Killing Carbon Tax, Prime Minister Abbott Comes Out A Winner

  • Date: 27/06/14
  • Editorial, Herald Sun

Clive Palmer’s appearance with former United States vice-president Al Gore was a stunt masquerading as, well, a stunt. The best that can be said of Mr Gore is that he has swallowed Mr Palmer’s spin along with whatever he ate. He may come to regret this. Not so, Mr Abbott.

Clive Palmer and Al Gore

‘The best that can be said of Mr Gore is that as a Nobel laureate for his services to the acceptance of man-made climate change, he has swallowed Mr Palmer’s spin along with whatever he ate.’

When the hoopla is stripped away, Mr Palmer is prepared to do what he was always likely to do; that is, vote for the repeal of the carbon tax with as much personal advantage attached to it as possible.

Mr Palmer is essentially a showman and his performance with Mr Gore contrived to make him appear a concerned politician. But he still came across as a showman who changes his spiel to suit the audience. This time it was journalists gathered at Mr Palmer’s invitation to Parliament’s Great Hall of the People turned into a circus. All that was missing were the peanuts.

Mr Palmer was always going to support the abolition of the carbon tax, which will save his mining interests some $6 million a year. His decision to vote against Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s direct action plan on reducing carbon is because he won’t have to do anything about it and his nickel and coal mines can continue contributing to the nation’s pollution.

Yes, he has made his compliance with the Coalition’s plan to repeal the carbon tax contingent on the money saved being returned to householders, saving them an average of $550 a year, which is a good thing, as is the repeal of the iniquitous carbon tax, the most costly on the planet at some $26 a tonne. The Herald Sun has long campaigned for its removal.

Mr Palmer wanted to make that retrospective, which would have returned him some several hundred million dollars in carbon tax his businesses have already paid, although too late to avoid being fined several millions more.

As an elected politician representing the Queensland seat of Fairfax, Mr Palmer better represents his own interests, which coincide in climate change policy with Mr Abbott’s election pledge. This makes Mr Abbott a very clear winner and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten a very sore loser.

Dumbfounded journalists were told there would be no questions of these impresarios of Canberra’s climate capers. They were off to dinner.

Is Mr Gore ignorant of Mr Palmer’s credentials as a major polluter, or has he conveniently overlooked this inconvenient truth?

Perhaps he was overwhelmed by the leader of the Palmer United Party’s intention to join with Australia’s major trading partners in a global Emissions Trading Scheme, whenever that might come about?

More likely, Mr Gore is a climate change scaremonger as many people claim. His role reversal might lead some Australians to think he was paid for his appearance alongside Mr Palmer, but Mr Palmer denies paying for anything other than the aforementioned dinner.

Those with long memories will be aware Mr Gore was very nearly elected president of the United States and was reportedly on his way to claim victory when the word came through that George W. Bush might have pipped him. His car turned around, much like his principles.

The best that can be said of Mr Gore is that as a Nobel laureate for his services to the acceptance of man-made climate change, he has swallowed Mr Palmer’s spin along with whatever he ate.

He may come to regret this. Not so, Mr Abbott, in spite of the efforts of some media to portray what has happened as throwing the Prime Minister’s plans into chaos.

No matter that Mr Palmer wants to retain the Climate Change Authority and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. These are diversions.

Mr Palmer’s senators will vote with the Government to repeal the carbon tax. That is the reality. The rest is fairy floss whipped up by Mr Palmer.

Herald Sun, 27 June 2014