May 4th 2019

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY What counts is who you have in your corner

EDITORIAL Political unrest over man-made drought in Murray-Darling Basin

FEDERAL ELECTION The ALP's climate policies will devastate our very way of life

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Labor to people traffickers: "We are open for business"

GENDER POLITICS Radical gender laws rushed through Tasmanian Parliament without Government backing

RURAL AFFAIRS Tiny PhD study used to assess live sheep trade

ENVIRONMENT Ocean is a brake on the climate

EUTHANASIA Helter skelter is already working full time

ART AND CULTURE Taipei preserves China's 5,000-year heritage

POLITICS AND SOCIETY What the future holds for the right side of history

HUMOUR This can't be right ... even in politics: The Shorten Run

MUSIC East West: Earthy sounds of Eastern liturgy

CINEMA Missing Link: Stop-start Victoriana

BOOK REVIEW Milligan's revised hit on Cardinal Pell

BOOK REVIEW Top secret history told from the inside

BOOK REVIEW Foretaste of a bloody century



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The ALP's climate policies will devastate our very way of life

by Chris McCormack

News Weekly, May 4, 2019


  • The ALP’s policies could reduce GDP by $1.2 trillion by 2030
  • Average Australian wages will be $24,000 below today’s
  • There will be 586,000 fewer jobs than now by 2030
  • Electricity prices are projected to rise by 94 per cent by 2030

While the Government’s climate-change policy is wreaking havoc on jobs and the cost of living, the federal ALP’s “Climate Change Action Plan” goes much further and will gravely damage every Australian’s way of life.

The ALP “is committed to reducing Australia’s pollution by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, and to reach net zero pollution by 2050”. The party led by Bill Shorten seems to be confused about what constitutes real pollution, as opposed to harmless carbon dioxide, which is the basis of all life on earth. The ALP also plans for 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

The plan says that, “failing to keep global warming to below two degrees will eventually cost the average Australian household $14,000 per year”. However, the forecast temperature rise, and its cost, are unverifiable conjecture.

Conversely, Brian Fisher, former head of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and who worked as an adviser on climate policy for the Hawke, Keating and Howard governments, in a baeconomics report, concluded that the ALP’s proposed 45 per cent cut to carbon-dioxide emissions could see a $1.2 trillion reduction in GDP, average Australian wages to be $24,000 less than the reference case, 586,000 fewer jobs and a 94 per cent increase in electricity prices by 2030.

The ALP has indicated that it will not allow use of carryover credits from Australia exceeding the Kyoto climate agreement to count towards future emissions reductions. This is taken into account in the report’s figures. “The biggest impacts will fall on Australian households and regions dependent on Australia’s traditional export industries, but other sectors like manufacturing, transport and construction will also be affected,” Fisher wrote.

The reference case assumes that we follow our emissions reduction commitments up to 2020 but that no further commitments to international climate agreements are agreed to beyond that.

In fact, the report lists six scenarios, in addition to the reference case, depen­dent on the type of climate policy adopted. The worst-case scenario details the projected percentage decline in production by 2030 in 19 sectors of the economy, including thermal coal (-63.8 per cent), oil and gas (-14.5 per cent), oil refinery (-36.7 per cent), metallurgical coal (-26.8 per cent), other mining (-22.3 per cent), electricity (-23.8 per cent), construction (-16.2 per cent), land transport (-20.5 per cent), iron and steel (-31.4 per cent), iron ore (-11.3 per cent), fishing (-15.5 per cent), crops (-6.8 per cent), chemicals, rubber and plastic (-38.9 per cent), water and air transport (-12.3 per cent) and services (-10.5 per cent), among others.

Fisher analyses the Coalition’s policy to reduce 2005’s carbon-dioxide emissions by 26–28 per cent by 2030, predicting a $293 billion cost to the economy, the loss of 227,000 fulltime jobs, a 1.0–4.7 per cent cut to real wages and electricity prices to increase by 38 per cent by 2030.

The report says that “oil refining also declines under all policy scenarios” adopted by the two major parties, which would most likely see the closure of our four remaining refineries, leaving Australia completely dependent on imports for fuel security.

An article in The Australian (“Revealed: Bill’s carbon costs”, April 18, 2019) reported that experts warned that Australian businesses would have to pay more than $25 billion in international carbon credits (assuming a price of $50 a tonne) to meet the ALP’s 45 per cent cut to carbon-dioxide emissions by 2030.

Many Australian businesses would be in jeopardy under this scenario, but even more so if carbon credits could not be used to achieve the 45 per cent reduction. The Greens have vowed to block the use of carbon credits to meet emissions reduction targets.

The ALP plans to remove the 1,500 gigalitre cap on water buybacks, meaning that an ALP government would take even more of our water reserved for agricultural production away from farmers to flush it down the river and out to sea because it believes agricultural production contributes to “climate change”. The ALP has indicated that it is prepared to override state rights if a state does not comply with federal water policy.

The only farming the ALP promotes is “carbon farming”: meaning changing farming practices to retain more carbon in the soil. So, we can expect higher food prices, less locally grown food and more imported food if the ALP takes government.

The ALP policy to introduce an emissions standard of 105 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre for light vehicles would mean that 17 of the current top 20 selling vehicles in Australia would be either much more expensive or unavailable for purchase. Automobile industry experts predict it could add around $5000 to the cost of an average vehicle.

Automakers in Europe face fines of up to $A1.57 billion for not complying with their vehicle emissions cap of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre. This cost will be passed on to consumers. U.S. President Donald Trump rejected a carbon-dioxide vehicle emissions cap, although some U.S. states are planning to introduce their own.

Bill Shorten wants 50 per cent of new vehicles sold in 2030 to be electric vehicles (EVs). Taxpayers will be slugged $200 million to build 200 fast-charging stations. That still leaves most of Australia uncovered.

Apart from directly subsidising EVs, the emissions cap will force more vehicle manufacturers to build EVs or hybrid vehicles.

Hybrids are a feasible alternative in the Australian context as they do not require the massive spend on charging infrastructure, negate “range anxiety” and can be used in remote locations (although the vehicles are more costly and complex). EVs, however – which seem to be the only vehicle-type Shorten proposes funding with our taxes – are fraught with limitations, which is why their take-up in Australia has been minute.

Given Shorten’s target to have 50 per cent of our electricity relying on the sun and wind by 2030, and the decline in base-load power, battery storage will not be enough to replenish the charge in his whimsical 500,000 EVs plugging in each night, and prevent them crashing a power grid which is already overstretched as it is.

Shorten’s plan should be a wake-up call to any sane Australian of the danger that “climate-change” ideology poses to our jobs, our economy and, ultimately, to our way of life.

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April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm