Hypocrisy is thy name

As the climate debate reaches another potentially turning point, the hypocrisy that accompanies it should not be allowed to slip from view.

When Labor’s Bill Shorten took a 45% reduction in emissions by 2030 to the 2019 federal election, the Business Council of Australia (BCA) accused him of “economy wrecking”.

Now the BCA is prodding the Morrison government to commit to 45-50% emissions reduction by 2030. The catchcry in 2019 was “How much is it going to cost?”

When similar questions are now asked of the federal treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, he takes up Labor’s former refrain and warns of the cost of inaction. Though that response does not give any quantifiable answer to the question, it is now somehow deemed to be acceptable.

When Mr Shorten envisioned an increase in the use of electric vehicles by 2050, there was a howl of outrage from the likes of Michaelia Cash and Scott Morrison. Our utes were going to be stolen and we were going to be deprived of our weekends. Now electric vehicles are lauded as the way to the future by those self-same detractors. Even Frydenberg drives around in one in his electorate.

As the world moves on to charting a better climate plan, the Coalition hopes its ‘quiet Australians’ will not notice that their government is expediently trying to be seen to be doing what should have been done some time ago.

Frank Carroll

ICAC is right to do its job

There has been much commentary about ICAC New South Wales overplaying its hand leading to the recent downfall of Gladys Berejiklian. The claim is that a ‘dodgy boyfriend’ and a few minor grants were her only indiscretions.

The reality is ICAC is not investigating her for her choice of boyfriend. That is an absurd conclusion to draw.

Under investigation are the $5.5 million grant to the Australian Clay Target Association in Wagga Wagga for its clubhouse and the allocation of $20 million to a Wagga Wagga music conservatorium. These are not small amounts, given it is public money.

The question regarding her conduct stems from Section 11 of ICAC which requires her to report any matter that she suspected was untoward. Many who listened to her phone remarks when she appeared before the ICAC last year would find it difficult to conclude that she was totally oblivious to what the former Member for Wagga was doing.

Berejiklian also bewails that this inquiry could not have come at a worse time. ICAC did not ask her to resign; she took that decision. It just so happens that ICAC by law is not permitted to defer or delay an investigation. To do so would sully its judgments with political overtones and undermine its integrity as an independent body.

Frank Carroll