Written By: - Date published: 7:54 am, August 20th, 2018 - 87 comments
Categories: australian politics, climate change, Environment, global warming, sustainability - Tags: malcolm turnbull, peter dutton
And over the ditch Australia readies itself for a possible change of Prime Minister.
From the Sydney Morning Herald:
Supporters of Peter Dutton say the Home Affairs Minister is leaning towards challenging Malcolm Turnbull for the prime ministership and has the numbers to win, amid a crisis over energy policy and a horror new poll showing support for the Coalition has slumped.
Mr Dutton has spent the weekend taking soundings among Liberal MPs, leaving close colleagues with the clear view that he believes the government is now in an unwinnable position.
All indications were that Mr Dutton was ready to run for the leadership, they said, in another sign of a Coalition meltdown with conflicting claims over support for rival camps ahead of a policy showdown in the Coalition party room on Tuesday.
An exclusive Fairfax-Ipsos poll shows the Coalition has suffered a horror slump in its primary vote from 39 to 33 per cent over the past month amid open disputes on energy and speculation over the leadership.
In its worst result since early last year, the Coalition now trails Labor by 45 to 55 per cent in two-party terms in a result that would cost the government more than 20 seats at a general election.
Dutton is engaged in a dance with the seven veils over support for Turnbull stating that he supports the leader. For now.
In relation to media stories today, just to make very clear, the Prime Minister has my support and I support the policies of the Government. My position hasn’t changed from my comments last Thursday.
— Peter Dutton (@PeterDutton_MP) August 17, 2018
Turnbull’s handling of the implementation of the National Energy Guarantee is said to be the problem. The NEG is an already watered down energy policy which would require energy producers to have emissions reduction as well as reliability targets. The “reliability” target is an attempt to keep open coal fired power stations and is essentially a sop to climate change deniers. The intent of the policy is also apparently to lower power prices. The policy replaces the proposed Clean Energy Target.
The change in nomenclature says it all. The tories do not want to give the slightest hint that they may support clean energy and they prefer to support short term price reductions to taking long term measures to dealing with climate change.
But it is amazing that this should have caused such a stoush within the Government’s ranks. And that some believe that less respect for climate change is the solution to plummeting poll support. After all when only 18% of the population think you are doing a good job on climate change and one in two electors already believe climate change is damaging the Barrier reef you have a significant problem.
I almost feel sorry for Turnbull. Introducing a watered down weak commitment to renewable energy is causing consternation within the voting population and within his Parliamentary ranks. But for completely different reasons.
Australia having Dutton as Prime Minister would round off the insanity of what is happening.