JOHN MENADUE Is money behind the Coalition’s addiction to coal?

It is clear to almost everyone that new coal fired generators will be not only very polluting but much more expensive to operate than the generation of power from renewables. But the Coalition keeps pressing the case for coal . Some months ago our new Prime Minister even threw lumps of coal around the Parliament to promote coal.

Coal makes no environmental or efficiency sense. But it may make selfish political sense to promote coal in return for political donations from wealthy miners.

In an interview with Emma Alberici on the ABC,Alex Turnbull said ‘there is an undue level of influence on Liberal Party policy by a very small group of miners’

Who could he be referring to!

We do know that the Liberals are short of election funds

You join the dots after reading the edited story below from Myriam Robin in the Australian Financial Review of 30 August, 2018.  

Myriam Robin

Seems Alex Turnbull had a bit on his chest.

The Singapore-based fund manager has taken his father’s exit from national politics as an opportunity to slag off organised party politics (those in political parties “are selected for low-empathy, narcissistic-spectrum personality disorder”) and the Liberal Party itself (“my father fought the stupid and the stupid won”). And to tell voters in Wentworth to give Labor’s candidate Tim Murray a chance (“it’s hard to back a Labor guy but not Tim”).

But he hasn’t been uniformly forthcoming. He’s only alluded to the role he reckons one mining titan has on Australian politics.

Asked why the Coalition was so wedded to coal-fired power, even willing to have the government fund it directly, he told the ABC’s Emma Alberici that “there is an undue level of influence on Liberal Party policy by a very small group of miners – who have some assets they probably now regret having purchased, which did not make a lot of sense any more – and are trying to engineer an outcome which makes those projects economic”…..

Pressed by Alberici(on who he meant) he gave a nervous laugh and said he was referring to “people who own a lot of coal in the Galilee Basin”. …

Wonder if Malcolm Turnbull’s thinking is similar …

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John Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

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