previously held by independent Cathy McGowan, winning almost 52 per cent of the vote so far after preferences.

It would make her the first independent to succeed another independent in a seat……..

“I’m not operating as a bloc with the other independents. I very much run my own race in Indi,” she said.

“There’s no doubt, though, that we do see eye-to-eye on action on climate. I think climate is the one that we will be collaborating very closely on the crossbench.”……. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/crossbenchers-put-climate-on-agenda

May 20, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Voters feared climate policy more than climate change

Election 2019: What happened to the climate change vote we heard about?   https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-20/what-happened-to-the-climate-change-vote/11128128

A range of polls and surveys had left many analysts, myself included, with the sense that this would be a crucial issue at the ballot box.

The annual Lowy Institute Poll demonstrated stronger support for climate change action in Australia in 2019 than in any previous survey since 2006.

In the survey more than 60 per cent of Australians agreed with the sentiment that “Global warming is a serious and pressing problem. We should begin taking steps now even if this involves significant cost”.

And while a self-selecting sample, those filling out the ABC’s Vote Compass survey consistently emphasised climate change as a crucial issue for them at the election.

Crucially, those identifying it as the most important issue had risen from 9 per cent in 2016 to 29 per cent in 2019.

Advocacy groups and even media outlets also encouraged the view that 2019 was, and should be, Australia’s climate election.

This was prominent in pre-election statements from NGOs like ACF and Oxfam. GetUp! ran this argument strongly before and during the campaign, and The Guardian’s editorial on the eve of the election exhorted all Australians to view the election as an opportunity to vote for substantive action on climate change.

But in the end, we saw a decline in the primary vote for the Labor Opposition, who had announced a more significant reduction target than the Government and a suite of measures — from investment in renewable energy to an energy guarantee — to get there.

And we saw a rise of only around 0.5 per cent of the primary vote for the party with the most progressive and ambitious climate policy: the Greens. More consequentially, of course, we saw the re-election of a Government with limited ambition on emissions reductions.

How did this happen?

While it’s too early for fine-grained analysis, we can draw a few conclusions at this point.

First, the seats where climate change was significant as an issue at the election tells us something. As the most significant political issue for Greens supporters in the election, climate change clearly played a role in the re-election of Adam Bandt in Melbourne, and in strong primary votes for the Greens in nearby electorates of HigginsKooyong and Macnamara.

In Sydney, it was clearly prominent in Wentworth (undecided at the time of writing), and most prominently Warringah where Zali Steggall won the seat from Tony Abbott.

In Warringah, not only was the LNP’s position on climate change inconsistent with the views of most in this constituency, but Mr Abbott was (rightly) seen as the chief architect of an extended period of climate inaction in Australia.

Simply put, he was (in Opposition, in Government and in public debate) the chief contributor to the toxic politics of climate change in this country over the past decade.

Mr Abbott’s re-election was, in short, a bridge too far for his constituency.

But in this case and in other inner-city seats, support for climate action looks broadly consistent with a ‘post-materialist’ sensibility.

Here the emphasis on quality of life over immediate economic and physical needs encourages a focus on issues like climate change. But this is a sensibility that speaks to those in higher socio-economic brackets, and principally with higher levels of education.

It isn’t particularly applicable to regional Queensland, for example, especially when constituents in the latter view large scale mining operations as a crucial potential source of income and employment.

Voters feared climate policy more than climate change

Second, the Lowy Institute polling data also tells us something about when climate support rises and falls.

Simply put, climate concern is at its highest in Australia when there’s a perception (eg 2006, 2019) that the government isn’t doing anything about the issue and isn’t taking it seriously. Conversely, climate concern has been at its lowest as the Government began to pursue substantive climate action, bottoming out when the so-called carbon tax was legislated in 2012.

In this election, Australians were suddenly faced with a prospective Labor Government ready with a suite of measures to tackle climate change.

And they were presented with an account of these measures as a devastating economic blow to Australian prosperity and growth.

However discredited much of this modelling ultimately was, and the broader fear campaign about everything from electricity prices to the end of petrol-based cars, it raised the spectre of immediate economic sacrifice for Australian

We’re already in a climate emergency

So what would it take to make climate change a major political concern in Australia, and a crucial issue in future Australian elections?

A climate emergency, perhaps? The problem with this argument is that by most accounts, we’re in one.

The five hottest years on record have been the past five, natural disasters have increased in intensity and frequency, we’re in the midst of an extinction crisis and the average global temperatures suggest that we’ve almost reached the agreed Paris target for warming: no more than 1.5 degrees.

So the issue is not whether there’s a problem. Rather, it’s how to get Australian policy makers and voters to recognise and respond to it credibly and seriously. It should be easier to do.

We’re confronted more than ever with manifestations of climate change.

The five hottest years on record have been the past five, natural disasters have increased in intensity and frequency, we’re in the midst of an extinction crisis and the average global temperatures suggest that we’ve almost reached the agreed Paris target for warming: no more than 1.5 degrees.

So the issue is not whether there’s a problem. Rather, it’s how to get Australian policy makers and voters to recognise and respond to it credibly and seriously. It should be easier to do.

We’re confronted more than ever with manifestations of climate change.

May 20, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Independent candidate Zali Steggall’s win in Warringah is a message about need for action on climate change

May 20, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Morrison’s reelection is a disaster for the future of the country — and the world

May 19, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Australia stuck with pro-nuclear. climate sceptic, government – theme for May 19

The election result was not what was expected. Progressive Australians are still reeling from the shock – of another 3 years of a government whose loyalty is to the fossil fuel industry and to the nuclear lobby.

The Scott Morrison government has no plans, no idea at all, about how Australia might genuinely aim to meet its Paris climate change commitments.

It seems that most Australians were taken in by Scott Morrison’s simplistic message   “I alone can manage the economy, cutting taxes (for the wealthy) is all that is needed” . The message of  Labor and The Greens comprehensive policies did not come across.

A Trump -like victory, a Brexit like victory – grim years ahead for Australia.

The goal of a clean, positive programme for energy, climate, water, and the environment must not be abandoned. Progressive Australians, whether in Parliament, in the Senate, in the media, or in the environmental movement will not give up.

Reflecting on the catastrophic failure of the opinion n polls that consistently predicted a Labor win , I realised the deep division in Australia between the (mainly city-dwellers) and rural Queensland.  We who see ourselves as “progressives” are in general,, followers of ABC and SBS, readers of The Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald, and our friends on social media.  The ABCs “Vote Poll” reflects only opinions of ABC viewers, not Australians as a whole.

The unpalatable fact is that most Australians get their information from commercial TV and Murdoch media. Their realities are the struggle for jobs and just managing from day to day. They simply are not getting the facts.

The challenge for progressive campaigns is to get across the message that renewable energy supplies jobs, while coal is being increasingly automated, as well as other messages on the vital importance of managing water supplies, and of saving our one great river system.  Action on climate change is essential for quality of life in rural Australia –  but this is a message that has not come through to people there.

May 19, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2019 | 2 Comments

What is needed is a war on climate change: why are people not voting Green?

Climate crisis demands war footing, but we won’t even vote for the Greens,  https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-election-2019/climate-crisis-demands-war-footing-but-we-won-t-even-vote-for-the-greens-20190516-p51o38.html, By Elizabeth Farrelly
May 18, 2019  The world’s children are demanding that we forget the past and look to the future. Hope? “I don’t want your hope,” says Greta Thunberg, the deadpan Swedish teen who inspired the climate strikes. “I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear.” We’re moved, watching this stuff, but are we listening? Will we act?

recent poll puts climate change atop Australians’ list of perceived threats, with almost two-thirds of us believing it’s situation critical. This is scarcely a surprise, given the unignorable increase in intensity of heatwaves, cyclones, fire and drought, the unassailable axiom that all economies need ecology and the unwelcome news that atmospheric CO2 this week topped 415ppm for the first time in human history – not to mention the kids and their climate strikes. What is surprising is how few of us will vote accordingly.
The evidence is mounting – for climate change, but also for official acceptance of it by our hopelessly laggard institutions. In February, the NSW courts made history by rejecting the Rocky Hill coalmine (in part) for its climate impact. This is huge and will ripple far and wide through the system. Almost more astonishingly, even the NSW government – although still frantically building motorways and increasing coal exports – now thinks it might find room for a little climate change department  within its voluminous but dowdy skirts.
So climate-consciousness is now commonsense. Yet still the party most devoted to it – the Greens – is generally seen as radical and nonsensical. Even those who vote Green do it, one suspects, more as heartfelt protest than from a genuine desire to see the Greens take government.
This anomaly derives both from public misperception of the party and from the party’s refusal of anything resembling discipline in its public persona.
 Leaving parties aside, briefly, what if we did vote for climate? What if, today, a miracle occurred across Australia and we decided, en masse, neither to stuff our ballot-papers down the dunny of rusted-on tribal loyalties nor engage in our usual election scrabble for the goodies, but to vote instead for climate commonsense, for survival? How would that shape the policy agenda?

Chief Justice Brian Preston’s long and scholarly judgment on the Rocky Hill mine is instructive here, noting with refreshing candour that government is tasked to guard the public interest, that this is not served by climate destruction and that the precautionary principle is required by law to be applied to all State Significant Projects.

“The Rocky Hill Coal Project,” wrote Preston, “will yield public benefits, including economic benefits, but it will also have significant negative impacts, including visual, amenity, social and climate change impacts and impacts on the existing, approved and likely preferred uses of land in the vicinity … which are all costs of the project.”
This is important, setting as legal precedent the self-evident fact that climate destruction is a very real cost and yet another way in which the public is routinely required to foot the bill for private gain
Which is the only reason climate change has been allowed to rampage on. We talk much about costs of mitigation and – obvious riposte – the far greater cost of non-mitigation. But there’s a critical difference. Mitigation costs are payable immediately and by the rich, whereas the cost of failure is payable later, by the poor.

Or so the rich (people and countries) like to think. But unless they want, metaphorically speaking, to clean their own toilets they – and especially their kids and grandkids – are umbilically linked to the poor. On anything more than a five-minute time-frame it’s all interconnected. There is no Planet B.

So how would it look, this Green Centre policy platform?
Naturally there’d be a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels, where our still-considerable smarts (despite what we’ve squandered during neoliberal decades) go to capture that vast natural resource, the sun. Every vehicle is electric, most freight is transported by solar train and every horizontal surface not devoted to growing food – be it desert, paddock, rooftop or road – is photovoltaic, generating energy for local use.
With mining thus reduced (and fracking banned), farmland is no longer under siege and the great river systems begin to recover. Petrochemical fertilisers and pesticides, being CO2-intensive, are also phasing out so industrial-scale farming – which kills more than it grows – is dwindling. Instead, regenerative agriculture reappears, building soil and re-planting trees in a way that both enhances water-retention and sequesters CO2.
Such agriculture, necessarily smaller in scale, requires more human input – in particular, intellectual. So country populations are again flourishing. To enhance walkability and urban vitality but also to reduce energy consumption, these towns, like the big cities, have set boundaries, further protecting precious foodlands from sprawl.
To achieve this, under scrutiny from a new federal Independent Commission Against Corruption, political donations have been banned and elections are publicly funded. This has lessened the skewing of politics towards large corporate interests  leaving governments genuinely interested in what people think.

In places where people rejected tower-living, the need for medium density, and for people to like it (since now the developers are not running the show), has placed extra emphasis on both design and consultation.

With the loosening of the developer stranglehold, self-help and co-operative housing has also flourished. The resulting communities, prioritising street life and walkability, render people more engaged and also fitter. Epidemic obesity and diabetes have reduced, paving the way for changes to the health system that shift the emphasis from gargantuan, energy -guzzling, waste-spewing mega-hospitals to smaller local hospitals where sunlight and fresh air reduce energy and enhance healing.

It’s not a pipe dream. It’s not even radical. It simply acknowledges that grabbiness and tribal loyalties are irrelevant. Thunberg told the UN, “we had everything we could wish for and yet now we may have nothing.” Justice Preston puts it more drily. The costs of mining will “exceed the benefits”.

This is war. We’ve a common enemy, measurable in °C, and a common goal – survival. To win we must act with the focus, haste and unity of a war effort.

May 18, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Mineral wealth, Clive Palmer, and the corruption of Australian politics 

May 17, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2019 | Leave a comment

The UK has a national climate change act – why don’t we?

May 16, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Distinguished Australians, and over 60 scientists press the government for immediate action on climate change.

 SBS 16 May 19 A group of more than 60 scientists and experts have penned an open letter to the next Australian government, calling for immediate action on climate change.

A group of more than 60 Australian scientists and experts are calling on the next government to prioritise action on climate change.

The 62 experts, including Nobel Prize winners and former Australians of the Year, have penned an open letter to politicians, which features a prominent graph showing Australia’s emissions have been rising since 2014.

“The consequences of climate change are already upon us – including harsher and more frequent extreme weather, destruction of natural ecosystems, severe property damage and a worldwide threat to human health,” they wrote.

“The solutions are all available to address climate change, all that is missing is the political will.”

The group includes former Australian of the Year and Nobel Prize winner Peter Doherty, former Australian of the Year Fiona Stanley and former premier of Western Australia Carmen Lawrence.

“Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are rising, moving the country further away from its Paris Agreement obligations,” the letter says.

“Whichever party wins government on Saturday, urgent action on climate change must be a top priority for the 46th parliament of Australia.”

Climate change has emerged as a top issue of the federal election ……https://www.sbs.com.au/news/pm-says-climate-goal-will-end-lib-conflict

May 16, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Scott Morrison claims that the Liberal Coalition saved the Great Barrier Reef!!

M’s claim Coalition saved reef from nonexistent ‘endangered list’ condemned as ‘ridiculous’, Guardian, Lisa Cox, Mon 13 May 2019

Scott Morrison says government took reef ‘off the endangered list’ – despite no such list existing.  Scott Morrison has credited his government with having “saved” the Great Barrier Reef, a claim rejected as “ridiculous” by scientists, environmental groups and the Queensland government.

At the Liberal party’s campaign launch in Melbourne on Sunday, Morrison thanked the former environment ministers Greg Hunt and Josh Frydenberg for their work on reef issues.

“We have saved the Great Barrier Reef – well done to Greg Hunt particularly on his work when he was environment minister – taking it off the endangered list,” he said.

“We’ve invested record funds in researching and protecting its future thanks to Josh’s time as environment minister.”

Morrison’s statement contained more than one inaccuracy, including the suggestion the reef was on an “endangered list” at all.

“There is such a thing as the ‘in danger list’ for world heritage properties,” the coral reef scientist Prof Terry Hughes said. “The barrier reef was never on that list.

“If Morrison is claiming Hunt got Australia off the ‘in danger’ list, the obvious response is: it never was on it.”

In 2017, Unesco opted not to list the reef as in danger after reviewing the government’s Reef 2050 plan. But it will reassess that decision in 2020 and whichever party wins the federal election must submit an update on progress of the plan at the end of this year.

Hughes said recent surveys of the Great Barrier Reef showed the impact climate change and rising ocean temperatures were having on coral cover.

The Australian Institute of Marine Science – the government’s own agency responsible for monitoring reef health – reported in 2017-18 that trends in coral cover in the north, central and south reef showed steep decline that “has not been observed in the historical record”.

Hughes’s most recent paper found that the production of baby coral on the reef had fallen by 89% after the climate change-induced mass bleaching of 2016 and 2017.

Under the Liberal-National coalition government, Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions have continued to increase, which Hughes said was “an abject failure” for the Great Barrier Reef……… https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/13/scott-morrisons-claim-coalition-saved-great-barrier-reef-condemned-as-ridiculous?CMP=share_btn_fb&fbclid=IwAR0

May 14, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Where do the parties stand on climate and the environment?

 

May 13, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Melissa Price – the Environment Minster you get from an anti environment government

May 13, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2019, environment | Leave a comment