This is the most backward government we have ever seen


This is a copy of a speech made to the Federal Senate by NSW Senator Doug Cameron. Emphasis added.

BILLS: Climate Change Authority (Abolition) Bill 2013
Second Reading

Wednesday, 11 December 2013, 11:41

Senator CAMERON (New South Wales)

I indicate my opposition to the government policy in relation to the Climate Change Authority (Abolition) Bill 2013. What you have to understand, when you look at this little part of the coalition’s anti-climate-change policy, is that this is about government secrecy. This is about ensuring that there is no independent authority having a look at the shambles of a policy called direct action—the policy that would require twice the area of Victoria to be planted out with trees to gain some of the climate CO2 reduction that they claim they will achieve. It is about ensuring that that short-term policy, which has been roundly criticised from within the coalition as well as externally both by scientists and by economists, hides the incompetent development of this policy and the incompetence of the policy itself. It is about trying to shut down critiques. It is about saying on the one hand, ‘We are about small government, we are about ensuring that the country gets value for money, we want a smaller bureaucracy’, but on the other hand, because they were in trouble with the climate change policies, having to then establish a bureaucracy to hand out grants to polluters in this country.

The reason for this bill is the ongoing secrecy that just completely envelopes this poor, incompetent government. It is saying: ‘We do not want the public to know how incompetent we are in delivering this policy, how incompetent the policy is itself. Therefore, we will not have any analysis; we will not have any independent critique. We will have public servants out there arguing the government’s position, and we will then describe them as the experts in this area.’

We all know how that works in Canada, where the scientists have been closed down. The scientists have not been allowed by conservative governments in Canada to make any critiques of the Canadian government’s position on climate change policy. They must clear every public statement through the Canadian minister. And who was one of the first governments that the Abbott coalition cosied up to? The Canadian government. You can just imagine the two conservative leaders sitting around a table, exchanging views on how you close down economic and scientific critiques of government policy; and the Canadian government telling the Liberal coalition here that you shut them down by making sure that a public servant cannot speak out on the environment, cannot speak out on science and cannot speak out for the public good.

So that is what the alternative is. There is no alternative to the Climate Change Authority being an independent authority and actually analysing what is going on. The alternative is the Canadian model, and that is the model that the coalition government will try to implement a model that is about secrecy and closing down analysis, closing down scientific critiques and closing down any advice to the public that does not match what this incompetent government wants to put out to the public.

We have had only a short period of this government. I have to say that, if ever a honeymoon period came to a shuddering halt, it was with this coalition government. The public know they cannot trust the coalition: they cannot trust the coalition to look after them when they are in trouble; they cannot trust the coalition to look after the public good when they are facing bushfires in the Blue Mountains; and they cannot trust this government to provide proper support to communities in trouble. That is the short-term approach of the government.

In the longer term, dealing with climate change and carbon pollution, this government cannot be trusted either, because this government is prepared to push the science aside, push the economics aside, come up with some stunt labelled ‘direct action’ and try to perpetrate a con job on the Australian public. The Australian public are onto this government. They have never been onto a government so quick as they have been onto this government. They understand that the government is incompetent. They understand that the government is untrustworthy. They understand that the government has got no policies in a whole range of areas. They now know that it has to set up 50 inquiries to try to develop some semblance of a government program moving forward, because there were no government programs in place other than three-line slogans on issues that are really about short-term political advantage and not the national interest.

You see it writ large by this government day in and day out. Abolishing the Climate Change Authority so they can maintain their secrecy and anti-scientific approach is just one of the ways that they deal with this. Let us look at them on education. How incompetent has any government been in this country? Talk about a double backflip with a pike. The coalition government have invented a new high-diving manoeuvre. I do not think anyone has ever seen contortions like the contortions of the coalition on this issue.

It is no wonder that the Australian public are going: ‘We’ve been conned. We’ve been absolutely conned by this conservative government. They told us they would do all these things and, after they came to power, the issues that are important for the Australian nation are ignored and the issues that are pushed are part of the ideological agenda of the extreme right-wing of the coalition, who don’t believe in climate change, who don’t believe in scientific endeavour, who don’t believe in proper economics and who at one stage were talking about the market being the way forward.’ The market is only the way forward for the coalition when it suits big business, but the market is not the way forward when it comes to trying to deal with climate change.

