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Costing the earth: Abbott's mean budget

By Lyn Bender - posted Wednesday, 4 September 2013

If as predicted by polls, the Liberal Party wins government next week, apparently there will be no expense spared on stopping and buying Indonesian boats. However it seems there will be no similar fiscal generosity extended towards our home: the earth. Speaking at the National Press Club, at virtually the eleventh hour before the pre election blackout, Tony Abbott has declared, "We are very confident we can achieve the 5 percent target [for emissions reduction by 2020]… but in the end we have told you the money we will spend – and we won't spend any more." Abbott and Greg Hunt,

Shadow Minister for Climate Action and the Environment have remained the face of recent criticisms of the inadequate costings for the Liberal Party's Direct Action Climate Plan . Treasury has stated that the plan will cost double that of Labour's carbon pricing, if it is to achieve the agreed targets.

Meanwhile it's official. Australia has had itshottesttwelve months since 1910.There is a plethora of evidence that the world is warming but we might as well dwell upon our local situation. After all the electioneering has paid next to no attention to the big picture of Australia as part of the world. The sparring leaders of the main parties have stuck to their parochial agendas like flies to flypaper.


The Liberal Party web site in a listing of 48 policies does not include its Direct Action Plan for climate change. It does however include abolition of the carbon price.

There is no need to invoke Freud to detect Abbotts' contempt for concern about climate change. This has been the clearly enunciated attitude of Tony Abbott.

He has famously declared in 2009 that the Climate Change science was complete crap.

Malcolm Turnbull ousted by Abbott and his backers from the leadership for his acceptance of the reality of climate change has been equally blunt calling the Abbott Direct Action Plan; bullshit Turnbull states.

"as we are being blunt, the fact is that Tony and the people who put him in his job do not want to do anything about climate change. They do not believe in human caused global warming. As Tony observed on one occasion "climate change is crap" or if you consider his mentor, Senator Minchin, the world is not warming, its cooling and the climate change issue is part of a vast left wing conspiracy to de industrialize the world".

More recently Abbott described the emissions trading scheme as 'a so called market in the non delivery of an invisible substance to no-one'.


His advisors may have deemed that he needed to neutralize the whole climate thing by

declaring a 'climate' policy that would provide a catchy sound grab. This three word policy has an affinity with the pragmatic theme promoted by John Howard and nuanced to fit Abbotts 'no surprises' up front projected persona. There will be 'no surprises' after

I become Prime Minister , Abbott has declared. In other words Abbott is going to do sweet all about emissions, or encouraging moves torenewables. He has however, given us clues by which to infer his political strategy. Realising that it would be political death to seem to oppose all action on carbon pollution, we libs now have an er plan.

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About the Author

Lyn Bender is a psychologist in private practice. She is a former manager of Lifeline Melbourne and is working on her first novel.

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