Re­new­able power strug­gles

The Weekend Post - - Views -

SCOTT Mor­ri­son’s in­tro­duc­tion of a scaled-up model of his heart to par­lia­ment elicited the hearty guf­faws of a few front­bench dron­gos, but most recog­nised the va­pid stunt for what it was.

A con­spir­a­to­rial twin­kle in the trea­surer’s eye be­trayed his in­ten­tions as he strut­ted up to the lectern, bran­dish­ing a whop­ping lump of car­bon in his hand on Thurs­day.

“This is coal,” he an­nounced, as great gelati­nous beads of smug­ness trick­led across his loose neck flesh. “Don’t be afraid, don’t be scared. “It’s coal, it was dug up by men and women who work and live in the elec­torates of those who sit op­po­site.”

No­body was afraid, just per­plexed about the bizarre dad joke the na­tion’s lead bean counter had un­leashed on an un­wit­ting pub­lic.

Mor­ri­son’s slack-jawed sketch had none of the high the­atre Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull showed a day ear­lier when he skinned Bill Shorten alive with a ven­omous wit lack­ing from par­lia­ment for too long.

Thighs were slapped red-raw with hys­ter­i­cal snig­ger­ing as the prime min­is­ter la­belled Shorten a “par­a­site” and a “social-climb­ing syco­phant”. Paul Keat­ing would be proud. The in­vec­tive am­bush was well de- served, with Shorten’s “Mr Har­bour­side Man­sion” at­tacks over Turn­bull’s $1.75 mil­lion to the Lib­eral Party com­pletely ig­nor­ing the mas­sive ad­van­tage La­bor gets through union do­na­tions.

“He likes har­bour­side man­sions, he is yearn­ing for one, he is yearn­ing to get into Kir­ri­billi House — be­cause some­body else pays for it,” Turn­bull un­leashed.

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has clearly mar­ket-tested the full-frontal as­sault tac­tic over the Christ­mas break and de­cided sav­agely pulp­ing the Op­po­si­tion with ver­bal knuck­le­dusters is the best way for­ward.

Mor­ri­son’s limp mimicry packed all the punch of an arthritic am­putee.

The South Aus­tralia black­outs un­der La­bor’s watch have been a god­send for climate change de­niers who ig­nore that in­creas­ingly fre­quent heat­waves prompt­ing house­holds to am­plify their air­cons up to arc­tic frost level are a huge factor in power short­ages.

The state runs on 40 per cent re­new­able en­ergy, but back­ups are in place for lean times just like these.

In­stead the Pel­i­can Point gas-pow­ered plant was not brought on­line be­cause it was cheaper to un­plug power to 40,000 ar­bi­trar­ily cho­sen house­holds than to switch on a backup source.

“Ev­ery South Aus­tralian has a right to be an­gry. We had spare ca­pac­ity in the SA gen­er­a­tion mar­ket and the mar­ket didn’t turn that gen­er­a­tion on,” South Aus­tralia En­ergy Min­is­ter Tom Kout­san­to­nis ex­plained to The Ad­ver­tiser.

Dis­re­gard­ing over­whelm­ing sci­en­tific con­sen­sus that climate change ex­ists and is ex­tremely likely to due to hu­man ac­tiv­i­ties (NASA will con­firm, One Na­tion Sen­a­tor Mal­colm Roberts may not) does no­body any favours, and a grad­ual shift to­wards re­new­ables with fail-safe pro­tec­tion mea­sures in place makes sense. Mal­colm Turn­bull re­alises this. He lost the 2010 Lib­eral Party lead­er­ship spill af­ter say­ing we needed “a sit­u­a­tion where all or al­most all of our en­ergy comes from zero or very near zero-emis­sion sources”.

How spec­tac­u­larly he has pirou­et­ted to join the ranks of right fac­tional string-pullers, ac­cus­ing La­bor of the same “ide­o­log­i­cal” fetish for re­new­ables he once held (and not-sose­cretly must still).

At least there is one less rat in the ship, with turn­coat sen­a­tor Cory Bernardi de­fect­ing from the Coali­tion to pur­sue his chief po­lit­i­cal plat­form: en­sur­ing no one is hav­ing more in­ter­est­ing sex than him.

Too gutless to stand for elec­tion on his own two feet, Bernardi went to the polls on the Lib­eral Party’s ticket and quit seven months into a six-year term. How’s that for job se­cu­rity?

For­mer par­ty­mate War­ren Entsch – a sev­enth-term MP who this week railed against cut­ting the life­time gold travel pass for par­lia­men­tar­i­ans who serve seven terms – fa­mously at­tacked Bernardi in 2014 for his “wor­ry­ing” ob­ses­sion with gay peo­ple.

Noth­ing has changed in the en­su­ing three years.

Bernardi still seems tor­mented by any­thing more than a monthly, me­chan­i­cal form of how’s-ya-fa­ther and vot­ers will be sub­jected to hear­ing about it for the next five-and-ahalf years.

DIG­GING DEEP: Trea­surer Scott Mor­ri­son with a piece of coal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.