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The ScoMo Government

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by sptrawler, Aug 24, 2018.

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  1. explod

    explod explod

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    Scott Morrison went against Treasury advice not to canvass government assistance to an electricity company part-owned by the coal investor and Liberal party donor Trevor St Baker, documents show.

    Morrison announced in March that an upgrade of the Vales Point coal plant, owned by St Baker’s Delta Electricity, was one of 12 projects the government was considering underwriting with taxpayers’ funds.

    Documents released under freedom of information show St Baker has lobbied the government for support since 2017, when Treasury officials advised Morrison, then the treasurer, against agreeing to his requests.

    https://www.theguardian.com/austral...-reject-help-for-liberal-donors-power-company

    According to a ministerial brief, St Baker and Delta director Brian Flannery met Malcolm Turnbull, the then prime minister, and Josh Frydenberg, the then energy minister, on 8 August 2017 and expressed their desire for continued investment in coal and a moratorium on support for renewable energy. They met Morrison the next day.

    In a second brief on 20 September, before a planned visit by Morrison to Vales Point that ultimately did not go ahead, Treasury officials advised against “providing or hinting at providing any assistance to Delta” for Vales Point or any other electricity assets.


    “Doing so would further encourage electricity generation companies to try and offset their private investment with public assistance,” it said.

    The chief executive of the Australian Conservation Foundation, Kelly O’Shanassy, said Morrison should explain why he ignored Treasury’s advice when compiling the shortlist of projects that could receive taxpayer support. The meetings with St Baker came in a year in which his family trust donated $50,000 to the Liberal party.

    “It’s disturbing that one rich coal baron is able to get this kind of access to the highest political offices and push his own self-interest at the expense of Australians and our safe climate,” she said.

    A government spokesman did not respond directly when asked why Vales Point was included on the shortlist, but said the underwriting program followed a recommendation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that it should support bankable investment by new players in generation capacity.

    Delta Electricity, which is an established player in generation, has two projects on the shortlist – the Vales Point upgrade and a pumped hydro project at Lincoln Gap in South Australia. St Baker did not respond to a request for comment before publication.

    An earlier batch of documents released under freedom of information show Delta Electricity also lobbied ministers for Vales Point to be allowed to receive taxpayer support from the government’s emissions reduction fund, the “direct action” climate scheme that Morrison has promised to spend another $2bn on if re-elected.

    The coal upgrade project is registered with the fund but has been blocked by the Clean Energy Regulator from bidding for funding on the grounds the company had not provided enough information to show it should qualify.

    The documents showed the environment minister, Melissa Price, requested a review of how the climate policy could be used to upgrade coal-fired power stations after being contacted by a consultant working on behalf of Delta Electricity. The consultant suggested the Clean Energy Regulator was discriminating against coal-fired electricity and said the company would consider taking the decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal if it was not overturned. The review, by the independent emissions reduction assurance committee, has yet to be completed.

    Delta Electricity says the proposed Vales Point upgrade would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 900,000 tonnes across a decade – about 1.3% of the plant’s emissions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found limiting global warming to 1.5C, a goal referred to in the 2015 Paris climate agreement, requires coal use for energy to fall between 59% and 78% by 2030 compared with 2010 levels.

    St Baker’s Sunset Power International, which trades as Delta Electricity, bought Vales Point from the NSW government in 2015 for $1m.

    Two years later it was revalued at $730m. Last year it reported a net profit of $113m. St Baker has proposed extending its operation beyond its expected closure date of 2029 to 2049.
     
  2. basilio

    basilio

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  3. Smurf1976

    Smurf1976

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    Worth noting that this company is the only operator of coal-fired power generation in NSW or Vic that seems keen on further investment into it.

    AGL, Alinta, Energy Australia and Origin Energy are the other coal-fired power station operators in these states and all are all going in the opposite direction with publicly released plans to exit coal altogether.:2twocents
     
    explod likes this.
  4. qldfrog

    qldfrog

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    Seeing it in a different way, with all the majors exiting coal for both economic and PR reasons, a small unknown company can easily position itself as the last coal based provider, and keep a niche whereas providing cheap base power for the day the wind and sun are out, and make a killing in the process
    Maybe?
    Technically coal is not dead and has a place in Australia.not that i support
    Should be gas in my opinion but we f.u that one in a major way and will be too expensive in the coming decades to provide cheap base load...
    One funny aspect with energy is that all that planning political fight etc could be turned on its head should mythical fusion reactors be achieved and provide limitless cheap clean energy.
    A bit like driverless cars
    Innovation is not gradual
    The only trouble with fusion illimited green power is that it will unmask the global warming lunacy and reveal the real environmental priorities..
    Fusion will not save the planet
     
  5. rederob

    rederob

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    We already have driverless cars!
    You keep making statements like this, but have never been able to provide any evidence to suggest you know what you are talking about.
    Except all our planet's received energy is from the sun.
    The coal and gas we have relied on came about due to fusion from the sun.
    Fusion saves our planet every day.
     
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  6. drsmith

    drsmith

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    With Tony Abbott now out of the parliament, it will hopefully be easier to unite the party on energy and climate policy.

    At this stage, I don't care if it's the current policy settings or something different, as long as the party is united. That will provide the soundest foundation from which to compete with Labor/Greens in this policy area at the next election.
     
