Australian news, and some related international items

Labor leader Anthony Albanese says: Australia can be a ‘renewable energy superpower’

Australia can be a ‘renewable energy superpower’, Anthony Albanese declares
Labor leader sidesteps tension in his party around resources to call for embrace of clean energy,
Guardian, Katharine Murphy, political editor, 8 Sep 20 The federal Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, says the resources sector has been the backbone of the Australian economy for decades, but the nation’s “long-term future lies in renewable energy sources”.Stepping around tensions within his own ranks, Albanese will use a speech on Wednesday about regional development to note that resources exports will “continue to meet the demands of the rapidly growing nations of our region” even as the world transitions to a lower-carbon future.But the opposition leader says in the speech the task of the coming decades is to “position our nation to be a major player in the clean energy industries that continue to grow in importance over time”.

The Labor leader says if the policy settings are right “we can transform our nation into a renewable energy superpower”.

He says resources of lithium and other rare earths offer huge potential in a world that will become increasingly focused on the need for batteries to store energy. Albanese also identifies opportunities for regional development in bio-energy, including bio-mass generation and waste-to-energy.

n a speech to be delivered in the New South Wales coastal town of Coffs Harbour, Albanese will cite a report this week from the state’s chief scientist and engineer that envisages 17,000 jobs and $26bn would be added to annual growth from a domestic hydrogen industry.

The Labor leader will note that report was endorsed by the state’s environment minister, Matt Kean, but “the Morrison government appears to be blind to such opportunities”……..

Albanese’s speech on Wednesday lays out his thoughts on development opportunities for regional Australia. He insists the transition to renewable energy will create jobs in the regions.

He will argue the National party’s resistance to the energy transition is leaving them out of step with the communities they represent.

“The Nationals, who say they represent farmers, are now at odds with the National Farmers’ Federation, which recently embraced the target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” the Labor leader says.

He says regional Australia and the investment sector are “moving beyond this do-nothing government”.

Albanese says only Labor can tackle energy policy “in a way that recognises the value of the current resources market while seeking out the massive opportunities in renewables”.

“The right plans will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in new industries, including in regional Australia whilst also reducing power prices”.

September 10, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics | Leave a comment


Senator Rex Patrick  Fight to stop a nuclear waste dump in outh Australia ,  7 Sept 20 PM ARGUES THAT PUBLICLY AVAILABLE INFO SHOULD REMAIN SECRET
In the most bizarre moment I’ve ever had in an Freedom of Information (FOI) fight, this week I had to deal with a taxpayer funded legal argument from the Prime Minister’s office arguing why publicly available information should remain secret (yes, you read that correctly).
In 2018 the Attorney-General censored the Auditor-General, issuing an certificate in a never before used section of the Auditor-General’s Act, forcing the Auditor to redact information in an audit report he provided to the Parliament.
I used FOI to request an uncensored copy of the report that was sent to the PM’s office. Initially the PM used an erroneous argument to stop me getting it, which the PM later abandoned. Then he raised a complex constitutional argument that was to go before a judge, but they dropped at the last minute. This week the Government’s lawyers even put forward an argument saying that the dispute should be dealt with in a closed hearing that I would not be allowed to attend.
Whilst my epic battle has managed to get a lot of the report released to me, there are still some parts that are disputed and are being withheld from me. However, it is now known that part of the disputed material is information that is already publicly available. It is you YOU the taxpayer that is being charged by the PM’s lawyers to develop legal arguments as to why information that is publicly available should remain secret.

September 8, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Morrison government rushing to make Austraia’s environment laws even weaker: a recipe for extinctions

‘Recipe for extinction’: why Australia’s rush to change environment laws is sparking widespread concern

Critics argue shifting approval powers to the states without an independent regulator will fail to protect the environment,   Guardian,  Lisa Cox– 6 Sept 20

Anger over proposed changes to national environmental laws is escalating, with legal, health and conservation groups urging that they not pass the Senate, with some warning it would increase the extinction rate.

The government rammed its legislation to change Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act through the lower house on Thursday night, prompting outrage from Labor, the Greens and crossbench.

WWF-Australia says the bill in its current reform is a “recipe for extinction” and lacks standards that would ensure strong protections for nature, as well as a commitment to an independent regulator to enforce the law.

“There is more than just wildlife at stake here,” Rachel Lowry, WWF-Australia’s chief conservation officer, says. “If approved, this bill will fail Australians at this critical moment in time because it fails to incentivise win-win solutions that stimulate our economy and protect the places and animals we love.

“Shifting approval powers to the states without an independent regulator to ensure enforcement would be the most damaging environmental decision to occur within Australia in recent decades.”

The government’s bill would amend Australia’s environmental laws, clearing the way for the transfer of development approval powers to state and territory governments.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, and the environment minister, Sussan Ley, have argued the changes are necessary to aid Australia’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The proposed changes passed the lower house on Thursday night after the government used its numbers to gag debate on the bill and amendments proposed by Labor and the crossbench.

No member of the government spoke on the bill, which still has to pass the Senate and will likely be debated during the October budget sittings.

Rachel Walmsley, the policy and law reform director at the Environmental Defenders Office, says the government is trying to avoid scrutiny.

She warns the bill has the potential to undermine the statutory review of the EPBC Act, chaired by the former competition watchdog head Graeme Samuel, which is not due to table its final report until the end of October.

The key finding of Samuel’s interim report was that Australia’s system of environmental protections had failed and the decline of wildlife and habitat was unsustainable.

“It was a fairly atrocious process that, moments before adjournment, they rammed it through,” Walmsley says.

“The gagging of the debate, the fact they prevented voting on amendments and the fact no government MP stood up to justify the policy – it prevented proper parliamentary scrutiny.”

The Climate and Health Alliance, which is a coalition of Australian health organisations, has called on the Senate to block the amendments.

“Australia’s natural environment is declining on every possible measure. We lead the world in animal extinctions,” says the alliance’s executive director, Fiona Armstrong. “There is no economy without a healthy environment.

“The government is trying to rush through amendments to our environmental protection laws that would weaken them in favour of expanding gas and fossil fuel projects that harm the environment and threaten human health.”

The Law Council of Australia has called for the bill to be put before a parliamentary committee for inquiry and not rushed through the Senate.

The government and One Nation have blocked several attempts by the Greens to have a parliamentary committee examine the bill.

International obligations

The Law Council says the government needs to make sure it retains oversight of matters of national environmental significance if it enters into bilateral approval agreements with state and territory governments.

The council says this is particularly important for ensuring Australia still meets its obligations under some 33 international treaties and protocols to which it is signatory, including for world heritage sites……..

September 7, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics | Leave a comment

Environment Law: Scott Morrison’s government shows its disdain for ZaliSteggall and the cross-benchers

Independent MPs furious as government rams environmental law changes through lower house,  4 Sept 20 The Morrison government has been branded a “bully in action” for pushing its environment law changes through the lower house without following usual process.

Independent MPs are furious with the Morrison government for throwing due process out the window and ramming controversial environmental laws through the lower house.

Crossbench MP Zali Steggall flagged amendments to the bill but the government refused to allow them to be voted on.

Instead, the coalition used its numbers to shove the bill through the lower house on Thursday night.

Ms Steggall described the government as a “bully in action”.

“The PM and every coalition MP made a mockery of due process for legislation and bulldozed environmental and water protection,” she said.

“And they were laughing while doing it. This is how they represent you. If you care, contact your MP.”

The changes to the national environment protection laws pave the way for states to take over approvals.

The states would have to abide by a set of national environment standards, which have not been developed.

The changes are in response to an interim review conducted by former competition watchdog Graeme Samuel.

Professor Samuel also recommended installing an independent environmental umpire, but the government has rejected that.

Independent Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie says the changes will water down environment protection.

“(The bill) hands decision-making to state and territory governments who have shown time and time again to be conflicted and incapable of protecting the environment,” he said.

“The passage of the amendment through the House of Representatives was also a chilling demonstration of the government’s complete contempt for democracy.

“Most members of the house were prevented from speaking, and foreshadowed amendments were blocked without debate. The government acted again like an elected dictatorship.”

Environment Minister Sussan Ley was quick to defend the changes after outrage over the process.

“There will be more reforms to follow,” she said.

“We will develop strong Commonwealth-led national environmental standards which will underpin new bilateral agreements with state governments.”

The bill is likely to be referred to a Senate committee for scrutiny, pumping the brakes on its progress.

Labor and the Greens oppose the legislation.

