Australian news, and some related international items

2019: the climate election

 Friends of the Earth, APR 24, 2019,

April 29, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Clandestine approval for controversial uranium mine is evidence Australia needs better environment laws, 26 APRIL 2019 

April 27, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2019, uranium | Leave a comment

The Adani coal mine is a test of Australia’s environmental intelligence – Bob Brown

April 25, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Hanson denies humans behind climate change, blames ‘fearmongering’

April 25, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Why is Prime Minister Scott Morrison raising the suggestion of nuclear power, knowing it’s illegal in Australia?

Federal election 2019: Labor says it’s ‘extraordinary’ Morrison is ‘contemplating’ nuclear power – as it happened
Tony Burke says ‘nuclear power is against the law in Australia’.
Guardian,  Amy Remeikis  18 Apr 19

……. Anthony Albanese is being cheeky on Patricia Karvela’s Afternoon Briefing on the ABC, about Scott Morrison’s slip on nuclear power.

Morrison has tweeted that it is not the Coalition’s policy. But he didn’t actually say that when asked on Tasmanian radio today. He said it was “not, not” on the agenda, but would have to stand on its own two feet.

But like a three-eyed fish, Albo is looking to grab the headlines:

PK: He said it’s not their policy and you said he needs to explain where he will put the nuclear power plants. He doesn’t because it’s not their policy.

AA: Why did he raise it? Why did he put it on the agenda if they haven’t been giving consideration to it? That’s what he’s got to answer. Why it is that during an election campaign Scott Morrison, so desperate to try to look like he has an energy policy somewhere, has now put nuclear power on the agenda during this election campaign. Labor’s opposed to nuclear power.

We don’t think it’s necessary and we don’t think it economically stacks up. And issues like nuclear waste and where you would locate a power plant, issues that are all outstanding, it is up to Scott Morrison to say why he has put this on the agenda today…….

April 22, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Scott Morrison misleads the public on the costs of Labor’s climate policy

Scott Morrison warned on ‘cherry-picking’ $35 billion climate cost, SMH, 22 Apr 19 The election fight on climate change has sparked warnings against “misleading” voters about the cost of cutting greenhouse gas emissions, as an independent researcher repudiates Coalition claims of a $35 billion hit from Labor policies.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been accused of “cherry-picking” numbers in the escalating row over the competing pledges on climate, as he prepares to release new estimates of the economic impact of the Labor carbon target…….

The head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Dr Martin Parkinson, has responded to the climate dispute by warning against the “misleading” use of economic modelling and assuring Mr Shorten the public service has not costed the Labor policy.

The research company cited in the government’s $35 billion claim, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, has also told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that the figure was “not a credible estimate” of the cost of buying international carbon permits.

“To come up with this number, the government has taken the highest point in our 10 year forecast for European carbon credits and assumed 50 per cent of Australia’s abatement for the next decade is bought at this price,” said Bloomberg NEF global head of special projects Kobad Bhavnagri.

“It takes the highest instantaneous forecast price, in the most expensive market, to come up with the biggest number.

“It’s like saying petrol is going to cost you $10,000 this year by assuming you buy everything in one go on Boxing Day.”……..

April 22, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Scott Morrison’s hypocrisy, chops and changes about nuclear power

No plans to change law to allow nuclear power stations, says PM, RICHARD FERGUSON, APRIL 18, 2019 

Scott Morrison has clarified comments suggesting he was open to nuclear power.

The Prime Minister earlier today said nuclear power was “not ‘not’ on the agenda” and he was “fine” with energy generation “wherever it comes from.”

But after backlash from Labor, Mr Morrison moved on Twitter to declare he had no plans to change the law to allow nuclear power stations.

“Labor are getting desperate, and we are only 8 days in. This is not our policy and we have no plans to change that,” he tweeted.

Mr Morrison’s original comments came on Tasmanian radio on Thursday morning.

When pushed on whether he would be happy to take proposals from the nuclear industry on going ahead with power projects, the Prime Minister said it would be allowed to do so.

“It’s not ‘not’ on the agenda, wherever it can come from is fine, but it has to be self-sustaining,” Mr Morrison told Launceston FM.

“If they want to put them forward they can. (Nuclear physicist) Ziggy Switkowski did a major report for the Howard Government on this issue, and it came back and it didn’t say it could support itself.”

