Coalition back-bench’s crazy last gasp attempt to save coal | RenewEconomy

Coalition back-bench’s crazy last gasp attempt to save coal

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Monash Forum pushes for new coal fired generators, as it seeks to confirm role of National Energy Guarantee as do nothing policy. Monash Forum is said to represent more than half of Coalition backbench, which is about the same that reject climate science.

Alpha Males and the Lump of Coal.
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Alpha Males and the Lump of Coal.

Facing certain defeat in the next election, the hard right rump of the governing Coalition government (that’s more than half the party), are making a last ditch attempt to reverse the course of technology and have the government fund new coal-fired generators.

A newly-named “ginger group” known as the Monash Forum has burst from the bleechers to put the case for coal, arguing – despite all evidence to the contrary – that new coal-fired generation is the key to restoring low power prices.

Newspaper reports suggest more than half of the Coalition back bench are behind this move for more coal – which is consistent with other estimates that put the percentage of Coalition MPs and Senators who don’t accept climate science at around the same level.

The push for more coal, and the rejection of climate evidence, goes hand in hand.

This new push – announced across the spectrum of Murdoch media (Sky News, the front pages of The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and in other News Ltd tabloids) is designed to put pressure on prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and is led by the usual noisy group of climate science deniers and coal industry boosters – Craig Kelly, Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce, George Christensen, Eri Abetz, Kevin Andrews et al.

It comes amid a major new advertising campaign from the coal industry on television and other media, and comes as the Energy Security Board prepares its latest version of the proposed National Energy Guarantee that will be presented to COAG energy ministers in a fortnight.

That’s the interesting part of this push. The NEG was designed specifically with the Coalition back-bench in mind, as we reported (again) last week in our story Who is Turnbull trying to fool with the NEG.

The NEG’s official modelling promised to extend the life of the coal fired power stations, bring investment in renewables to an effective halt, and lock in an emissions reduction target for the electricity sector that would actually be worse than doing nothing.

The emergence of the Monash Forum – named after John Monash, the former Gallipoli commander and the man credited for helping develop coal-fired generation in Victoria – appears deliberately timed to ensure that the Coalition doesn’t flag from its endeavours to ensure the NEG is a “do nothing”, or even a “do less” policy.

Kelly, the chairman of the backbench committee on energy and climate who has led the Hard Right’s  demonisation of everything modern – wind and solar farms, battery storage, demand management and electric vehicles – is once again at the forefront.

His appearances on Sky TV on Monday night and ABC Radio National on Tuesday sought to justify the Monash Forum’s nostalgia for coal on two lies that neither media organisation challenged: the level of subsidies for renewables in Australia and the push for new coal generation around the world.

Kelly, indeed the Coalition as a whole and the Murdoch media in particular, continue to prosecute the line that renewable energy depend on $60 billion in subsidies, and Kelly said this amounted to $3.6 billion this year alone.

Of course, this is pure fiction, and has been repeatedly disproved. As is the claim, made by Kelly again, that 40 new HELE (high emissions, low efficiency) coal generators are being built in Japan, and 600 around the world.

In fact, none has been completed since Fukushima, according to Simon Holmes a Court, from the Energy Transition Hub. Global data suggests the pace of new coal fired generation is slowing dramatically, for economic and environmental reasons.

But even the so-called moderates are being caught up with this: The Nationals deputy leader,  Bridget McKenzie, who sought to justify the Monash Forum’s position this way: “We’re not going to get ideological about this … we are going to let the science inform our policy, that’s a real change for us.”

Trumpian indeed.

Of course, if the Coalition had not become ideological, and if it had respected the science, then Australia would still have a carbon price, and not celebrated its demise with such glee (photo above).

The country would also be on downward trend on emissions, would not have stuffed around with the renewable energy target and would now have a workable plan to usher in the enery transition, and would have significantly lower energy prices than it has now.

And it would be on a path to content to deal with the other emissions impact of coal fired generators, such as the huge increase of dangerous fine particle pollution (PM2.5) from the largest power stations. (McKenzie is minister for Rural Health, so should be concerned).

But, because of its ideology, and its demonisation of climate science and climate scientists, and modern technology, Australia has no policy, but a “backbone” of a new idea that appears to serve no other purpose than to bow to the hard right.

Kelly’s comments on the NEG were interesting – he supported it in principle, but conceded there was actually no flesh (or “parameters”, as he put it) on the backbone. But he wanted it to ensure that new coal fired generators were built.