September 5, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics | Leave a comment

Australian government, masks its anti-environment action under the cover of Covid-19

September 5, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics | Leave a comment


Senator Rex Patrick  No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia
When a senator wants to get access to information it can ask the Senate to order the Government to hand over documents with an Order for Production of Documents (OPD). The Government can refuse to supply the document if it is not in the public interest to do so, but ultimately it is for the Senate to decide whether to accept the Government’s claim of public interest immunity.
The Government has been cavalier in its claims of public interest immunity and the Senate has been weak in enforcing its powers, letting the Government get away with it.
On multiple occasions I have been forced to resort to Freedom of Information (FOI) to obtain these documents. The FOI battles have been tough, but have mostly yielded success. There should never be a case where an OPD is made and denied on public interest grounds, when at some stage later a citizen is able to FOI it.
Today I got rather animated in the Senate over the whole thing. It puts the Government to shame, and indeed the Senate too.  more

September 1, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment


Parliament Covers Up Australia’s True Carbon Footprint, ByTasmanian Times, August 31, 2020    The House Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy today tabled its report on Andrew Wilkie MP’s National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Amendment (Transparency in Carbon Emissions Accounting) Bill 2020 in Federal Parliament.

“Regrettably the Committee has voted to cover up Australia’s shameful role as one of the world’s biggest contributors to climate change,” Mr Wilkie said. “But the reasoning behind its recommendation for Parliament not to pass this Bill doesn’t stack up.”

Mr Wilkie’s Bill would require the Federal Government to include scope 3 emissions in reports of Australia’s carbon emissions, boosting transparency and accountability. Scope 3 emissions are the potential emissions contained in the gas and coal mined in Australia, which is then exported overseas. The Bill allows Australia to track its impact as one of the largest exporters of fossil fuels in the world, giving the public access to information about Australia’s role in very significantly contributing to global greenhouse gas emissions.

“Australia must have a clear picture of its contributions to global greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr Wilkie said. “This is essential as the world tries to limit warming to 1.5 degrees and halt catastrophic climate change. Keeping track of Australia’s scope 3 emissions is not double counting but gives a true picture of our responsibility for climate change around the globe.

The Committee can hardly argue that tracking scope 3 emissions is ‘too hard’ when the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources has not even conducted an assessment of compliance costs. For goodness sake, the Committee acknowledges that more than a quarter of ASX200 companies already voluntarily report their scope 3 emissions.

“Further, the fact that this kind of tracking is not required by the Paris Agreement is beside the point. The Australian Government should be open and transparent for the sake of the community, rather than claiming that Australia can do little to influence climate change. The truth is that when the carbon in fossil fuel exports is taken into account, Australia accounts for about 5 per cent of the global total for fossil fuels.”

The full House Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy report can be found here.


September 1, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Kazzi Jai reports on the latest Senate hearing on Nuclear Waste Amendment Bill

