April 2013

March 2013

Abbott’s direct action lesson

by Andrew Macintosh and Richard Denniss in The Australian

Tony Abbott’s Direct Action Plan has been ridiculed by many as expensive and unworkable. One of the primary objections has been that the centrepiece of the policy, the Emissions Reduction Fund, is a baseline-and-credit scheme that will require counterfactual baselines to be set for every participating polluter. The baseline for a given polluter will be

Gray must not follow Ferguson’s path

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review

A cabinet reshuffle provides the perfect opportunity for a prime minister to clarify the role of incoming ministers. From his deeds, it’s pretty clear Martin Ferguson interpreted his job as representing the interests of those who profit from extracting our resources rather than the citizens who own those resources. And given their praise on his

Why new CSG law is not the green victory it may seem

by Richard Denniss and Andrew Macintosh in Crikey

Although the new water trigger law, recently introduced by the Government was cheered by the rural independents, Greens and environmental groups, the proposal is illogical, runs counter to existing policy structures and is unlikely to improve environmental outcomes. The government has unilaterally introduced this water trigger in breach of the 1997 Council of Australian Governments

February 2013

PM stokes the wrong fire

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review

The government’s obsession with speeding up the mining boom has delivered an exchange rate and a shortage of skilled labour that is devastating the manufacturing industry. Rather than take its foot off the mining boom accelerator or admit that the miners’ boom means a bust for manufacturers, the government is trying to buy itself some

Geelong’s boom pain

by Matt Grudnoff

The rapid expansion in the mining industry over the past decade has done more harm than good to Geelong’s economy. Mining has created virtually no jobs in Geelong and has induced a high exchange rate that is crippling Geelong’s manufacturing industry with more than 1 in 8 manufacturing jobs lost over the past six years.

January 2013

Timber looks to bailouts, concessions to ward off undertakers

by Andrew Macintosh and Richard Denniss in Crikey

The native forest and forest product industries contribute a miniscule amount to the Australian economy (in the order of 0.15% to 0.20% of GDP). Despite this, it has dominated the minds and energies of many politicians and environmental policy makers for decades. Among other things, it helped spark the emergence of the environmental movement in

December 2012

The CCA’s forestry fumble

by Andrew Macintosh and Richard Denniss in The Australian

The Climate Change Authority’s final report on the renewable energy target, which was released yesterday, contains a number of controversial conclusions and recommendations. A standout amongst these is the recommendation that the federal government explore whether making native forest wood waste eligible to participate in the large-scale RET (LRET) would increase the rate of harvesting

November 2012

Data crunch: How many (con) jobs are there in Tassie forestry?

by Andrew Macintosh and Richard Denniss in Crikey

According to Rene Hidding, Tasmania’s Liberal spokesman for forestry, it is “insulting” to Tasmanians to inform them about the tiny contribution the forestry and logging industries make to that state’s employment. Presumably he thinks it would be better to deceive the people? For all of the analysis about what the collapse of the state’s forest

September 2012

Miners should pay premium

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review

Listening to the mining industry complaining about the high exchange rate is like listening to a three-year-old complaining about the noise of their own tantrum. It simply adds insult to injury. The surge in world demand for our resources and the flood of foreign money into Australia to buy or build mining assets has been

August 2012

Tasmania’s forestry sector akin to work for the dole

by Andrew Macintosh and Richard Denniss in Crikey

Late last week, the details of an interim agreement between the forestry industry and green groups on the future of Tasmania’s native forests was released, showing the distance between the two parties has narrowed considerably. Both sides now support the creation of additional reserves and a permanent native forest timber production area, and want governments

June 2012

Newman is digging in wrong hole

by Matt Grudnoff in The Courier-Mail

In his televised address, Premier Campbell Newman warned Queenslanders that spending cuts were needed to rein in debt. This follows his announcement that the state cannot afford to pay 20,000 public-sector workers. But how can this be when Queensland is the second most resource-rich state in the middle of the biggest mining boom in Australia’s

May 2012

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act -The green tape slugfest that is the EPBC Act

by Richard Denniss and Andrew Macintosh in Crikey

Nothing gets interest groups more riled up than a proposal to reduce some regulation or, as business groups like to call the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act (EPBC act), “green tape”. In the green corner, we have the major environment groups arguing that such reductions signal further retreat by government in the face of

February 2012

Mining industry’s big lie

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

The New York Times recently asked its online readers a simple question: should the newspaper check the claims made by politicians before it reports them? The response was a torrent of bemused hostility. What, the readers wanted to know, did the newspaper think its job was? Much has been written in recent years about the

January 2012

Whalers are an easy target

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

What is it Australian politicians are afraid of? They can’t seem to take a strong stand on important environmental questions. In a rapidly changing world it’s reassuring that a few constants remain in Australian politics. Like the sounds of cicadas in the summer bush, the sounds of Australian politics always take on a distinctly summer

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