Indeed, according to Sky News, the Monash Forum’s demands are based on a new $4 billion coal fired generator in the Latrobe Valley, a Hazelwood 2.0. If the government wants Snowy 2.0, then why not Hazelwood 2.0?

It’s true that there is no flesh on the bone with the NEG, but Kelly’s insistence that it should be of a certain colour was quickly heeded by energy minister Josh Frydenberg, who said that the NEG was “an opportunity that’ can’t be missed …. to get the best investment signals at the right place and the right time.”

This has been the line of the lobby groups supporting the NEG since it was hurriedly unveiled late last year – that this is the best policy that can be expected given the majority of one of the two big mainstream parties simply does not accept climate science or modern engineering.

The ultimatum to Labor, and the Labor states is clear – accept this, or the Coalition will continue to accept nothing that even looks like clearing the path for lower emissions and new technologies.

“I’m not pro coal, not anti coal,” Frydenberg insisted. “I’m not pro renewables, I’m not anti renewables …. What I am in favour of is lower energy prices and a more reliable energy system.”

But he then went on to say that the NEG would provide opporutnituies for coal oupgrades, and for coal to be important part of the energy mix.

“It puts a premium on reliable dispatchable power and that is something that coal does provide,” he told journalists. “I’d be please to see coal continue and for more investments in coal fired power stations – whether they be upgrades or others.”

Turnbull on Tuesday said the NEG would put a premium on 24/7 power – and coal could provide that. He said the NEG was a “real breakthrough” that would deliver affordable, reliable power. He said it had received strong support from industry and government.

But as the submissions from more than 100 industry players have made clear – the NEG as currently envisioned will deliver neither lower energy prices nor a more reliable energy system. There are massive questions, and not just because there is no flesh.

Turnbull said the NEG would put a premium on 24/7 power – and coal could provide that. He said the NEG was a “real breakthrough” that would deliver affordable, reliable power.

“This is a test of Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership, but given his track record of failing to stand up to the hard right of his party room and caving in on two energy policies, no one should be surprised if he caved into the hard right fossils again,” Labor energy spokesman Mark Butler said.

“Malcolm Turnbull’s inability to rein in his party room exemplifies the chaos which has surrounded his leadership over the energy crisis.

“All while household and business power bills continue to skyrocket, while pollution under this out of touch government continues to go up, and up, and up.”

His comments were echoed by John Grimes, of the Smart Energy Council, who noted the NEG was a recipe for delay and inaction on renewable energy and climate change.

“We need smart national energy policy – strong support for solar, storage and renewable energy and strong action on climate change,” he said in a statement.

“If you are aggressively supporting coal, you are not supporting smart energy policy – and Australia is not meeting its international climate change commitments.”

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  1. David leitch 3 years ago

    Monash was far more than one of the Gallipoli commanders. He was rated as possibly the best general on the western front in ww1. Famous British war historian AJP Taylor rated him the only original thinking general of that war. He also started, I think, Monier concrete pipe company. One suspects he would turn in his grave at this bunch of “has beens” and coalition malcontents taking his name for such a group. The should rename themselves the “Lord Monckton” group and wear signs advising normal people to steer clear.

    • john 3 years ago

      Totally agree with the Lord Monckton moniker very fitting.
      These representatives are playing up the fear are loose with the facts and it is all aimed at ensuring they can scare people with straw man arguments to get enough votes to get reelected.
      It is pitiful that this push today is all across the major paper outlet in Australia.
      I have not listened to the interview this morning but i bet that there is mention that the reason for the price of electricity rising is RE and not the joke increase in infrastructure with its guaranteed return on investment.
      Amazingly enough the opposition in the state of Qld has come out with at least one sensible expression that the network should be written down. Pity it has taken them 5 years to wake up.
      I expect the next election to have lots of adds about unreliable RE and how good a shiny HELE is going to be for you.
      It will come with out of date and disingenuous figures on the cost of RE against HELE .

    • Ray Miller 3 years ago

      I find it grossly insulting using Monash’s name in this manner. Monash, if alive today would have been at the sharp end of converting our energy system to renewables! The sad thing is the majority of the Luddites parties have worked themselves into an elevated state of derangement due to money from the foreign owned coal companies.
      History shows us this is not going to end well for them.

      • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

        Oh crikey who knows what the dude would have done or thought if he were still alive. Let’s not get into abject speculation territory.

      • john 3 years ago

        I agree and considering Monash would not join and endorse the new guard who wished to take over the country at least he had some standards.