In fact, what the coalition want to do is put their hand in every person’s pocket in this country—they want to take money out of your pockets—and hand it over to their big business mates, who are busily polluting this country with CO2. That is what direct action is about: them putting their hand in your pocket, handing the money over to big business and pretending that that is what is going to deal with the climate change challenges for this country.

We know that every economist of any standing—other than the pet economists, the tame economists, of the coalition—says that you need to put a price on carbon to deal with CO2 pollution not only here but around the world. That is why there are states in the United States that are picking up carbon pollution programs that deal with it through a market based system. They are putting a price on carbon. There is a price on carbon going in China. There is a price on carbon in the UK. There is a price on carbon in Europe. Why do they do that? They do that because they understand that, if you want to leave your economy dragging behind the rest of the world, you will not deal with carbon pollution, you will not have your industries adjust to a low-carbon economy and you will not create the new jobs that are demanded by a low-carbon economy. That is the problem we have with this coalition. They are not looking forward. It is about short-term political advantage pitted against the long-term economic reality of what is needed for a strong economy for the future. They deny the economics and the environmental science.

So we have a situation here where the government are untrustworthy and incompetent. They would rather see this economy stay in the past. They would rather see this economy not move forward while other economies are developing the technology and the jobs of the future, based on a low-carbon-footprint economy. And what are we going to have? We are going to have this nonsense called Direct Action that even the coalition members with any honesty recognise will never deliver for this country. The coalition are prepared to sacrifice future generations for their short-term political gain. They are prepared to sacrifice future generations to make sure that their electoral funds keep coming in from the mining companies and the power companies around this country—because that is what is driving it: their short-term political gain, the money that is pouring into them from the big business end of town, who do not want to have to address climate change. It is all about them. It is nothing about this nation. It is nothing about the economy.

You can see that clearly when you look at the position that the government have adopted on a range of major challenges, not just climate change and not just making sure that we are an economy for the future. In the car industry, it is their ideological bent that is driving their position. They do not like unionised, high-paid workers. So what do they do? They actually dare Holden, GMH, to leave the country. Day in, day out, they are goading one of the biggest employers in the country to pack up and go home. I do not know how that is in the national interest. I do not know how that can be seen to be a competent approach. It is simply being driven by the ideology of the coalition. They do not like unions. They do not believe in climate change. They do not want working people to get a fair go. They really would like to go back to Work Choices in industrial relations. We know that. They have reintroduced the ABCC, with draconian powers against workers. This is a government that is driven by ideological hatred. It is not driven by what is good for the country; it is driven by ideology.

When people have recognised that, they have turned off very quickly, because you cannot trust the coalition. They are secretive, they do not want any accountability and they are prepared to do whatever they can to make sure that short-term politics drives their agenda. You see it every day in here. It is about short-termism. It has got nothing to do with the future of this country. You see weak, sycophantic coalition members not prepared to stand up for their communities if there is a bushfire, not prepared to stand up for their communities when jobs are going to be destroyed. They are the weakest, most sycophantic backbench I have ever seen in this place. They will not stand up for their communities, they will not stand up for jobs, they will not stand up for the environment and they will not stand up for future generations. They are really a weird mob. They have got no values and no principles and they are prepared to drag this economy down if it means that they can go on some talkback show and get a pat on the back from Alan Jones or Andrew Bolt. That is what they are all about. They are going for a view that we should simply be a backward economy, with a backward government. This is the most backward government we have ever seen.

Governments fight hard to make changes. We say we want a fair go for the public school system in this country. What do the government do? Apart from setting about to destroy our environmental agenda, an agenda that is important for the long-term, they say that, if you are a child of a rich person in this country then you will get looked after, you can go to a rich school and they will keep pouring money in there, but, if you go to a school in Penrith or you go to a school in the Blue Mountains or you go to a public school in Windsor, where I live—

… I can understand why the Tasmanians are getting a bit agitated about this, because the Tasmanians are the ones that have got probably the weakest backbench in here. They will not stand up for Tasmania, will not stand up to get a fair go from the federal government. They capitulate—from the leader in here to Senator Bushby. They are vacillating, weak backbenchers, with absolutely no interest in what is here for the future. So what they are prepared to do, if, for example, it is a bushfire in the Blue Mountains, is to say, effectively, ‘Never mind getting the same rights for the community in the Blue Mountains; we will give you government spin. We will put the government before the community.’ It does not matter if it is jobs in the car industry: ‘We will put the government before car industry workers.’

The actions are clear from the coalition. They do not care about their local communities. They do not care about the education system. They do not care about the climate. They do not care about anything else other than themselves. As long as the money is pouring in from Gina Rinehart and Twiggy Forrest to make sure that their election coffers are kept well and truly balanced, then they do not care about anyone else. It does not matter if you have leaky roofs in the schools in Penrith. It does not matter if you do not have decent conditions in schools in Penrith; as long as the money goes to the private school system, they are happy. So we know what they are all about: they are all about looking after the big end of town, not anyone else.

That is why they want to get rid of the Climate Change Authority. That would be a check and balance on this terrible government the community has already said is no good, on a government that is one of the poorest ever to start off in this country. The public are onto them and onto them early. All these policies they said they would deliver are not going to be delivered unless it means crashing jobs for unionised workers in the car industry, unless it means destroying the environment for their short-term political gain. That is what they are about. They are the most hopeless government that has ever come in here. They have had the shortest honeymoon period of any government in the history of this country. They want to destroy the environment for the sake of their mates in big business. They have no capacity to stand up for the local communities. They have no capacity to stand up to big business. They will continue to run a position here that is economically illiterate and environmental vandalism. So I take the view that, the sooner we get to the next election and the sooner you lot are gone, the better, because that is in the interests of this country.

Source: Hansard


Categories: Politics

Tags: , , , ,

43 replies

  1. I had no idea Doug was as good with words – far from prolix, just down-to-earth. I can’t see any with which I don’t agree; and I feel fairly confident that everyone who reads the AIMN will agree. THE SOONER THIS LOT IS GONE, THE BETTER FOR OUR COUNTRY.

  2. Excellent. This government know that the collapse of the car industry will create a massive pool of unemployed workers who are prepared to take on work at any price in sheer desperation. Now just watch them blame the ALP in public.

  3. Good old Doug, always on the ball. Good bloke. Better than all the t-party senators put together.

  4. Reblogged this on staffordhall and commented:

    Indeed this is the worst Govt in history. These words spoken a few hours before Holden defecated on the opposition.

  5. Let us address the elephant in the room. We have a government that has been taken over by Catholics of the old school, and the criticism must take this on board. We have to demolish the Santamaria-Mannix legacy. All the actions of our new Canberra rulers flow on from this.

  6. <

    Doug Cameron is one of those "Lefties" from the Labor party that the Labor "right" warns us about.

    Come to think of it …. ALL … of the "Right" warns us about those "Lefties:.

    Probably why "Slick" Abbott said "NO" to Holden.

  7. <

    Know (NO) your enemy :

    Although , as usual, much is hidden (secretive ?).

  8. PeterF is spot on…this is the opening salvo (for this term of government) in a protracted war on unionised pay and conditions and organised labour.

  9. Bring on the double dissolution !!!

  10. Why is Holden leaving? Don’t they know that Australia is “open for business”?

  11. We will decide who does business in Australia, and the circumstances under which they avoid tax and siphon profits overseas while taxpayers massively subsidies their workforce and operating costs

  12. abbott a co are not a good image for the catholics in our society……catholics are bought up to consider their fellow men…..the only religion they know is greed and how to make the rich in this country richer…..

  13. Reblogged this on In my own opinion and commented:
    I said it before the election. I said it during the election, and I’m still saying it now. The australian public wish they could take back there vote and give it to those that had policies, had vision, and worked hard to achieving their goals.

