Leading article Australia

Freeze out the bedwetters

22 July 2017

9:00 AM

22 July 2017

9:00 AM

The next federal election is a shoo-in for the Coalition. This statement may appear counter-intuitive, but is nonetheless true. The government has at its disposal the means to obliterate Labor and the Greens in 2019, and re-establish a healthy majority for a Liberal National government able to work with One Nation and the Australian Conservatives in the Senate.

The battleground is climate change and energy poverty. But to win it, the government must first freeze out its many left-leaning bedwetters. The leader who goes to the next federal election with an unequivocal commitment to halt or scrap all current climate change policies until 2030 in order to guarantee cheap electricity for households and businesses will easily win.

The rationale is simple, and covers many areas. Even the IPCC now acknowledges the lengthy ‘pause’ in global warming. Even ardent climate scientists now admit that climate reality does not match climate modelling predictions. Even our Chief Scientist admits that anything Australians do to lower emissions will not have any tangible effect on reducing global temperatures. China and India have made it clear they intend increasing emissions until at least 2030. The US has walked away from the Paris Accord, making its lofty aspirations meaningless and unaffordable. Turkey has followed suit. And on the whackier side of the street, President Macron believes climate change is responsible for Islamic terrorism.

Meanwhile, despite us being blessed with the world’s cheapest energy supplies, our polity has blighted our nation with the world’s highest energy prices. This is insanity writ large.

With high energy prices comes – by definition – energy poverty. As Joe Kelly wrote in the Australian: ‘Australia is entering the “realm of third world countries” with residential power disconnections rising by as much as 140 per cent in six years and the average household paying more than double what it did a decade ago to keep the lights on. And that doesn’t even take into account the 20 per cent increase in bills (on July 1). Australian Energy Regulator figures reveal almost 60,000 households are on electricity hardship payments and another 151,862 customers are on electricity payment plans.’ In South Australia, our very own basket case state, $500 million is being spent trying to fix their own energy mess; a thousand bucks for every family of four. Meanwhile, Australian households without solar panels will end up spending a staggering $14 billion subsidising those that do.

It’s almost understandable that loopy Labor and the madcap Greens are happy to carry on cruising along on this ship of fools. But the Liberals and Nationals? Does anybody seriously think a smart politician could not obliterate their opponents on this brazen stupidity?

Thus far, three Liberals have dared to speak out against the climate insanity. The first is of course Tony Abbott, who has called for an end to windmill subsidies and a freezing of the RET. The second is John Howard – he whose government Mr Turnbull refers to as ‘the gold standard’ – who owned up last week to his ongoing climate scepticism.

Yet the bravest is backbencher Craig Kelly, the MP for Hughes in Sydney’s south. Speaking to the editor of this magazine last week on Sky News, he pointed out that renewables policy will kill people this winter. The Left went berserk, with calls for his sacking, yet the facts are as unastonishing as they are incontrovertible. Deaths in Australia are highest during winter and the trend has been increasing over recent years in direct correlation with rising energy costs. South Australia, which boasts of its renewables credentials, has the highest number of disconnections of any Australian state. In Queensland, a manager of a complex of town houses has written: ‘I have 35 low income residents of which a dozen or so would be on an old age pension. I have witnessed a number of these people wearing a lot of outside clothing in their homes (that are freezing) to keep warm… When we questioned the residents some admitted they couldn’t afford higher power bills and some I believe had too much pride to admit to this.’

This is the scenario that another Liberal MP, the bedwetter Sarah Henderson, disgracefully mocked when she ridiculed Craig Kelly on Sky TV. She should hang her head in shame. Energy poverty is no laughing matter.

It is the bedwetters, including Malcolm Turnbull, Josh Frydenberg, Scott Morrison, Christopher Pyne and Julie Bishop, who are consigning the Liberal party to self-inflicted oblivion. Wake up, Libs – or you’ll end up out in the cold.

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