    • mick 3 years ago

      the maori taught the poms about trench warfare,the boer taught them about prancing around in red coats while facing mausers,monash recognised this and saved probably thousands of lives.who do you think invented the modern technique of moving across contested ground,that would be the australians ie fire and movement

      • Steven Gannon 3 years ago

        The aborigines got a couple of groups of red coats too.

        • mick 3 years ago

          dis-organised guerrilla warfare probably more died ignoring advice re surviving in the bush

    • john 3 years ago

      The reason Monash is recognized as being a pretty good general is because he used all methods to advance not the book work method which said go into a trench.
      He used heavy cannon and tanks and aerial not just cannon fodder troops.
      Clear a path for the troops to advance after you have cleared out the danger to them now that is what happened but it was new idea from going into a trench and shoot each other.

    • MrMauricio 3 years ago

      And the Galileo “movement”?????

    • Neville Bott 3 years ago

      Monash knew how to deal with traitors and that’s all I have to say.

    • solarguy 3 years ago

      I agree so much about Monash, he really was one of one Australia’s greatest Generals. These fools we have in government, wouldn’t make the grade to become his toilet paper!

      Monckton is not a Lord, is not a member of the house of lords and never will be!

      • David leitch 3 years ago

        Exactly Monckton is a fraud.

        • Joe 3 years ago

          ‘Fraud Monckton’ it is then.

    • David leitch 3 years ago

      Another point for those that appreciate irony is that Steve Skala Chair of the CEFC is also Deputy Chair of the General Monash foundation. Can’t see him being too happy about this.

  2. ben 3 years ago

    This looks like positioning for their time in opposition. They know the ALP will undo the NEG and push hard on renewables, as they should. A strong, hard right group to dictate the direction of the party, especially once their more moderate colleagues have gone after the election.

    • fehowarth 3 years ago

      As NEG is little more than a six page document, with no context, I see little for Labor to undo. #auspol

      • Phil NSW 3 years ago

        Why not have the NEG say all major renewable projects have a dispatchable offset to ensure average output? All such generators have guaranteed supply contracts.

    • Cooma Doug 3 years ago

      Unfortunately for the old red necks, the Monash group is smaller than they want us to believe. It will be getting smaller as we speak.

  3. Craig Hollins 3 years ago

    They should also campaign on bringing back steam trains !!!! Idiots

    • David 3 years ago

      That would be far too modern.

      A penny farthing is much more like their style.

      • john 3 years ago

        Zctluy we need to go back to walking cos that is what plebs do evidently for peats sake.
        Yes zctluy is incorrect because that is how it is when you are not able to understand anything

        • David 3 years ago


      • Joe 3 years ago

        …please don’t mock the two wheeler. I love my bicycles. The Penny Farthing still come out to play on special occasions which is always a treat to see.

  4. RobertO 3 years ago

    Hi All, In NSW we got money off the Fed Gov so we should be spending on

    1 New Coal Mines that are fully automated (but they will employ some 17, 000 people)

    2 A new HELE Coal power Station that will enable us to meet our Paris Climate Agreement cause they reduce CO2 pollution by 5% – 10%. (Why worry about the other 600,000 tons of CO2 or more per day).

    My friend Mattie Canavan can explain these idea better that I can (and may be his friends the RWNJ’s would know that these ideas are so much cheaper). I sure the RWNJ know their maths, 1 + 3 = 5 (Very good at maths).

    The sooner the COALition is gone the safer we will all be (Steam Trains do remind me of my travelling in my childhood, dirty smelly things that they were).

    • Joe 3 years ago

      …and ‘Casey Jones a tootin’ at the whistle’

      • rob 3 years ago

        dog, I’ve now got that on replay in my mind……bugger!

        • Joe 3 years ago

          No shame in enjoying a bit of nostalgie is there.

          • rob 3 years ago

            No mate but it has been spinning all day in my head….lol

          • rob 3 years ago

            please don’t post any religious children songs…….ie from religious child care……. I will be singing them in my head for weeks……lol

          • Joe 3 years ago

            Keep on a…’tootin’

          • rob 3 years ago

            It’s Casey at the bottom of the cannonball express!

  5. mick 3 years ago

    nasty flashback to my some what wild youth saying we used “kill em all let god sort them out’ truly disturbing

    • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

      Jeez I’ve been on the receiving end of that particular type of threat recently and I can tell you it’s not conducive to humanity inspired productivity improvement. But we’re obliged to persist anyway. I mean, what the fuck else is our purpose?

