UN World Leaders Meet in New York to Discuss Climate Change
Except for ours (and India and China though China did send their
Deputy Premier). Prime Minister Tony Abbott will not attend the meeting,
even though he is due in New York a day later to address the UN and
hold a series of meetings with world leaders in an effort to combat
Apparently Greg Hunt didn’t want to go either (or wasn’t asked), so
we will be represented by Julie Bishop. I can only assume that they hope
they won’t yell at a woman.
They are pleading for money for the Green Climate Fund to help
developing nations, as well as an action plan for 2050. In its infinite
wisdom, our government is refusing to give any money or to look further
than 2020. A six year climate change action plan is not something I
would like to try to defend either. No wonder the chicken shit passed
up this photo opportunity.
People from Kiribati have been pleading with the world to listen.
They estimate that, without drastic intervention, the vast majority of
their nation will be uninhabitable in 30 to 60 years.
At the Warsaw climate change conference (the one we didn’t go to), the lead negotiator from the Philippines said
“To anyone who continues to deny the reality that is climate change, I
dare you to get off your ivory tower and away from the comfort of your
armchair. I dare you to go to the islands of the Pacific, the islands of
the Caribbean and the islands of the Indian ocean and see the impacts
of rising sea levels; to the mountainous regions of the Himalayas and
the Andes to see communities confronting glacial floods, to the Arctic
where communities grapple with the fast dwindling polar ice caps, to the
large deltas of the Mekong, the Ganges, the Amazon, and the Nile where
lives and livelihoods are drowned, to the hills of Central America that
confronts similar monstrous hurricanes, to the vast savannas of Africa
where climate change has likewise become a matter of life and death as
food and water becomes scarce. Not to forget the massive hurricanes in
the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern seaboard of North America. And if
that is not enough, you may want to pay a visit to the Philippines right
“Terror” Raids in Sydney and Brisbane.
Apparently two young men have been arrested – one has been charged
with possession ammunition without license and unauthorised possession
of a prohibited weapon. Another has appeared before the courts charged
with conspiracy to commit acts in preparation of a terrorist act and
Two women were issued future Court Attendance Notices. The rest have presumably been released without charge.
The only evidence presented so far is that the arrested man received a
phone call from a bad man urging him “to commit an act that would
“shock and horrify” the Australian public”. Well Joe Hockey certainly
achieved that with his budget. Will Treasury be stormed by 800
I wonder how much more profitable it would have been to quietly
collect these young people and ask them, individually, why they are
feeling disenchanted with Australian society, or if this is purely an
overseas adventure? Perhaps listening to them would bear more fruit,
particularly if it was done by members of the Muslim community who could
speak to them about the peaceful message of Islam and how to live in a
predominantly non-Muslim community.
We need to understand why some young Australians want to join this
fight and what they hope to achieve. We need to talk to them about their
rights in a pluralist society and the need to protect those rights for
all citizens. I don’t think they hate Australia – I think they are
caught up in the same sort of thing that attracts young people to gangs
and charismatic religions.
Tony Abbott thinks it is ok to smack your kids. To get more
Aboriginal children to school, he employs more police and truant
officers. He uses the Navy to block asylum seekers from seeking refuge
here. They are changing laws about presumption of innocence and the
requirement of proof. They can detain people incommunicado without
charge and are absolving officials from culpability. Before a plan is
even made, he has sent troops and jets to the United Arab Emirates.
Aggression by the government is inversely proportional to the erosion of
Scrapping the mining tax
In the common man’s fight to uphold Tony Abbott’s refusal to share in
the superprofits of mining companies, not only did we give up $3.4
billion in revenue (according to MYEFO), this is what they cost us:
– The Small business entity (SBE) instant asset write-off threshold
has been reduced from $6500 to $1000 for assets purchased after 31st
– Accelerated depreciation for motor vehicles repealed. This means no
up-front write-off of $5000 or accelerated depreciation rate for assets
purchased after 31st December 2013.
– Superannuation Guarantee (SG) charge percentage will be halted at
9.5% until 2021 at which point it will go up 0.5 per annum until it
reaches 12% in 2025. This will negatively impact many retirement plans.
– The low-income superannuation contribution will end after 30 June
2017. It is a superannuation contribution (max. $500) made by the
government which is designed to refund the 15% contributions tax on
concessional superannuation contributions for those earning less than
– Company loss carry back measure was abolished from 1 July 2013.
This was designed to allow companies to choose to carry back their
current year tax losses to one of the two previous income years in which
they had taxable income and a liability to tax and to claim a
refundable tax offset.
– Schoolkids bonus has been affected as it will be means tested so
that only families earning up to $100,000 will qualify. It will then end
after 31 December 2016.
– The income support bonus will be scrapped from 31 December 2016.
This is a tax free, indexed, non-means-tested payment which is received
bi-annually by eligible social security recipients.
For those who think that mining saved us from the global financial crisis
“In the first six months of 2009, in the immediate aftermath of the
shock waves occasioned by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the
Australian mining industry shed 15.2 per cent of its employees. Had
every industry in Australia behaved in the same way, our unemployment
rate would have increased from 4.6 per cent to 19 per cent in six
months. Mining investment collapsed; mining output collapsed. So the
Australian mining industry had quite a deep recession while the
Australian economy did not have a recession. Suggestions that the
Australian mining industry saved the Australian economy from recession
are curious, to say the least.”
Scrapping the carbon price
Many people, Jacqui Lambie among them, seemed to feel that we all
paid the carbon tax. In fact, it was only paid by 348 companies. That
they were able to then pass on the imposte to their customers seems to
me to defeat the purpose of the legislation. Had we regulated against
this I think we would have seen a far more rapid movement towards clean
As it was, the electricity generator industry paid the most.
Macquarie Generation, which operates two power generators in NSW and
is in the process of being sold by the NSW government, had the highest
tax bill at $468.6 million.
Liquid natural gas company Woodside Petroleum had the highest liability outside the electricity sector, at $171.9 million.
Alcoa Australia, which is reportedly close to shutting down its Point Henry aluminium smelter, paid $137.2 million.
BHP Billiton paid $77.5 million through its various arms, and Rio Tinto paid $36.3 million.
Coal mining, oil and gas extraction and metals manufacturing also had big tax bills.
The total decline in electricity sector emissions over the two
financial years since carbon pricing is almost 11%, at an annual rate of
5.36%. That compares to the average of 2.5% annual decline in the three
years immediately preceding the implementation of carbon pricing
It was projected to raise $7.2 billion in 2013-14. Scrapping this
revenue whilst committing $1.55 billion to Direct Action will leave a
sizable hole in the budget.
This has seen the freezing and renaming of the Clean Energy
Supplement (dropping the word “clean”), paid automatically to
pensioners, families who receive family assistance, and others on
government income support. How long it lasts will be questionable. Also
at risk is the increase in the tax-free threshold from $18,200 now to
$19,400 from July 1 next year.
And what will happen to polluters who increase their emissions?
Nothing. The government has also pledged not to raise any revenue from
penalties imposed by the scheme.
Australia is a very confusing place right now.