Abbott's crisis of legitimacy

By Tristan Edis

In the end it seems everyone, no matter their political stripes, is of the view that this government had made its mind up some time ago to cut the target, and cut it very substantially.  This is in spite of the Coalition never making such a promise in the lead up to the Federal Election, and, at least in public, suggesting they strongly supported the scheme.

As reported by Climate Spectator’s John Conroy on Friday, Tony Abbott made some remarks at an Australian Industry Group Luncheon which suggest the Government already intends to cut the Renewable Energy Target.

We see this occurring right now with the political difficulties the government finds itself over the budget.   The Commission of Audit headed up by former Business Council President Tony Shepherd appears to have done nothing to build the general public’s support for the funding cuts in the government’s budget.

A supposedly independent external review that is perceived by the public to be stacked by panel members to deliver a predetermined conclusion is likely to only feed scepticism and mistrust of the government, rather than build public support.

Given the Senate will not simply roll-over to his will, Abbott needs to find a way to build-up a broader coalition of support for his policy initiatives than simply his ideological supporter base.  This will require a willingness to listen to those you don’t generally agree with, it will involve complex trade-offs, it will require nuance, and it will most definitely not be conducive to three word slogans.

You can see this most obviously in the appointments the government made to its four member panel to review the target.

At the luncheon Abbott’s speech was preceded by a Graham Kraehe, Chairman of BlueScope Steel, urging Abbott to cut green tape, specifically mentioning the Renewable Energy Target.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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