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  7. jbocker

    jbocker

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    Very well said.
    It is clear ScoMo has more trust of the public than any other current or past politician for quite some time. He better respect that. I think it would be wise to lead this country to far better energy policy and get some movement on dealing with changes to climate/environment policy. It is time to get cracking on the tough tasks. Abbott gone is a message in part that the public are real on these matters.
     
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  8. sptrawler

    sptrawler

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    I agree with you Doc.
    I think Morrison will have everyone falling in behind him, with Tony Abbott gone the media will lack the ready made food to fill the tabloids and there really isn't any obvious power brokers left in the LNP to white ant him.
    So IMO, Morrison will thrive or die, by his own sword.
     
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  9. Smurf1976

    Smurf1976

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    On the question of energy I will simply say that "energy" is a problem regardless of what we do about the "climate / environment" aspects relating to it.

    I say that without meaning to diminish the environmental aspects, but energy itself would still be a problem even without those issues.

    It hasn't been publicly announced so far as I'm aware so I won't give the details but there was what I'll describe as an "incident" at a major power station in the early hours of Saturday morning this week. An incident of the sort that has the owners currently projecting a return to operation of that generating unit in September although that's an estimate not a guarantee.

    It's pure good luck with the timing that it isn't during Summer (peak demand season) and that we can probably get through winter without it putting the lights out although the risk isn't zero there and it depends on the weather and what else goes wrong.

    There's a need for urgent action with all this after an extended period of neglect. What we've got right now is a set of infrastructure that's underrated for the task even if it were new, but in practice is increasingly old and fragile and being patched up.

    There's a need to get on with this ASAP.:2twocents
     
  10. jbocker

    jbocker

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    I was meaning that both there matters are quite separate. To try to deal with both as a single policy is way too complex. Continuing Energy in its current forms is a huge problem in itself. Climate / environment I mean to manage things like our waterways How do we set up infrastructure to use nature to supply and transport energy in the future. How do we recover from the various types of wastelands. There is so much to address and it takes leadership to get that thinking happening and then management to get it to action.
     
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  11. Smurf1976

    Smurf1976

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    Agreed - I’m just stressing the urgency really since we’re having far too many “near miss” sort of incidents, and we’ve actually had load shedding twice this year so far, and if we keep going like this then at some point it’s going to end badly.

    The details of that are hard to predict but there’s a limit to how much good luck there will be with timing and the weather and there’s a limit to how long some of this stuff can keep being patched up. Do nothing and at some point we end up with a crisis.
     
  12. SirRumpole

    SirRumpole

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  13. sptrawler

    sptrawler

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    Energy is a lot different to most other goods, it requires a lot of infrastructure to get it to the purchaser, whereas most other non essential goods the purchaser goes to get them.
    So in reality electricity, water and sewage, which are essentials, should be left in Government hands. If you aren't going to do that, you will need a big stick to make them upgrade and renew aging infrastructure, that doesn't add to revenue.
    Telstra and the NBN is an example of something that should have been left in Government hands, the tax payer had to replace and upgrade the infrastructure anyway, for no financial benefit to them, only to the new private owners gained from it.
    We are not going to maintain a first World lifestyle, with a third World mentality.
     
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  14. Logique

    Logique Investor

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    How typical of Pauline Hanson to say "..at this stage" she doesn't support the tax cuts.

    One Nation may have plenty of support in QLD, but so did the Xylophone party in SA.
     
  15. Knobby22

    Knobby22 Mmmmmm 2nd breakfast

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    ScoMo has been quiet.
    Due to fortune he has the ability to reboot the government.
    I hope the lack of noise means he is busy developing policies and vision.

    We may need a great leader in the next few years and we seem to find them when required in the lucky country.
     
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  16. SirRumpole

    SirRumpole

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    I wouldn't hold you breath Knobby.

    Conservatives aren't great visionaries or reformers.

    What vision did we get out of 11 years of Howard ?

    Mediocre accountants at best.
     
  17. sptrawler

    sptrawler

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    Well Rumpy the future fund, which is paying the public servants super bill, comes to mind. Also don't forget, Howard/Costello spent most of their time in office, paying off the debt, the previous Labor Government had racked up.:roflmao:

    Then came Rudd.
    We got plenty of vision out of two terms of Labor, shame it was all cloudy. :rolleyes:
    Pink Batts?
    NBN stuff up, start at the least populated places and work in?
    School halls?
    $1,000 cheques out the window, at least a tax cut is progressive.
    Real visionary stuff, sounds great on a napkin.:roflmao:
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  18. SirRumpole

    SirRumpole

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    Nothing wrong with the idea of pink batts. Provides employment and insulates houses . Just because a few contractors stuffed up, all the blame seemed to go back to Labor for obviously political reasons.

    As for the NBN. Was it needed ? Of course it was. We were getting left behind other countries that could utilise broadband for private and business purposes. Was it ever discussed in the 11 years of Howard ?

    Nah, Invest money on something of national importance ? What about the deficit, shock horror.

    If Howard was still in we would be falling further behind in Internet communications.
     
  19. sptrawler

    sptrawler

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    Nothing wrong with Labor's ideas, as always it is the lack of planning and poor implementation, that brings them down.
    What is the old saying PPP=PPP
    pi$$ poor planning=pi$$ poor result.
    NBN as we said on here at the time, if it had been driven by a business plan, rather than a social agenda, the outcome may have been achievable.
     
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  20. Humid

    Humid

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    Compare Howards war on Iraq to the pink bats in cost and deaths
     
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