      • mick 3 years ago

        a forthright fellow such as yourself with a wonderfully acerbit wit i cant imagine why (tongue in cheek) lol

        • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

          yeah I know, one is one’s own worst enemy forsooth, or for some fucking shit anyway

      • mick 3 years ago

        pc gone mad

        • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

          pc gone sober

          • mick 3 years ago

            stuff that

  6. Carl Raymond S 3 years ago

    Frydenberg says he’s not anti-coal. That means he’s happy to continue dumping CO2 into the atmosphere, which isn’t compatible with humans on earth in the medium to long term. Ipso facto, Frydenberg and his ilk have to go.

    Show me somebody who IS anti-coal, and I’ll show you somebody electable.

    • Joe 3 years ago

      The Greens

      • Hettie 3 years ago

        Sadly the level of anti Greens vitriol in MSM only increases.
        RdN is doing the National Press Club today. Should be worth a look.

        • Joe 3 years ago

          Yes, I saw that Ricardo is up for a talk today and what great timing after last weeks ‘I love the Coal’ rant from Matteo Coalavan and now tghe news that The COALition going all in for new Coalers to be built. Can’t wait to hear what Ricardo has to say.

        • rob 3 years ago

          I will be watching with you Hettie

          • Hettie 3 years ago

            He came across well, I thought.
            The last questioner was a total jerk, and deserved the put down that he got.

    • Joe 3 years ago

      Carl, please listen to Di Natale’s speech at The National Press Club today. You can catch it on ABC Iview. The Greens are all in for… ENDING COAL BY 2030.

      • Carl Raymond S 3 years ago

        Funny, he was introduced as “discussing trickle down economics”. I turned off. Will watch on iview.

      • solarguy 3 years ago

        I saw it Joe, it was excellent. I’m impressed again with Richard.

        • Joe 3 years ago

          Go well, my Solar Man

  7. howardpatr 3 years ago

    Hypocrite Turnbull should make a formal application to join the RWRNJs; he has demonstrated all the bono fides required by the existing member of the group..

    • john 3 years ago

      He is in a hard place and a rock behind his back he can not do anything because these people hold the sway in the caucus of his party.
      He can not do anything because these people will overrule him.
      So he is a puppet to the idiots in the party frankly.
      Remind me to block his emails.
      Yes i got them before when the clown shoes was in power.
      What a pathetic period in governance that was.

  8. john 3 years ago

    Discus is back and running.
    It was down for about 25 minutes such is life.
    These people in Parliament really are the lowest of the low frankly.
    Just look at who they are not exactly any persons shopping list for a person you could trust or think along the same ideas of; unless you are a deluded person who gets his/her ideas from disinformation outlets of which there is an overwhelming number in the country.

    • Steven Gannon 3 years ago

      “The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform you or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate the truth.” Gary Kasparov.

    • Joe 3 years ago

      Disqus being downn…the work of the anti RE brigade?

      • john 3 years ago

        No it also happened over seas at the same time

  9. Charles Hunter 3 years ago

    “has burst from the bleechers” -> bleachers?

    I’ve come around to the view that it probably does not matter whether the labor states cave, and we get something akin to Roadrunner’s “Acme NEG”, or continue to resist, and the COALition responds by doing what it does best: make a lot of noise and while accomplishing 100% of diddly-squat.

    Consider what has happened in Australia since the carbon tax was repealed and replaced by the aforementioned noisy diddly-squat. We’ve had commentators aplenty running around like headless chooks claiming that “without certainty, business will not invest”. But what has actually been happening on the ground? Everyone from grandma with a chook-house roof pointing vaguely north through to billionaire businesspeople have been falling all over themselves to invest in renewables. Is there any good reason why the presence or absence of a NEG will derail that?

    Whether we get VapourNEG, AcmeNEG or the NEG that goes bump in the night, the driving force is high energy prices. To paraphrase Paul Keating, high energy prices are the carbon tax we had to have. People invest either to reduce their exposure, or to capitalise on the opportunity, or both. That every dollar invested also helps carbon abatement is often a co-motivation (it was for me) and always a beneficial side effect. For all it’s slavering, panting and hand-wringing, the entire Federal Parliament is completely irrelevant.

    When it comes to damn silly ideas like Hazlewood 2.0 (which are probably only floated to see how far Giles can be made to spew his coffee today), I reckon the acid test should be that the right rump of the COALition can pay for them out of their own pockets. That way, they take the risk and stand to reap the rewards if they’re proven right. If they turn out to be wrong and all go bankrupt then, for the price of a few by-elections we’ll be rid of the lot of them.