Nuclear power has been an almost untouchable issue in Australian politics for decades and Labor was quick to leap on the Prime Minister’s comments.

Opposition environment spokesman Tony Burke said Mr Morrison would need to change the law if he were ever to accept a nuclear power station proposal.

“Nuclear power is against the law in Australia. It is extraordinary that Scott Morrison is now contemplating changing the law to allow nuclear power stations in Australia,” he said.

“Several places have been identified in the past for nuclear power stations — like Jervis Bay, Townsville, Bribie Island, Mackay.

“Where is Morrison proposing to put his nuclear power plants? Which coastal community is under threat?”

April 20, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Candidates and MPs supporting the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

April 18, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2019, weapons and war | Leave a comment

ABC’s Vote Compass finds that environment is a high issue amongst voters

Vote Compass finds voters are split on economy and environment as most important issue [interesting graphs] ABC News 

Key points

  • The environment and the economy are the top issues for Australian voters
  • Health and super are next on the list
  • The environment is the number one issue for those yet to decide how to vote

For One Nation voters, immigration is the most important issue.

The environment is rated as the number one issue by 29 per cent of Vote Compass respondents, a massive shift from just 9 per cent in 2016.

It is closely followed by the economy, which includes government spending and taxation, on 23 per cent.

Health care and superannuation, each on 8 per cent, are next.

Crucially, the environment is nominated as the top concern among undecided voters — 30 per cent of them say it is the most important issue, as opposed to 19 per cent who nominate the economy.

The Vote Compass survey is based on a nationally representative sample of 119,516 respondents.

Andrea Carson, a political scientist from La Trobe University and a member of the Vote Compass academic panel, said the environment was a potential “wedge issue” for the Coalition.

“Even though overall [Coalition] voters don’t tend to nominate the environment as their most important issue, the Coalition — in order to win seats — need some of those undecided voters………

Millennials are most concerned about the environment

Age is a big factor in what voters care about, too, with 39 per cent of respondents aged under 35 nominating the environment as their greatest concern…….

April 18, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Liberal seats held by vacating and conservative MPs have extremely high levels of concern for climate change.

Now Adani has been approved, these are the nine at-risk Coalition seats most concerned about climate change, ABC By political reporter Jackson Gothe-Snape, 10 Apr 19, Liberal seats held by vacating and conservative MPs have extremely high levels of concern for climate change.

Key points:

  • New research shows seats where climate change concerns are most common
  • “Keeping day to day living costs down” is the issue most often identified by Australians as a concern
  • Concern over the quality of governance is growing

And global warming fear was increasing even before the Federal Government approved the Adani coal mine this week.

Electorate-level research released on Wednesday shows the extent of concern for climate change as the election looms.

The polling, completed by Roy Morgan during 2018 as part of the democracy non-profit Australian Futures Project, shows “keeping day-to-day living costs down” is the most pressing concern across Australia, ahead of “improving health services and hospitals” and “open and honest government”.

Climate change is the next most commonly identified issue.

At least one in three people (33 per cent) have climate change concerns in nine Liberal seats that are potentially vulnerable at the coming election.

That is significantly above the national average of approximately one in four people (26 per cent).

A majority of these seats have either conservative MPs recontesting or new candidates replacing retiring or ousted MPs…..

April 11, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Morrison, Taylor ‘tied up in knots’ on EVs, says Mike Cannon-Brookes

 Fin Rev 8 Apr 19, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and energy minister Angus Taylor have tied themselves up in knots over electric vehicles since Labor announced a target of 50 per cent electric vehicles by 2030, contradicting their own past advocacy for the technology, software billionaire and clean energy campaigner Mike Cannon-Brookes says.Mr Taylor posted a steady stream of tweets ridiculing Labor’s EV policy, suggesting it would leave campers with electric vehicles reliant on highly …. (subscribers only)

April 9, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2019 | Leave a comment

‘Shame’: Anti-Adani protesters storm Morrison speech

 SBS News , 8 Apr 19 Anti-Adani protesters have disrupted a Scott Morrison speech, as Coalition tension mount around the controversial project. Anti-Adani protesters have disrupted Scott Morrison at a Brisbane business lunch, but the prime minister appeared to take in his stride.One woman carrying a Stop Adani protest flag managed to reach Mr Morrison’s side, saying “we care about the climate. This will be a climate election … Shame”.

