Will the real “new economy” please stand up?

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Malcolm Turnbull has been happy to lift the “transitioning to a new economy” terminology from the Greens, but that’s about all he’s borrowed. The two plans are as different as chalk and cheese… or, if you like, coal and sunshine.

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Five months ago, the Greens under Senator Richard Di Natale launched “Renew Australia – Powering The New Economy”, an ambitious plan to transition to a new economy built on clean renewable energy and to safeguard a future for our country.

More recently, in the aftermath of the Budget and the decision to call a double dissolution election, Malcolm Turnbull’s government has begun talking about “A Strong New Economy”. While Malcolm has been happy to lift the “transitioning to a new economy” terminology from the Greens, that’s about all he’s borrowed. The two plans are as different as chalk and cheese… or, if you like, coal and sunshine.

In the Liberals’ “plan” – really no more than a pamphlet – they suggest that “strong new economy”means cuts to the CSIRO, unrestrained defence spending, old-style trade deals, tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy, cuts to health and education, more and more massive toll roads and reintroducing the ABCC – by definition, re-establishing something is the opposite of “new”.



There’s one glaring omission from this list, and it’s a big one: global warming. Our planet’s climate is changing rapidly and if we are to have any future at all, we need to adapt. We need to change. And we need to do it now.
A healthy economy depends on a healthy environment; that’s a fundamental truth. The economic cost of climate change is rapidly growing worldwide and the longer we delay taking action, the harder and more expensive it will be to survive.
“Renew Australia” recognises this reality. The Greens vision for a “new economy” is one with clean, renewable energy at its core, and includes:

  • At least 90% renewable energy nationwide and doubled energy efficiency by 2030;
  •  Driving $5 billion of clean energy construction by 2020;
  •  Transitioning away from coal;
  •  Creating tens of thousands of jobs in the clean energy and associated industries;
  •  Creating funds and authorities to oversee the transition for workers and communities.

The Greens “new economy” is fully costed and funded by ending fossil fuel subsidies and truly reforming our tax system to ensure the wealthiest pay their share. That’s a far cry from the Liberal’s “new economy” built on tax cuts for the wealthy.

Ultimately, Malcolm Turnbull’s “strong new economy” is nothing more than déjà vu. His budget still has all the cuts that Abbott and Hockey couldn’t pass in 2014, has nothing new to offer and no vision for the future.

Tom Cummings is the Greens candidate for La Trobe in Victoria

 

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4 Comments
  1. David McKay 3 years ago

    Turnbull has been spectacularly disappointing in his time as Prime Minister. Lure of the top job more important than ideals or morals.
    Talk is not action. I see no evidence of a plan for recovery or transitioning to this “new economy”
    When will we get a political party that governs responsibly for all Australians without being subservient to their major donors.

  2. George Parry 3 years ago

    The science is outrunning the politics in this debate. Vested interests, and that sadly includes all of us, are resistant to change but the ground under our feet is moving anyway. Renewables, solar and electric transport are rapidly falling in price and will inevitably fully supplant their fossil fuel equivalents. If there is any doubt of this, refer to the latest reverse auction price of 2.99c/kWh for solar in Dubai.
    Vested interests will run anti-science interference as the Inquisition did with Galileo and the the tobacco industry did through the courts but eventually truth prevails. Sadly this is not a level playing field and governments paid millions by fossil fuel interests give billions in subsidies. Science and economics alone however may not prevail in time to prevent catastrophic global warming. We will need a groundswell of civil disobedience to break free.

    • Mike Dill 3 years ago

      Put more solar on your roof! Install storage. Stop paying for waste.

  3. Coley 3 years ago

    At least 90% renewable energy nationwide and doubled energy efficiency by 2030;
     Driving $5 billion of clean energy construction by 2020;
     Transitioning away from coal;
     Creating tens of thousands of jobs in the clean energy and associated industries;
     Creating funds and authorities to oversee the transition for workers and communities.

    Agree with all of the above but a more catching headline would be save the GBR, get rid of the coalition.
    It’s an issue, sensibly handled, that could transform Australian politics, insofar every Australian I have met seems to have an immense pride in the GBR.

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