    • Hettie 3 years ago

      As your bona fide resident representative of all the grannies with a chook house roof pointing north (yes I do have chooks, and their roof, like mine, points 4°west of solar north), I will say you are spot on. The investment in solar has to show the best return of any investment I have ever heard of.
      Power bill was around $65 per fortnight. Gone.
      Loan repayments, $80 per fortnight, but FIT credits, as well as eliminating power bill, are covering $60 of that, and come October 2021, I will have clear FIT income of around $100 per month, at current rates.
      Power was $65, now that, and all but $20 of the repayments are covered.
      If I really tried to calculate ROI I could, but I can’t be bothered. It’s astronomical. That’s enough to know.
      Just wish that I could reach more grannies to let them know that even on the pension, solar is affordable.

  10. RobertO 3 years ago

    Hi All, The Jurno at the centre of the breaking news is a proud support of Baabboott and co. She wants to be noted as the biggest “Shock Jock” on TV and as a Climate Change Denier this story is right up her ally. The two Libs that arranged the Pairing issued in Victoria would have made her proud (never mind that we as Australians lost out on trust and Government by consensus as it used to be when if it was good for the country then the opposition party would support the current government). She is very proud of the damage she has done to this country.

    • Hettie 3 years ago

      That cheating on the pairing deal was a black day for Australia’s parliaments.
      Can the Coalition really believe that will not come back to bite them?

  11. Roger M 3 years ago

    Bring out your fossils, any old fossil….

  12. Radbug 3 years ago

    In S.A. & QLD, the Coalition side of the spectrum has become the party/parties of the occasional victory. In S.A., the ALP GAINED 1%, while the Liberals LOST 4%! In QLD, the ALP won despite declaring itself against state aid for the NAIF loan to Adani. The membership of the Liberal party has become a pretty strange lot, quite far to the right, and quite ideologically lost. As Malcolm’s decision to buy & operate Snowy 2 suggested, and now the Monash Group desire to buy & operate Hazelwood 2, the right of centre has lost its ideological compass of no politically directed investment, and is grasping at political straws as they feel the debate is drifting away from them, leaving them in limbo. The ALP has suffered from the desperation of the Howard years & the chaos of the Rudd/Guillard years. Now, with Bill Shorten no longer an “instant” prime minister, as he would have been had he won in 2016, if he can weather the inflationary effects of Triffin’s Dilemma + the Yuan Bloc + Trump’s enormous budget deficits, the ALP is looking at 3 terms in office, with nine years of chaos on the Coalition Opposition side of politics.

    • Hettie 3 years ago

      Oh dear dog, I so hope you are right.
      And if SA could do 16 years, why not Federal Parliament too. After the last 5, it should be a very long time before the Chaosolition gets another Guernsey.

      • solarguy 3 years ago

        Are you using dog instead of god? Please find another word as calling someone dog means one is lower than shark shit.

        • Hettie 3 years ago

          Dog as in first dog on the moon, or man’s best friend, or just a convenient substitute for sky fairy of any description. So not “deity of choice.” And definitely not pejorative. I did say, “dear dog.” How could that be misconstrued?

          • solarguy 3 years ago

            I like sky fairy much better.

          • Hettie 3 years ago

            If you like it, go for it.
            I shall continue to use “dog” as an invocation, from respect for a real species that loves unconditionally.
            Sky fairy is pejorative,
            Dog is not.

          • solarguy 3 years ago

            Fairy doesn’t have be pejorative, fairy can mean fictional being, as in fairy at the bottom of the garden, that has magical powers.

            God = sky fairy.

          • Hettie 3 years ago

            Enough, already.
            It is not for you to prescribe the way I talk.

        • mick 3 years ago

          gday mate my working dogs are smarter than these idiots more loyal and harder working to boot,pity we cant shoot pollys when they fuck up or outlive their usefulness

          • solarguy 3 years ago

            I hope that doesn’t mean that you shoot your dogs if they aren’t useful to you.

          • mick 3 years ago

            unfortunately thats part of life

          • solarguy 3 years ago

            You could give the dog to someone who will give it a good loving home. Putting an animal down is ok if it is dying from disease, suffering, but that’s not your MO is it. In your mind it’s just a work slave and if the poor bastard doesn’t perform you top it.

            Who made you judge, jury and executioner you cold callous piece of shit

          • mick 3 years ago

            i care more about my dogs than you realise sport

          • solarguy 3 years ago

            Doesn’t sound like it.

          • mick 3 years ago

            in fact il go further than that next time i have to deal with one thats been stomped by cattle mulched by a tractor evacuating out of both ends from a bait or blowing its heart out from a snake bite il call you and you can fucking sort it out genius

          • solarguy 3 years ago

            Well who could blame you for putting the poor bloody thing out of it’s misery in situations like that, but that wasn’t what you were saying originally was it.