  14. <

    The Opposition party led by "Slick" Abbott says … "NO !" … to Holden.


    Whoops sorry.


    The government led by "Slick" Abbott says …. "NO !" …. to Holden.


    Wouldn't want anyone to be confused by "Slick" Abbott's actions.

    Over the last 4 years.

  15. Now THAT’S the sort of speech we need. Forget the scripted one-liners. Hit them with the truth and hit them hard and don’t let up. Well done Doug and thanks TL for posting it.

  16. some people only get their politics through News Limited headlines, some though question time, but there is so much out there, that is easy to get lost…. gotta love Hansard

  17. Bravo Senator Cameron … With people of your calibre speaking out against the totalitarian power of the Coalition Government, the Australian people as a whole will have seen the folly of electing an incompetent Coalition Party as our current government … The latest disaster being the eventual demise of GM-H has opened my eyes further on how the ABBOTT government is breaking the lifeblood of this great country; I.e., bringing the mainstream workers to their knees and working for slave wages similar to some 3rd world countries on this planet … How can a government allow the mining sector to receive billions of funding for their development whilst they leave a ‘just as important’ manufacturing industry to fade away into the void is beyond me … Why is the government so impatient to allow mining corporations mine coal and it’s by-products when the current worldwide demand has dropped to it’s lowest levels in decades … It seems that ABBOTT & Co only care about a handful of greedy mining billionaires and have forgotten the rest of Australians …. I will be eagerly await for and welcome the return of a visionary LABOR Government to be returned at the next Federal Elections …. Senator Cameron, I applaud your actions in voicing that as Australians we have been duped by a one way government; I.e., An ABBOTT GOVERNMENT that is clearly going in a one way direction to ruining our way of life that we once worked for and enjoyed …

  18. Doug has put it so well.
    I find it very sad that this fraudulently elected LNP government is placing pursuit of ideology ahead of Australia’s national interest.
    Ideology has much in common with religion, in being a belief system that is followed in hope, devoid of certainty. The most fervid ‘believers’ are those with either the most to gain or the least knowledge of the longer term economic implications.
    Others are ‘believers’ because its ‘obvious’ feasibility justifies and gives credence to their political actions – this belief is reinforced by more generous media support and sponsorship the more successfully they argue the corporate line.

    We have observed this trend in US politics over the last 30 to 40 years as the wealth and power of corporations has risen. ‘Corporations’ now view ‘government processes’ as just another facet of their operation, funded and managed to ‘manage’ regulatory barriers that threaten ongoing profits.
    As the most powerful corporations are no longer ‘nationally’ based entities (for many reasons – not the least of which is minimising tax costs), ‘national interest’ goes out of government as corporate sponsored politician ascend to power.
    Corporations and the LNP promote their ideology of lower tax for business, small govt., free market, de-regulation/minimal regulation as being the recipe that delivers prosperity for all, when in fact it (generously) benefits top income earners and multinationals in the longer term – all the time eroding the living and working standards of common citizens.

    The US has implemented ‘free market’ ‘trickle down’ economic policies since the 1980’s. Reagan and Bush selling its benefits using a very similar spiel that Abbott/LNP is using now.
    The results have been disastrous for most US citizens, and what’s even worse, are irreversible.
    Over 50% of US citizens now live at or below poverty level. Casual employment is the norm, minimum hourly rates in the US are $7.25 per hour – and few get sufficient regular hours to get by on with one job, many have 2 and 3 ‘jobs’ but still earn poverty level income.

    Free market Ideology = increased corporate profit.
    “Though the statistics may be startling, the story they tell is, unfortunately, not surprising. It is the story of America’s new normal. In the new normal the share of the nation’s income channeled to corporate profits is higher than at any time since the 1920s, while workers’ share languishes at its lowest since 1965.
    In the new normal, the real wages of workers on the factory floor are lower than they were in the early ’70s. And the richest 10 percent of Americans get over half of the income America produces.”

    How long will it take Australians to wake up – they have been sold a ‘trickle down’ economic ‘pup’ by Abbott and his corporate sponsors. If we venture much further down this economic path there will be no return.