Kazzi Jai Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste In The Flinders Ranges, 28 Aug 20, I will try and keep this summation as brief as possible regarding the Senate Hearing with DIIS this morning.
In DIIS’s opening statement, Sam Chard stressed that “No community consultation is required by legislation”. This became a RECURRENT claim by Sam Chard (Sam Reinhardt said very little for the whole hearing). Seems they found a new catch phrase.
Senator Patrick was less than impressed by the hiding behind the confidentiality of “frankness and candor” claim between DIIS and Minister’s dealings which was used in the tabled documents from last hearing, regarding discussions about the amendments to the Bill.
Senator McAllister questioned why the legislation does not address the types of waste involved LLW and ILW – it is simply denoted as “nuclear waste” – why is there no distinction noted in legislation?
Then went onto what is DIIS going to do with ILW? According to Sam Chard AFTER the LLW is dealt with at the new facility, then ANSTO and CSIRO are going to work on developing a permanent disposal plan for ILW, through the ARWA, as a Research and Development project.
(This is interesting since CSIRO has so many Government cuts in funding, and ANSTO is keen to get the waste off their own books – do you think the Government is going to be in a hurry to deal with it any time soon?).
Anyway, ARWA will eventually become a non-corporate entity under its own legislation – which should happen down the track…Sam Chard is currently the General Manager for ARWA, and there will eventually be a CEO appointed. But currently right now it is under DIIS. (Sam Chard is now the General Manager for ARWA and Sam Reinhardt is now General Manager for DIIS).
Senator Antic ran through the numbers of jobs with Sam Chard – 45 jobs of which 34 will come from the “existing local community” and 11 will come from “outside”…..Then Sam Chard went on to talk about AWRA with 35 FTE for 2022/23 …I will leave the details for the hansard transcript, I believe it was 14 security + 13 waste handling + 8 site management+ 5 environmental protection + 5 radioactive protection for the NRWMF… but for AWRA “roughly” CEO + 16 safety and tech + 10 corporate engagement + 7 construction and engineering and 2 of these would be in the Kimba community (that doesn’t add up to 35…so wait for hansard!)
Then a long talk about maritime workers and Port Kembla and the number of shipments predicted for TN-81 “flask” as Sam Chard called it. Have had 10 x shipments since 1963 with no safety incidents for shipments of spent nuclear fuel to go overseas for reprocessing. Expect the reprocessed spent fuel waste to be returned every decade or two decades.
Senator Gallacher asked about Community Engagement with regard to the changes of Schedules for the Bill – and was told that the Department released an Explanatory Memorandum which would be understood by a layperson…. and that the community fund would be enshrined, and the site selection would be scrutinized.
He then ask if it was a one way investment to get a yes vote? He said it was the Department’s duty to present facts and information. The Dept said that they indeed facilitated David Sweeney, Peter Karamoskos, Margaret Beavis and Victor Gostin through webinars.
His last comment was to ask if the Dept as public servants believed they delivered a Fair and Equitable proposal without fear or favour to the community – which Sam Chard answered yes.
Senator Patrick asked Sam Chard some details of her answers from the last Hearing….which had changed in the interim through letters submitted regarding clarification between the Senate and the Department. All centres around whether it was intentional to remove scrutiny and judicial review through not using section 14 of the current act.
He got somewhat heated by reminding DIIS that their obligation is to tell the truth and not to protect the Minister!
Again, Sam Chard invoked her go to answer…”No requirement for community consultation under legislation” which is the 2012 Act…and I “believe” she added that even under judicial review “community consultation” would not be entertained because it was not stated in legislation!
That’s where the BREAK suddenly occurred for “technical reasons”….
Back on board, Senator Patrick reiterated that the Amendments seek to deny people the judicial review right which stand under the current Bill. That, Senator Patrick said, the Minister in first documents published set up framework under his Ministerial word that there was a commitment for community consultation.
Again Sam Chard said “Community consultation was not a requirement under legislation”..
Senator Patrick reiterated that under Common Law people are allowed confidence and trust.
Sam Chard said that the Bill under its current form gives no provision for community fund and that it was a commitment of the Minister and that the COMMUNITY WANTED [?] the fund enshrined in legislation.
Senator McAllister addressed again details about the permanent siting of the ILW. Was told that there are few precedences for what is Australia’s situation.
That Australia DOES NOT produce HLW, whereas ILW in other parts of the world is coupled with HLW…
Sam Chard talked about LLW (quantity wise – NOTE not radioactive wise) constituting 3/4 of holding and that International Best Practise and International Obligations and Safe and Secure requirements give the facility a substantive purpose.
ILW constitues 1/4 of holdings and…. 96% is solid and constitutes gloves/gowns and building rubble….3% is liquid which will be put into “vitrified glass being synroc”…and 1% TN-81 cask….on a Temporary Basis at the facility.
The aim is to co-locate the ILW with the LLW and the waste from 100 different locations around Australia. That “we” have made commitment that there would be no liquid waste at the facility.
ANSTO provided advice that their storage facilities would be COMPLETELY FULL BY 2030 (which by the way is ONLY partly true, but forgot to include that all they would need to do is apply for licencing and building of more storage in Lucas Heights, which ARPANSA already has said would be granted!!)
That the regulatory approvals and availability for proposed Kimba Facility would run VERY CLOSE to the 2030 deadline!
Senator Patrick then addressed whether there were settled transport routes – there aren’t!
Senator Gallacher asked if there was a specialisd transport function involved, whereupon Sam Chard answered that waste and nuclear material is transported by road and rail methodologies done every day. (side stepped the question – what a surprise).Senator Gallacher “assumed” it was not an issue – which Sam Chard did not correct or add to.
So if you got to the end of this summation – congratulations!
Please make sure you read the ACTUAL transcript when it is released, because all of my notations will probably make more sense!!
This was totally my understanding of what happened today, from my own notes, and is in no way a COMPLETE record of what went down, but only to give an overview for those who requested it! Hope it makes sense!