          • mick 3 years ago

            true i was making a light hearted remark about useless politicians

      • nakedChimp 3 years ago

        try ‘deity of your choice’ 😉

        • Hettie 3 years ago

          No. No sky fairy. See above.

      • Radbug 3 years ago

        Hattie, victory in Brisbane will require a Liberal Environment Party. I think that the right of centre membership base in the QLD SE will need 4 election defeats to get their heads around that idea.

      • mick 3 years ago

        the best bit is that membership rate is through the deck and they cant get 50% of population to stand with them ie: women

  13. Peter Haughton 3 years ago

    Just loved your expansion of HELE as high emissions, low efficiency!

    • john 3 years ago

      You did look at the post about the first about this disinformation figures?

      • Hettie 3 years ago

        Wot? Please unscramble your comment.

  14. Ken Dyer 3 years ago

    What an exercise in futility and stupidity. In the face of renewables that are acknowledged by the coal industry to be cheaper, BECAUSE INCREASINGLY, SOLAR IS BEATING COAL ON PRICE ALONE.
    And now we have these loud right wing clowns, these puppets of the coal industry, these rent seeking bludgers on the Australian tax payer crowing that they want to build a new coal fired power plant.
    And not only are they crowing about it, it is all FAKE NEWS.
    Eight, count them, eight coal fired power stations projects have been cancelled in Australia and at lest four shelved.
    Australia does not need or even want, as the majority of Australians have indicated, a new coal fired power station.

    • john 3 years ago

      Mate their message will work.
      Why because that is the major news outlet so that is what people hear read etc.
      I am sorry we live in the age of the educated Idiot which means they can hear and read but have no idea.
      {{ Pathetic I know but that is how it is }}

      • Ken Dyer 3 years ago

        Their ‘message’, which after all is all about the ongoing attempts to make Abbott and/or Dutton PM and dump Jellyback Turnbull, just demonstrates once again that the LNP COALition does not have the interests of Australia at heart.
        Even their own Liberal State Governments are scratching their heads. After all, today, we have the NSW Government approving the biggest wind farm in Australia.
        Now what is that telling you about the future of coal in Australia, and in New South Wales, the biggest coal user for electricity?
        As they say, you can only fool educated idiots some of the time.
        The next Federal election cannot come soon enough, and if the 58 previous polls are anything to go by, the result is a foregone conclusion.

        • Joe 3 years ago

          The first to fall will be Two Tongues Turnbull. The polls will see to it that he is gone as PM / Liberal Leader before the next election. Those backbenchers on tight margins can feel ‘self preservation’ kicking in as each Newspoll result is delivered.

          • Mike Shackleton 3 years ago

            MT has made statements that he will resign from Parliament when he is no longer PM. That would trigger a by-election in Wentworth. That seat might be as blue ribbon as they come but would those who would rather see Malcolm gone risk a wafer thin lower house majority in the same breath? If a new candidate is selected that is a RWNJ sympathetic to the “Monash Forum” watch the voters run a mile.

          • Hettie 3 years ago

            An extract from something I posted on Facebook this morning.
            The 30th news poll is due in 10 days.

            Will there be a leadership spill on April 16?
            Turnbull has already said that if he loses the leadership he will resign from Parliament, and that would be the end of the majority. From the date of resignation to the date of the by election there would be even numbers. Would the party room take the risk, the real risk of losing a by election, or of losing a confidence vote in the interval? Or of having the house vote to refer the Coalition MPs with dubious citizenship to the High Court?

            Who can say? The level of irrational behaviour that party has demonstrated over the past 5 years makes any prediction impossible.
            We must wait and see.
            But the prospect of Dutton as our next Prime Minister is both horrifying and terrifying.

          • Joe 3 years ago

            Dud ton as PM…the end of Australia is nigh

          • solarguy 3 years ago

            The stuff nigh mares are made of.

          • Hettie 3 years ago

            Both horrifying and terrifying.

      • Joe 3 years ago

        …The Rupert leading the charge and those nutter radio shock jocks lending a hand

      • Mike Shackleton 3 years ago

        Their message won’t work and they know it. All they are doing is cynically pitching to their voter base to shore up support ahead of the next Federal election. This is just a tactic to get get re-elected. Voters might decide who our representatives are but they don’t make business decisions.

        The people who actually make the decisions (ie. the generators, the big energy consumers like Telstra et al and the regulator AEMO) are the ones who call the shots and moving to install more renewable generation. It’s not even a question of ideology any more – it’s a pure business decision that works on economics.

        Even gas is preferable to coal fired power stations as the units come as turn-key solutions on the back of semi trailers. All you need is an industrial gas connection and a point of interconnect to the grid and you’re set. That’s why AGL won’t give up the LIddell site. They can decommission the coal fired plant whilst installing gas generators and battery storage in the same location, all while leveraging the skills base that exists in the area. There is an excellent solar resource up the road in the Hunter Valley and good wind potential nearby on the coast. The interconnect is worth far more to them than the coal fired station itself.

      • Cooma Doug 3 years ago

        Interesting what you say.
        The comedian Gervias made a talk about the information industry.
        He said it has changed from the place we go to learn, to the place we go to kick arse that disagrees with our opinion.
        A jounalist who wants to print the truth agnosticly, can do better financially by becoming a supporter of corruption.

        • john 3 years ago

          I feel so sad for researchers who toil away and are accused of only being in it for the money, whereas they could earn much more in the employ of the industry they are looking at.
          They do not comment, because they just know it is a waste of their time, as they will only reinforce the backfire effect, where those who have an ill informed opinion will only stick more rigidly to their delusional knowledge.

  15. Chris Jones 3 years ago

    Crickey, even ‘Coal’ Ulhmann on Ch9 sees this as a ‘hurdle’ for MT and possibly a powerplay.

    He still seems to think the NEG is a good thing though, which is disappointing. Many people and groups are of the opinion that the draft is severely deficient. It is highly doubtful that the perceived problems will be fixed in the next 2 weeks for the release version – we shall see.

  16. fehowarth 3 years ago

    NEG is a bigger sham than Direct Action was.

    • Joe 3 years ago

      Direct Action ( an oxymoron if ever there was one ) cost us $2.5 billions of our hard earned….just ‘petty cash’ compared to what is now being dreamed up.

  17. michael nolan 3 years ago

    Referring to Finkel Report, Blakers, ANU and the IEA, to took 15 minutes to put below comparison together:
    COST Comparison:
    The “Ginger Group” and AUSTRALIAN should read the LNP commissioned Finkel Report , page 201, which shows that HELE Coal levelised cost is $75 / MWh.
    This compares to Solar PV + Wind = $50 / MWH in Year 2020 (Int’l Energy Agency) , plus $5 / MWh for Pumped Hydro storage and Transmission upgrades to 60% renewable penetration , (Blakers, ANU) = $55 / MWH
    That is HELE Coal station would be 36% more expensive !!!

    EMISSIONS Comparison:
    Renewables: Zero
    HELE Coal: 860 Tonnes CO2 / MWH (page 203 Finkel)

    Reliability Comparison:
    Distributed Renewables with Pumped Hydro and Transmission upgrades higher than a central coal fired power station over long term.

    • Hettie 3 years ago

      Oh I do so love when someone does the sums to show the truth and shame the devil. Or the RWNJs, as the case may be.
      Thank you.

    • Chris Drongers 3 years ago

      860 Tonnes CO2 / MWH (page 203 Finkel)
      Someone slipped in ‘tonnes’ should be ‘kg’

  18. Joe 3 years ago

    I’m reading a lot of outrage in the comments and rightly so. I’d like to borrow from Two Tongue Turnbull and his side kicker, the Joshie, a play on their own words to describe this latest idea …”reckless”….”right ( in place of ‘left’ ) wing ideology and idiocy”. The COALition going all in with a new Coaler is no real surprise. Hot on the heels of ‘Rescuers Minister’ Matteo Coalavan’s speech at The National Press Club last week comes this latest development of “build it….. and they will come”. The Coalavan is the spear tip and the ‘war party’ is now gathering. ‘Clean Coaler’, ‘HELE Coaler’, ‘CCS Coaler’…we are going to be hearing them regularly now. Please can they tell us who is going to build it, who is going to pay for it, was ‘Direct Again’ a $2.5 billions giant fraud and political con (… YES, it is / was ) and when will The COALition end the masquerade and formally withdraw from UN agreements on climate change action.

  19. RobertO 3 years ago

    Hi All, Please remember that this mob want your money (Australian Taxpayers) to pay for and build it and then when it about to start running this mob will want more of your money (Australian Taxpayers or the consumers) to keep it running. If they have their way it will be a “Gold Plated exercise” for us taxpayers (we will lose billions in construction and more billions in running costs, over however long it lasts). “Pigs in the Trough” come to my mind.

