Gla­dys goes gree­nie

Our Lib­eral Pre­mier’s en­ergy min­is­ter’s chief ad­viser is dead­set against our $15 bil­lion coal in­dus­try while the Nats push pro-death leg­is­la­tion. What's go­ing on?

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Opinion - MI­RANDA DEVINE

The peo­ple of NSW elected a Coali­tion gov­ern­ment, not a La­bor-Greens regime. Yet it seems a left-wing gov­ern­ment is be­ing foisted on us by stealth. Take Lib­eral Don Har­win, the en­ergy min­is­ter for NSW. He’s also one of the wettest of the drip­ping wet lefties ren­der­ing the Lib­eral Party un­electable. Hardly the sort of per­son you want in charge of your al­limpor­tant en­ergy pol­icy.

So it’s prob­a­bly no sur­prise that Har­win’s chief of staff, Andrew Kirk, is anti-coal.

But it’s a big prob­lem for the peo­ple of NSW be­cause coal is this state’s largest ex­port, worth more than $15 bil­lion a year. It’s also needed to keep the lights on. But Kirk has other ideas. Last week, af­ter the IPA hosted an event at Syd­ney Univer­sity, The Case for Coal, Kirk popped up on the Face­book page of event spon­sor, Michael Kauter, of Strate­gic Po­lit­i­cal Coun­sel.

“Coal is cool, and nat­u­ral gas is great”, Kauter had writ­ten un­der a photo of a “Coal Rocks” cap.

Kirk replied: “Ex­cept that fos­sil fu­els have no fu­ture”.

Kauter’s part­ner, Pro­fes­sor David Gracey, re­sponded: “In Aus­tralia they sure do”. Kirk replied: “Not for long!” It is gob­s­mack­ing that a Coali­tion gov­ern­ment ap­pears to be har­bour­ing se­cret plans to kill off the coal and gas in­dus­try in NSW.

If Pre­mier Gla­dys Bere­jik­lian wants to do to coal and gas what Mike Baird tried to do to grey­hounds, her gov­ern­ment is doomed.

Kirk, a for­mer staffer to Joe Hockey, needs to ex­plain to the Pre­mier why he has signed the death war­rant of our No. 1 ex­port.

Then the Pre­mier can ex­plain to the rest of us why she ap­pointed as en­ergy min­is­ter some­one who threat­ens the eco­nomic health of NSW.

Weeks af­ter he took the port­fo­lio this year, Har­win sent jit­ters through the en­ergy sec­tor when he made the ex­tra­or­di­nary claim in a speech to the Com­mit­tee for Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment that elec­tric­ity black­outs were the fault of fos­sil fuel gen­er­a­tors.

Har­win’s oth­er­wise most mem­o­rable con­tri­bu­tion in 18 years in par­lia­ment was when, as Up­per House pres­i­dent, he al­lowed a Greens mo­tion declar­ing US pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump a “re­volt­ing slug”.

Give en­ergy to John Bar­i­laro, leader of the Na­tion­als, who knows the value of ex­ports and re­gional jobs.

On the other hand, the Na­tional Party isn’t what it used to be, ei­ther. Once the safe, con­ser­va­tive voice for coun­try peo­ple, in NSW it has been all but hi­jacked by the left.

How else could an­i­mal rights ac­tivists have man­aged to get the Na­tion­als to ban grey­hounds and de­stroy the liveli­hood of re­gional vot­ers?

Many of today’s Nats are so­cial jus­tice war­riors who wouldn’t be out of place in the Greens.

Take MLC Trevor Khan. He thinks he’s the only per­son who has ever lost a par­ent to can­cer, and that this gives him the right to use his power as a leg­is­la­tor to de­stroy our taboo on killing hu­mans.

As Aus­tralian Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Dr Michael Gan­non tweeted last month: “Don’t for­ever al­ter so­ci­ety [be­cause a] few pow­er­ful peo­ple see par­ent die”.

Un­like in Vic­to­ria, where it’s a so­cial­ist La­bor gov­ern­ment push­ing for eu­thana­sia, in NSW it’s the Na­tional Party. Khan’s eu­thana­sia bill comes be­fore the NSW Up­per House to­mor­row, and num­bers are tight, as death ac­tivists claim as­sisted sui­cide is pop­u­lar with the pub­lic. But polling for anti-eu­thana­sia group Hope Aus­tralia finds pub­lic sup­port halves when peo­ple dis­cover that the med­i­cal pro­fes­sion is not on side. The AMA is staunchly op­posed to doc­tors be­ing re­quired to end a per­son’s life. Dr Maria Cigolini, head of pal­lia­tive care at Royal Prince Al­fred Hos­pi­tal, and al­most 500 col­leagues from around NSW have signed a let­ter op­pos­ing Khan’s bill, say­ing “physi­cian as­sisted sui­cide and eu­thana­sia are un­eth­i­cal” and will hurt the most vul­ner­a­ble, the el­derly, dis­abled and in­dige­nous. In­stead of “fos­ter­ing gov­ern­ment sanc­tioned sui­cide”, she says pal­lia­tive care ser­vices, which are patchy at present, should be im­proved. Pal­lia­tive care is the an­swer, but that’s too hard for virtue-sig­nalling politi­cians. Not con­tent with killing off the grey­hound in­dus­try and the fos­sil fuel busi­ness, now the NSW gov­ern­ment wants to knock us off too.

Give en­ergy to John Bar­i­laro, leader of the Na­tion­als, who knows the value of ex­ports and re­gional jobs.

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