  19. My hat off to Doug Cameron and his fantastic speech. And thank you TurnLeft for sharing it with us. None of us know a solution yet to stop the rot that is setting in with this shambles of a government, do we? Does it take a revolution to get rid of this bunch of no hopers? No they are worse than no hopers. They hope for power and loads of money for themselves on the back of us plebs. I for one – as i am sure all of us here – don’t want to go down the USA way. Is it too late already?

  20. Doug – my only issue with your speech was claiming that Australians were conned (OK enough Australians were conned), for the rest of us watching the machinations of the LNP is like watching a train wreck – in slo-mo.

    So what are you and your Labor mates going to do about this mess – apart from ‘opposing’ that is?

  21. The coabolition?

  22. It appears that not only do we NOT need a Climate Change Authority, a manufacturing base, an equitable education system, a neutral Speaker of the house, a right to know what’s happening in our ‘sovreign waters’, a workable communications network, we apparently don’t really need a healthy Great Barrier Reef. Considering this govt’s head in the sand attitude to ANY environmental issues, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I had tears in my eyes, literally, when I heard they had approved The (aptly named) Abbott Point coal terminal dredging. There is NOTHING sacred to these corporate puppets. I’m off to the pub

  23. I think we should start by getting rid of the “old witch”, we all know who that is! Then if we are able to debate what it is that the “conservative coalition’ is on about the Australian Public will be able to see what a bunch of conned fraudsters they have voted for and demand an election, complete with policies and costings. Not the b/s that we have been subjected too! Open Australia for business, put the real adults back in charge and get rid of the idiots. I find it hard to write anything civil about Abbott and his pawns, probably because they are not entitled to anything civil. I must admit they all make me so angry, I can only guess how they make the rest of Australia feel>

  24. Doug Cameron has always worked hard for the people of Australia, particularly the workers in all spheres, & he speaks from the heart when he feels what is good for this country is under threat. Thank you TurnLeft for posting his speech.

    What I cannot understand why there are those who truly believe Abbott et al are doing a wonderful job in running this country & “cleaning up Labor’s messes”. They will be harmed as much as anyone else when recession hits caused by the amateurishness & foolhardiness of this government. When asked about why they think this government is so good, they cannot justify their barracking at all & will not provide a sensible answer just spout obscene expletives as well as calling you the usual ho-hum banal names.

  25. @ joy cooper

    I’ve used this quote before joy, but it seems appropriate and perhaps will go some way to answering your qstn:

    “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” ― Malcolm X

    Check ANY Murdoch fabrication….er ..sorry…publication, and see how many articles you can find that qstn the current govt’s non-policies, let alone dissparrage or criticise. (reBolting even managed to blame Julia Gillard for GMH today)

  26. Thanks Wayne T. My Murdoch Block protects me from News Corpse crap & I have never bought one of their rags nor subscribed to Foxtel. I am a Murdoch-free zone.

    The ones I was referring to are the trolls which infest (or used to) blogs such as this, Twitter & Facebook. Thankfully they seem to have reduced in numbers a little, lately.

  27. Love Doug Cameron!

  28. And to think, only four or so months ago they were trying, and succeeding in convincing the masses that the Gillard Government was the worst in history.
    Well…..aint that all been turned on it’s head.
    The rest of the world thinks we’re a bunch of twats thanks to Medusa Bishop.
    “The Brick” with eyes, Greg Hunt has pissed off the Warsaw climate talks.
    Joe Hockey can’t seem to make any announcements without sweating bullets just like any liar under examination.
    Parents with children in school think Christopher The Duchess of Sturt Pyne is a tool
    Tony Abbott is regarded by most other world leaders as a troglodyte and a throw back
    The supposedly independent Speaker, Ma Kettle attends party meetings.
    Warren Truss, acting PM issued an ultimatum to Holden and they’re gone now.
    The Belgian prick, Herr Cormann is telling everyone to calm down about Mistress Credlin having an iron grip on the troglodyte’s testicals….
    I’m a Christian Morrison has no balls and hides behing a starred general like some kid hiding behind his big brother to avoid being beaten to a pulp by others….
    Makes your eyes water, no?

  29. Doug has been a stand out politician; he speaks with conviction and oozes empathy.
    He has been advocating strongly for the Blue Mountain bush fire victims, their Coalition members have apparently been doing nothing.
    We can be very pleased that that Abbott gang “geniuses” were not governing during the Financial Crisis. The word “genius” can be replaced with an expletive if you wish.

  30. This pretend government is ruling for Oil and Gas,Tobacco, Mining and Murdoch through the IPA.
    They have no interest in this country’s people except to deliver to the aforementioned, the country’s riches.
    Like Kennett, they are closing down the highly unionised business’ to dilute backlash and consequent opposition. Qantas is next, then the ABC, CSIRO and SBS.
    You want a vision for Oz ?… ask Gina or Rupert or Woodside… perhaps that ex F.M. in hiding, Alexander “Things-That-Batter” Downer, instead of Woodside.

  31. The best Ten Pound Pom that ever graced our shores,I was hoping He would have thrown his hat in the ring
    at the selections for Labor leader.He is a brilliant,fair and compassionate but strong,You can see how much
    he is trying to do for the the people still suffering in the Syd.area bush fires.The side of the Left we need.

  32. I was hoping He would have thrown his hat in the ring at the selections for Labor leader

    Doug’s a senator Doc’. He would need to “do a Bananaby” and move to the HoR to become opposition leader 😉

  33. Yep you a right mate,got a bit carried away there,thanks for that.But what a Bananaby move it would be,He is PM material.

  34. there is a saying, the labor party has centre Left, Left, far Left and Doug Cameron Left, many in the ALP dont like his politics…. even Albo was too far Left for most of the caucus

  35. ” Why is the government so impatient to allow mining corporations mine coal and it’s by-products when the current worldwide demand has dropped to it’s lowest levels in decades”

    Maybe it depends on who has what shares where.

  36. “many in the ALP dont like his politics…. even Albo was too far Left for most of the caucus”

    Strange that, two of the plainest speaking politicians, that can effectively speak to and reach a huge chunk of ordinary folk aren’t given a run.

  37. And in yet another stellar jump to the rear, Tony Abbott announces a Royal Commission into the Pink Batts affair. (Is that investigation number 10?) I was just wondering how much a Royal Commission costs, because on the same day, the Salvation Army announced that the government is not renewing their $74 million contract to provide services on Manus Island.

    “The Salvos say their contract to provide “emotional support, humanitarian assistance and general education and recreation programs” to asylum seekers in detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island will not be renewed beyond February.”

  38. Luckily Scott Morrison has been able to find an extra $1.2 billion for offshore processing expansion.

  39. Who knows if this government is going forward or backwards? They don’t know themselves, that requires thought. It all depends on where it wants to go and which direction to get there. This government is rudderless so it can only go one way, down, down, down..

  40. Classic Doug Cameron. Greatly appreciated and much admired. He sure does make Chris Bowen look like a snivelling little pissant neoliberal.

    Anyway, my one quibble with Doug’s thoroughly good berating of the LNP government is his use of the word ‘conservative’. Abbott & co, including Bolt & Jones, and the Murdoch ‘media’, are not ‘conservative’. They are something dangerous and nasty, well-organised and brutish, cruel and calculating. They are not looking to conserve anything but rather destroy in a completely nihilistic totality. They seek authoritarianism so as to ruin beauty and joy and love and tenderness. They will crush anything that gets in their way.

    They are utterly regressive. And they don’t even want to go back to the Menzies era, but way back. Way back to the mid 19th century. Crude industrialism and slavery. Workhouses for the impoverished. Asylums for the destitute. Contempt for the poor and downtrodden.

    They want to obliterate any decent humanitarian gain that has been made in the last 160 years.

  41. We are not to the left at all the way it is,deluded is anyone who thinks we are.
    Somewhere between Doug and Albo would be acceptable,closer to Doug’s politics the better.


  1. This is the most backward government we have ever seen | OzHouse
  2. The parliament is in chaos « The Australian Independent Media Network

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