    • Hettie 3 years ago

      O Robert, don’t you forget that those fools can’t get out of their own way.
      Do you really think that they will have reached the point of signing contracts for a new coaler by May next year?
      Site selection, tenders, design, contract? That’s if any company is stupid enough to tender.
      I don’t think so.

      • RobertO 3 years ago

        Hi Hettie, I have seen too many cases of pollies doing stupid things just so they can either have a monument built for them or just to try and stay in power.
        This is a Victorian State Gov exercise that one pollie said “I will just rip up the contract and it will cost the State Gov nothing!”

        I worry that in the dying throws the current bunch of RWNJ’s will find a way to spend millions of $ on some type of coal project just to promote themselves.

  20. RobSa 3 years ago

    The criminal proceedings for these people should be based in Brisbane because Queensland is the state that has the most number of coal projects.

    In 2009 economically recoverable black coal resources were reported to
    be 43.8 billion tonnes with over 96% of these resources in New South
    Wales and Queensland.

    • Hettie 3 years ago

      What criminal proceedings , for which people?

      • RobSa 3 years ago

        The upcoming ones for climate criminals.

        • Joe 3 years ago

          Courts in both The Netherlands and in New Zealand have already made rulings that politicians should be taking climate change into account. So the early precedents of sorts are appearing. The UN is the place to prosecute for….’Crimes against Humanity’ That’s the charge and we know already who the guilty are!

  21. Cooma Doug 3 years ago

    I was told just now that the government doesnt really understand the energy industry and associated economics.
    Ohh so surprised.
    If they spent a few billion reinstalling all the public phone booths that have vanished, that would be better for the economy.

    • Joe 3 years ago

      …to The COALition the energy industry is just all so……NEG.

  22. Cooma Doug 3 years ago

    Before any new coal generator is built in Australia, there will be the beginning of global action against fossil fuels. This will mature into relegating its use to a virtual criminal act.
    This will emerge peacefully initially. All fossil fuels will be taxed at the source, increasing the cost of all things reliant on fossil fuels.
    The plan is already here and now, and the only answer.

    • Hettie 3 years ago

      Hope you are right.
      Just as well our current so called Gov’t has only a year to run, max.

      • Joe 3 years ago

        Next election timetable….due May 2019

        • Hettie 3 years ago

          Earliest practical date because of Senate is August 4 this year.
          Anything could happen.

  23. Ross Lentell 3 years ago

    Just a further note on John Monash. In my view he is probably the greatest Australian that has ever lived and can claim to be the General most responsible for the allied victory in ww1. In his business life he was a successful entrepreneur and held for some time the patent for the use of reinforced concrete in Victoria. There is are a number of excellent biographies on him and I’m sure he would be turning in his grave at the desecration of his name by this ginger faction…

  24. Chris Peters 3 years ago

    Forget about discussing the abuse of Monash’s name, which is bad enough. This is a serious assault on progress in the energy sector. If these idiots succeed, it would set us back at least 20 years. These people may be right wing Abbott-ist loonies, but they are heavily funded by the coal industry, Minerals Council of Australia and right wing think tanks such as IPA. In turn, they have the full support of the Murdoch press to shout loudly at 70% of the population.
    It is important that we don’t just complain to each other within this enlightened, but narrow, forum. We need to write to and phone politicians, write to the mainstream press, go on social media and donate to GetUp’s campaign which will answer the lies in a national advert to published in the next few days.

  25. Joe 3 years ago

    In today’s Australian Financial Review ( 6/4/18 ) is a lovely David Rowe cartoon…there they are, the ‘Monash Forum groupies’ in the Kelly, the Abbott, the Christensen, the Abetz and the Andrews, down in the coalpit with ‘Canary Turnbull’ in his cage…what a hoot of a cartoon!!!!

    • Hettie 3 years ago

      Sounds like a hoot. No doubt someone or some twenty will share it on Facebook. I’ll keep an eye open.

      • Joe 3 years ago

        If I was on the Facebook I’d do it. I’ve never been a ‘Fakebook’ man and won’t be staring either with this data mining/ sharing/selling scandal going on.

        • Hettie 3 years ago

          I agree that the breach of privacy is deplorable, as are some other aspects, but it provides valuable discussion space on just about any issue you can think of. And some that you can’t.
          So I’ll stick with it.

      • rob 3 years ago


        • Hettie 3 years ago

          Oh, well done. Thank you.

        • Joe 3 years ago

          Good job, thanks

  26. Nick Kemp 3 years ago

    There must be a clan of descendants of Mr Monash in Australia – I wonder what their view on this group of Luddites is?

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