Friday, 4th April 2014

IT HINGES ON THIS MAN

Clive Palmer is pulling out all stops to win a key WA senate seat.

He’s spent big, made undeliverable promises to gain the state more GST revenue, and is now making headlines about his priority to kill the carbon tax.

“The carbon tax is definitely going,” he told Lateline. “It's a fait accompli.”

Palmer last night also came out as a climate change denialist, rejecting the scientific consensus enunciated most recently in this week's IPCC report.

Whether this helps win votes in WA is unknown. Regardless, his position is troubling – and not just because it perfectly suits his financial interests.

The senate balance of power will, after July 1, hinge on Palmer bloc votes. Palmer's mining operations will save millions of dollars from the repeal of the carbon tax. This is undeniable. The public can debate the propriety and morality of this situation, but it’s unlikely to alter the end result.

Just as important, however, is that Palmer will be the key player in any new legislation to address climate change – should it eventuate. And given the Coalition’s proposed Direct Action plan involves a scheme to pay major polluters to reduce emissions, Palmer will be in the box seat, again.

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

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About-turn as PNG will resettle refugees and AFP offers help

"Papua New Guinea will now resettle all asylum seekers who are found to be refugees and the Australian Federal Police will assist the investigation into the death of asylum seeker Reza Barati if requested, it was announced on Thursday… Now all asylum seekers who are found to be refugees will be resettled in PNG, with the first group of refugees moving into temporary accommodation as early as June, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said."

Also: Scott Morrison in Cambodia in hope of striking a deal on asylum seekers

Senator Arthur Sinodinos fronts ICAC inquiry, denies using position to further AWH interests

"After weeks of damaging speculation, Senator Sinodinos finally appeared at the inquiry in Sydney on Thursday. While acknowledging that he had been engaged by AWH as a "door opener", and for his political connections and skill, Senator Sinodinos denied that it was inappropriate to use those contacts as an entree to the halls of power to push a lucrative public-private partnership deal. Counsel assisting Geoffrey Watson posed the question: "There was pressure being brought to bear on senior Liberal Party politicians; do you agree?" Senator Sinodinos answered: "Well representations were being made, yes.""

Clive Palmer and Ross Garnaut debate carbon tax ahead of WA Senate election re-run

"Federal MP Clive Palmer and economist Ross Garnaut have gone head to head in a debate over the carbon tax, with the mining magnate saying it will "definitely" go when the new Senate takes over in July… Mr Palmer also rejected the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (IPCC), which singled out the threat of climate change to the Great Barrier Reef and Australia's alpine region."

Labor's WA Senate candidate Joe Bullock says his party can't be trusted

"Labor’s lead candidate in Saturday’s West Australian senate rerun says “working people” are right not to trust the Labor party to look after their interests and he thinks Tony Abbott has good “core beliefs” and could “potentially be a very good prime minister”."

Also: Sorry WA, the Senate revote won't change much (Barrie Cassidy, The Drum)

Why the union movement should divorce the ALP

"The public remains far more collective, nationalist, protectionist, and statist than the head members of both major parties — who share a mutual sympathy at the stupidity of their own supporters in rejecting neoliberalism. Their support for market solutions is different from the application of it by Hawke/Keating — even though Keating remains a fetish object for them. They regard the neoliberal market not merely as an efficient form, but as a moralising and disciplinary force, to shape a public that would otherwise become lazy and undynamic."