August 29, 2020 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Book: The Carbon Club -Tony Abbott and the ‘people’s revolt’ against Gillard’s climate policy

Tony Abbott and the ‘people’s revolt’ against Gillard’s climate policy

In her new book ‘The Carbon Club’ Marian Wilkinson exposes the truth behind Australia’s inaction on climate change. Crikey, MARGOT SAVILLE,  AUG 28, 2020

Among developed nations, why is Australia one of only two countries to have such a shameful record on climate change? And why have the brutal and divisive politics of climate change managed to topple three of our prime ministers?

For several years, award-winning journalist Marian Wilkinson has been investigating the relationship between climate-sceptic politicians, business leaders and their allies. For her latest book The Carbon Club, she has conducted scores of interviews with players on both sides in order to expose the truth behind Australia’s inaction on climate change.

In this very readable book, released on Monday, Wilkinson has revealed many new details of the international campaign to undermine climate science and the urgency of the climate crisis.No book on this topic is complete without an analysis of one of our most sceptical politicians, Tony Abbott. In 2010, with Julia Gillard in the Lodge, Abbott’s shadow parliamentary secretary and chief attack dog Cory Bernardi was let out to stop the carbon tax.

Bernardi teamed up with young libertarian Tim Andrews, who had trained with the Koch Brothers’ internship in the US.

“The two helped create the ‘people’s revolt’ against the climate policy, using the power of social media and the tactics of the Tea Party movement that was gaining ground in the US Republican party.

“One of the driving ideas behind the campaign was to exploit the anger and disaffection among ordinary voters towards politicians,” Wilkinson writes. …..

The “people’s revolt” against Gillard and the emissions trading scheme passed by Kevin Rudd would fundamentally fracture conservative politics in Australia, fostering splinter parties and deepening divisions in the Liberals, Wilkinson writes.

“It would destroy any chance of uniting the major political parties to face the enormous challenge of climate change.”………

Marian Wilkinson will discuss her new book at a Crikey Talks event for Inside Access members next month. Visit our Inside Access page to upgrade

August 29, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Australia entangled in the military-industrial-intelligence-security complex 

August 27, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Disarray in New South Wales Right-wing parties, over One Nation’s Bill to overturn ban on uranium mining

Environmental groups have been critical of the government’s consideration of Mr Latham’s bill, with the Nature Conservation Council warning uranium mining would threaten water supply.

Berejiklian government to pursue its own uranium push, By Alexandra Smith, August 24, 2020

The Berejiklian government will pursue its own push to allow uranium mining in NSW, after cabinet ministers backed away from supporting One Nation’s nuclear power bill in the upper house.

The bill, introduced by Mark Latham, would lift the 33-year ban on uranium mining and nuclear power, but on Monday night cabinet agreed that it would consider its own bill.

In March, Deputy Premier John Barilaro stunned colleagues when he said his party would support Mr Latham’s bill, despite not taking the issue to the Nationals’ party room.

Mr Barilaro, a long-time supporter of nuclear power, said the government should “lift the ban on nuclear energy” and confirmed his party would support it.

But the move angered several senior ministers, with one saying: “I did not get into Parliament to support a One Nation bill”, while another said: “Crossbenchers don’t set the government’s agenda”.

A shift in policy around uranium mining in NSW has still not been considered by the Coalition joint party rooms, which will not meet this week because only the upper house is sitting.

Mr Barilaro has now been tasked with commissioning more research around uranium mining and will report back to cabinet before any policy decisions are made.

A senior minister said Transport Minister Andrew Constance told cabinet that he could not support the One Nation bill because it could significantly impact electorates, including Bega.

Another minister told cabinet that there needed to be strategic and economic merit and community consultation around uranium mining.

Asked about the bill before it was presented to cabinet on Monday, NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean said uranium was not a viable resource.

“Right now the uranium price is about $30 per pound, that is well below the price needed to extract this from the ground. I think this is more about headlines than actually going to see anything result from digging it out of the ground,” Mr Kean said.

A senior minister, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the issue was before cabinet, said “uranium mining will never happen so it’s just about letting Barra [Barilaro] have a win.”

“Sometimes the fights with Barra are just not worth it,” the minister said.

Mr Latham could bring the bill on for a vote this week, after the Legislative Council was recalled for another week of sitting days. The bill has been sitting on the business paper for more than a year.

The upper house is also expected to focus this week on troubled public insurer icare.