She was dragged away by security as a second protester stood to yell “stop Adani”………

Australian Youth Climate Coalition organiser, Melanie McAuliffe, said they wanted to highlight LNP government’s inability to react on climate change.

“We just had a summer of unprecedented heatwave, bushfires and floods and yet this government still continues to ignore what we need to do to address the climate crisis.”…….

Several teenagers said they were looking for action to save the planet.

Jo, from Cleveland, told the crowd outside the business lunch that all she wanted was a future.

“I am 17 years old and I want is for our government to do what they need to to save the planet,” she told the crowd.

“This is our home, this is what houses us, we have a responsibility to care for it.”………

Anti-Adani protesters disrupted a business lunch speech by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Brisbane on Monday. ………

April 9, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

How last-minute Adani approval could be the final big call of the Morrison Government

ABC News, By political reporter Jackson Gothe-Snape 8 Apr 19, Adani’s controversial mine awaits its final Federal approval this week, days before the election is called.

Key points:

  • Only one significant approval remains for Federal Government to approve Adani mine
  • Securing sign-off before the federal election is called would mean Queensland MPs in marginal seats could campaign on the issue
  • Queensland State Government still has two outstanding approvals

Approval from the Environment Minister, Melissa Price, is one of the final hurdles before the project can commence.

And pressure is growing from some of her colleagues for her to approve the mine so Queensland MPs can talk up the project during the election campaign.

This is the latest on what exactly is needed before the Adani mine can go ahead.

Federal groundwater hurdle

The last major federal environmental approval required is around how the mine will affect the local water system.

It’s formally called the Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Management Plan (GDEMP).

The Federal Government has asked the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia to assess the plan, but the decision to approve or deny the plan rests with the Environment Minister.

It’s not clear what these organisations have concluded, but a spokesperson for the Department of Environment told the ABC the department “has provided its assessment” to the Minister.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday the Government would be “relying on the scientific evidence”.

The ABC has previously reported the CSIRO had found flaws in the plan………

April 9, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Coalition spends millions on electric vehicles despite claiming Labor push will ‘end the weekend’

 SMH, By Nicole Hasham April 8, 2019 The Morrison government’s derision of Labor’s electric cars policy has been undermined after it emerged that the Coalition has spent millions of dollars encouraging Australians to use the vehicles and its MPs routinely spruik the technology.The government has aggressively criticised Labor’s election pledge that half of all new cars sold in 2030 would be electric, claiming it would “end the weekend” by forcing Australians to stop driving petrol-guzzling 4WDs……..

April 9, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Australian voters back Labor to deal with climate change

Ipsos poll: Voters back Labor to deal with climate change, The Age, Michael Koziol, 7 Apr 19 
Only half the Coalition’s voters believe it is the best to handle climate change, as the Morrison government struggles to manage a damaging split over the Adani mine and shift the focus back to Labor’s energy policies…..

an Ipsos poll taken last week – after Labor released its climate policy on Monday – shows voters have firmed in their view that Labor is better than the Coalition on climate change, with 42 per cent saying the opposition had the superior policy of the two major parties.

Only 25 per cent felt the Coalition’s climate policy was preferable – a decrease of 12 percentage points from when the question was asked in 2012. …

Climate and the environment have returned to the fore as Prime Minister Scott Morrison prepares to call an election, with Labor wheeling out its energy policy and the government exposed to internal divisions over the final ministerial approvals for the Adani coal mine.

Queensland Liberal National MPs and candidates are agitating for Environment Minister Melissa Price to rubber stamp the process quickly while they work to defend vulnerable Coalition seats up north, but Liberals in capital cities are urging a delay to avoid the issue blowing up just as the campaign begins.

Cabinet sources indicated they did not want to “elevate” Adani in the national mindset, nor risk any decision being challenged in the courts because it had been rushed……..

The Ipsos phone poll of 1200 voters found Labor supporters were much more likely to back their party’s climate policy than Coalition supporters: 72 per cent of Labor voters said their party had the best policy, while 5 per cent backed the Coalition and 23 per cent didn’t know.

People who lived in capital cities, had a university degree or earned more than $100,000 a year were significantly more likely to say Labor had the better policy on climate change.

April 8, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment