Vic Liberal Party presents Morrison with lump of brown coal, Yates ejected

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Alpha Males and the Lump of Coal.

Alpha Males and the Lump of Coal.

The former head of the Clean Energy Finance Corp, Oliver Yates, says he was ejected from a Liberal Party fund-raising event in Melbourne after loudly objecting to the presentation of a lump of brown coal to the federal Treasurer Scott Morrison.

Morrison famously brandished a lump of black coal in Question Time earlier this year, taunting the Labor Party that they were afraid of coal.

It was just days after a significant blackout in South Australia, an event the Coalition (wrongly) blamed on renewable energy. “This is coal … don’t be afraid,” Morrison said, triumphantly brandishing the lump of coal that had reportedly been supplied by the Minerals Council of Australia.

Morrison’s gesture shocked many – not least the Labor Party and the South Australian state government – and commentators wondered “what fresh idiocy is this”. The Liberal Party, on the other hand, thought it was a hoot.

On Thursday, at a fund-raiser at the GlassHouse in Melbourne, attended by several hundred people, the dose was repeated.

Yates said Senator Jane Hume – whom he had been sitting next to – went to the stage and offered the lump of brown coal as a gesture of appreciation from the Victorian Liberal Party to Morrison, and to applaud the fact that he had brandished his own lump of coal in parliament.

Victoria’s big coal generators burn only brown coal, which are significantly more polluting than the black coal burned in NSW (and Queensland and Western Australia).

It was well timed, as the state’s biggest brown coal generator, Loy Yang A, lost one of its four major units this week and may be offline for weeks. So much for reliability, but at least it meant there was a spare lump of coal for the Liberal Party to wrap up as presents.

Yates told RenewEconomy he was horrified by the gesture and loudly objected, at which point he was asked to leave the event.

“It’s pathetic. What are they thinking?” Yates said.

“We do not need to tolerate this and we should not have to tolerate this. How completely out of touch are they to believe that as Liberal Party members that we do not care for the environment or our future.

“They are knowingly stoking the fires of the destruction (of our planet) …. they are on the wrong side of history,” he said, before adding that his father, the former Liberal MP William Yates would “turn in his grave.”

coal tweet yatesYates, a Liberal Party member, said he was minded to create a “Liberal Environment party.” I think the first seat I am going to target is (federal environment and energy minister) Josh Frydenberg’s seat (Kooyong), because that is where I live.”

Yates served for five years as CEO of the $10 billion CEFC, which provides low-cost financing to wind and solar  farms, energy efficiency initiatives, and other projects encompassing renewable energy technologies, battery storage, electric vehicles and other renewable energy technologies.

He has since become involved in several other projects, including a plan to develop a Tasmania wind farm, and to create a company – the Clean Energy Derivatives Corporation – that would offer contracts and finance to new wind and solar projects.

Hume, like Yates, is a former investment banker (she worked with Deutsche Bank and Rothschild) and was elected to the Senate in 2016 and chairs the Senate Standing Committee on Economics.

Her Twitter account and tweets suggest Hume is a fan of right-wing commentators such as Spectator Editor Rowan Dean, and Institute of Public Affairs fellows Chris Berg and Sinclair Davidson, whom she describes as “two of my favourite clever people.”  

  • Joe

    To play with Scotty’s own words…who is afraid of coal now? Answer…The Vic Libs. They can join Planet Earth in being very afraid.

  • Ray Miller

    We call ourselves and advanced society, we depend on the latest technology to be more productive, have one of the worlds collective and life threatening problems before us and just we have displays by the members of a political party which at least is childish. One can only conclude the whole Liberal party is rotten to the core.

    • solarguy

      Yep, brain dead morons.

      • trackdaze

        As are those that would entertain voting for them.

        • solarguy

          Too bloody right mate.

    • Joe

      …they are stooges / plants by foreign countries to take Australia down…Kiwi Bananabee Joyce, Scottish Lassie Fiona Nash, Englander Stephen Parry, maybe Goulasher…Josh Frydenberg, Who else is hiding ?

      • Hettie

        Aha, Young Joe. I see you are onto Parry and Frydenberg. Who else, one has to ask.
        Change of government by Easter, anyone?

        • Joe

          Hello there young Hettie. I stop believing in the Easter Bunny a long time ago. But if happens, an Easter Election, I might just ‘believe again’.

        • Joe

          …we found a new plant in ‘Spiros Hawke’…the maybe Greek Alexander Hawke, Assistant Minister for Immigration. Oh the irony of that, yes. There must surely be others !

          • Hettie

            Oh yes, Young Joe.
            The mere fact that Waffles is nearly apoplectic at the thought of an audit shows that he knows there are more. Surely pride cometh before a fall.
            And clever Richard deNatali has called a Senate enquiry to require all Members and Senators to declare their parentage and citizenship.
            We live in interesting times.
            Right now, though, i am more concerned about 600+ men facing death from dehydration rather than death by machete dismemerment on Manus Island.
            5 days without clean water already, going to the sea because there are no toilets working….
            I used to think that hate was a waste of energy, but now, I can taste the bile in my mouth.
            Contact me on Facebook Joe. Hettie Lynch.