Environmental groups have been critical of the government’s consideration of Mr Latham’s bill, with the Nature Conservation Council warning uranium mining would threaten water supply.

The council’s chief executive Chris Gambian said the “sweetheart deal with One Nation yet again places multinationals ahead of the people of regional and rural NSW”.

A parliamentary inquiry report recommended the government support the nuclear power bill.

August 25, 2020 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

Nearly 90% of young Australians want real action on climate change

August 25, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Uranium ban brought benefit to New South Wales

Uranium ban brought us benefit, Newcastle Herald, Dave Sweeney, Australian Conservation Foundation 23 Aug 20, 

THE state government’s proposed removal of a long-standing and popular ban on uranium mining in New South Wales flies in the face of evidence, community interest and market reality. The global uranium price remains depressed following the Fukushima nuclear disaster and is not likely to recover. The uranium market is over supplied and existing producers are shelving projects across Australia and around the world.

In November 2019 the CEO of the world’s largest uranium miner, Canadian company Cameco, stated that “not only does it not make sense to invest in future primary supply, even the lowest-cost producers are deciding to preserve long-term value by leaving uranium in the ground.”

The ban has served NSW well. It has provided policy certainty and avoided the radioactive waste and legacy mine issues affecting other places, including Kakadu, where a massive $1 billion clean-up is underway at the former Ranger mine. This poorly conceived piece of gesture politics could lead to lower tier and inexperienced mining companies cutting corners and increasing environmental and community risk and it simply makes no sense for NSW to jump aboard a sinking nuclear ship. NSW’s energy future is renewable, not radioactive.

August 24, 2020 Posted by | New South Wales, politics, uranium | Leave a comment

Adam Bandt urges another Labor-Greens coalition for climate action

Adam Bandt urges another Labor-Greens coalition for climate action,, By Rob Harris, August 21, 2020 —Greens leader Adam Bandt will mark 10 years since his party signed a deal to prop up the Gillard government by flagging he would be willing to again form a power-sharing deal with Labor to combat climate change.The Melbourne MP will use his address to the Greens National Conference on Saturday to urge Labor leader Anthony Albanese to commit to acting on carbon pollution by again entering into progressive pact

Labor is currently locked in a fierce internal battle over its support for coal and gas production as it wrestles with three successive election losses and poor results at the polls last year in resource-rich regional Queensland seats.

Veteran frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon warned on Thursday his party could soon split in two, arguing it is struggling to be “all things to all people” across its inner city and regional voter bases.

Mr Bandt will tell his party faithful that it was only with the Greens holding the balance of power in both the House of Representatives and the Senate which led to “world leading climate action with a price on carbon”.

“In recent Australian history, there is one indisputable fact. The only time that climate pollution meaningfully dropped is when the Greens shared power,” Mr Bandt says in a draft copy of the speech.

“When the Greens, Labor and independents worked cooperatively and shared power like we did in 2010, we got a lot done.

As Liberal and Labor rush once more to give tax cuts to millionaires while embracing coal and gas, it is clear that Greens sharing power is the pathway to change.

Mr Bandt will also use the speech to say the climate deal reached with the Gillard government was stronger and more effective in reducing carbon emissions than the Rudd government’s scheme it blocked in the Senate.

Mr Bandt said the nation was currently facing major issues – inequality, climate change and a COVID-induced economic crisis.

Warning of a federal election within 12 months, Mr Bandt will say the path to climate policy progress was to put the Greens into shared power through a hung parliament.

Mr Bandt said the carbon tax legislation by Labor in 2010 with the backing of the Greens was “well-designed” and it reduced pollution for the first time in Australian industrial era history.

He will promise to “hammer” a straightforward message between now and the next election that the “only way to get real change is to vote for it and give the Greens shared power”.

“Many look longingly to New Zealand, where Jacinda Ardern leads a progressive multi-party government with Greens support, and wonder if it could happen here,” he will say.

Mr Albanese on Thursday said Labor had continually evolved and a modern party with “any self-respect” would be attempting to mitigate the effects of climate change.

In a rebuke to Mr Fitzgibbon, he said the issue of climate change was not a matter of geography because “wherever people live, they’re impacted by climate change”.

“Were about also holding the government to account. Putting forward an alternative agenda for the nation,” he said.

“One that is about jobs. One that’s about an economy that works for people, not the other way around.”

August 22, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Slowing of population growth could be a good thing for Australia

August 22, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics | Leave a comment