          • Joe

            Young Hettie, I don’t do the Fakebook. However I do follow Australia’s despicable treatment of Refugees and Asylum Seekers with very keen interest. It is to John Howard’s lasting shame that he left us with this brutal legacy stemming from the days of The Tampa. Both The Coalition and Labor are as criminal as each other. I used to be a rusted on Labor voter but I changed to The Greens a while ago as I could no longer endorse Labor with my vote when they give The Coalition the nod to the continuing off shore detentions on Nauru and Manus. The Coalition will never get a vote from me. Labor can have me back when they fix their Refugee and Asylum Seeker policy and also put Single Parents back onto The Parenting Payment. It was a disgrace that PM Julia at the time took single parents off The Parenting Parent and put them onto the hideous Newstart. Putting vulnerable families into poverty is NOT the Labor Way.The Great Man, Gough, would be turning in his grave at seeing what PM Julia did.

          • Hettie

            No argument from me on any of that., Joe.
            It just seems a little unfair to other Renew Economy readers to subject them to what has become a a personal conversation. Any ideas?

          • Joe

            Our RE reader friends are getting two for the price of one. Whenever politik overlaps with RE issues then everyone can share the benefit of the discussion. The whole renewable energy and climate issue is about humanity. And guess what, refugees and asylum seekers are directly the pointy end of humanity. We have a Coalition government that cares little about RE, the climate issue and what it means for future habitation on Planet Earth. It cares even less about our fellow human beings held in offshore detention centres.It sort of makes sense when you think about it. But of course I am in disagreement with all of that.

          • Hettie

            Hmm. It always amazes me that so many appear to be utterly indifferent to the risks of climate change. Oblivious to the fact that if the planet’s ecosystems collapse, as they probably will this century, they, their children and grandchildren will perish just like the rest of us.
            I may well be gone in 20 years, but my daughter and grandson will not, and I fear for them. How do people like Turnbull, who know the danger, live with themselves when they look at their grandchildren?

          • Joe

            Spot on young Hettie. It is almost bizarre isn’t it, the knowing but then not doing. Personal and immediate self interest is easy to understand but not when it comes at the expense of our kids and grandkids. A lot has to do with today’s mindset of throwaway consumerism where everything is expendable once immediate gratification has been exhausted. No value is placed on the long term with this idea that the future is the future, why should I worry, I won’t be around, it will sort itself out.

  • trackdaze

    A federal ICAC is overdue.

  • suthnsun

    LNP are buttressed in an ideological silo, completely out of touch with normal reality. Near term political extinction is the only fitting end for them. Australians are complicit and only that way leads to some redemption.

  • solarguy

    If I had my chance, I would punch that big brown suppository ………………fitting use,,…and the colours match.

  • Gordon Bossley

    Environmental Liberal Party? (A tautology, but definitely an interesting idea.) Would it have a more civilised social agenda than the LNP, because they, in my mind are a rancid collection of people with a main motive of sustaining corporate greed.

    • Joe

      Environmental Liberal Party supporting ‘Adani Renewables’ perhaps?

    • Nick Sharp

      No no no Gordon. A tautology is when you say the same thing twice eg a dry arid desert. To imply Liberal Party is the same as Environmental is clearly false. I think you wanted the word “oxymoron” = contradictory terms appearing in the same phrase.

      • Gordon Bossley

        Ahh Nick thank God you’re here. I almost passed English at school.

      • Joe

        Liberal Party…that surely is an oxy, yes

      • Hettie

        Tautologies of the 21st century –
        Continue on
        Return back
        Work colleagues
        And oxymorons –
        Clean coal
        Dry water
        Honest politicians

  • Peter Campbell
  • mick

    you go to play with the dinosaurs you should expect prehistoric behavour

  • Robin_Harrison

    It’s abundantly clear the lib/nats are unprincipled, lying puppets of ‘business as usual’. Thank goodness we’ll shortly have the opportunity to dump them and vote in the unprincipled, lying puppets of ‘business as usual’ on the left.
    Don’t you just love democracy where our choice can make such a difference?

  • Chris Fraser

    For the illumination of our Victorian friends … remember this when you are at a State or Federal ballot box … these people consider your environment to be a joke.

  • Radbug

    Liberal Environment Party. What a great idea! The Greens have been captured by the Left, while, in Queensland 20% of Greens voters give their second preferences to the Liberals. The LEP could not only capture that 20%, but quadruple that number. Liberals who care for the environment have no where to go at present.

  • Jo

    The World Health Organization attribute one million deaths a
    year to coal particulate pollution. So what exactly is the joke when you bring a piece of coal into parliament