In conventional Wayne Swan fashion, he was triumphant as he unveiled Treasury’s stern rebuttal of Frontier Economics research report into an alternative emissions trading scheme.


Given the Rudd Government’s deeply flawed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, the Coalition had commissioned the report in order to inform discussions about a better carbon trading scheme. But yesterday Mr Swan informed reporters that a $3.2 billion hole had been found in Frontier’s alternative by the Treasury Department.

So where is the modelling? Mr Swan has refused to release it and until he does, Treasury’s alleged rebuttal amounts to zip.

Earlier this year in his Budget in Reply speech, Malcolm Turnbull proposed an increased tax on tobacco to offset the Coalition’s opposition to Labor’s budget hike on private health insurance. Within days, Mr Swan had Treasury costing the Coalition’s policy. According to Mr Swan, Treasury found a budget hole in the policy and again, Mr Swan refused to release the modelling.

This practice of hiding under Treasury’s skirt has become a habit for the Rudd Government and Glenn Milne touches on the topic in today’s Australian.

I have not sought to publicly criticise the department or Treasury Secretary Ken Henry. Having held the portfolio of Assistant Treasurer, I am well aware of Treasury’s usual integrity. But I do take issue with the Rudd Government’s increasingly often retreat behind the Treasury shield, using it to wedge the Coalition, while never troubling us with the detail.

Experience suggests that Treasury’s advice is more nuanced than the strident claims and politicisation of the public service that the Rudd Government ruthlessly exploits.

It happened again on Friday after Dr Henry’s appearance at the Senate Economics Committee in Canberra. Dr Henry testified that if the stimulus was to be withdrawn now, up to 100,000 Australian jobs would be lost, although he readily conceded the difficulties in precision of such calculations.  After all, these are the same Treasury officials who as recently as the May Budget forecast unemployment to be 8.5 percent by July next year.

Happily, this forecast is wildly out and the Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens is confident enough about the economic future to think that employment will more likely peak at “six point something”.

None of these uncertainties got in the way of the Deputy Prime Minister’s live cross from the United States unquestioningly parroting Treasury’s view without so much as a nod to out of date forecasts and other credible views that differ to those of Treasury.

If Treasury has a considered body of work to back up Wayne Swan’s bald claims, surely it would be in not only the Government’s interests, but that of the broader public to have us all take a look.

But back to the ETS.

The tell-but-no-show game that Labor is playing has come to a sorry pass when, despite repeated requests from the Coalition, the Morgan Stanley report into the impact of the CPRS on the electricity industry has remained under lock and key. And no wonder. Rumour has it that it details a horror scenario for the economic future of coal-fired generators, jobs in the industry and the increased cost of electricity for Australians.

Withholding evidence of that kind may come back to haunt the Rudd Labor Government. In the long run, short term political gain will come at an enormous cost when it finally dawns on the broader public that the Government’s desire to whack the Coalition has come at the cost of the long term interests of our nation.

Most commented


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    • teddy says:

      03:24pm | 12/10/09

      Go Helen Coonan!! Great article!

    • paul says:

      03:25pm | 12/10/09

      You know Helen, im not your greatest fan from your stint in the DCITA, however I agree with you on this one, and im a labor voter too, lol.

      How can you make an argument, claiming its factual, when every single time someone says “Show me the figures” the government refuses to provide them.

      like the cost benefit analysis for the NBN, that kinda stuff =P

      I know this wont please some members of parliment, but generally its considered better to actually have data to back you up when you speak, rather than just claiming you have.

      And data means nothing if only you can see it.  I could take a lot of data, make a lot of pretty graphs, and write the story the way I wanted it to look, provided noone can counter analyse it, regardless of how crap that data may be.

      Just my 2 cents

    • SM says:

      03:58pm | 12/10/09

      Now Helen, I know yourself and your colleagues were all briefed or sent an email from on high suggesting you all use the word “flawed” when describing Labours scheme. 

      And I know your superiors probably think that by repeating it over and over, the party remains “on message” and you achieve frequency and consistency etc etc etc.

      Can I suggest though, that just as people got completely sick of hearing your opponents utter the phrase “working families”,  they’ll get sick of “flawed” pretty quickly too, mainly because it’s just so obvious that you’ve been told to say it, and also because in a way, it makes us feel as you think we’re stupid.

      We’re not stupid Helen.

      If you want your argument to actually resonate, try grabbing a thesaurus and coming up with some other words that you can use instead of “flawed”.

      Perhaps try “defective”, “inadequate”, or maybe even “unsound”

    • glengyron says:

      03:58pm | 12/10/09

      Model versus model? Which fairytale tastes more like real facts…

      How about discussing amendments?

    • Derik says:

      04:00pm | 12/10/09

      Thats it! Great article, why on earth has it taken this long to here something from you guys that makes sense. The Rudd Government just seem tooooo squeaky clean all the time. All spin and no substance and the media let them get away with it. They need to be held account on behalf of tax paying Aussies and in this article that is exactly what you have done in an uncomplicated manner. It’s a shame though it probably won’t get out in the headlines tomorrow. Good On Ya Helen!

    • Trevor says:

      04:02pm | 12/10/09

      The public have fallen into the trap of just believing anything they are told by the Rudd Government.

    • Joe says:

      04:13pm | 12/10/09

      Seems Rudd and Swann know their model is so bad they won’t allow any real scrutiny as it will then fall apart. They just want headlines and 24/7 spin.

      Ultimately I think all ETS plans are trying to attempt to fix something that may not be happening anyway at a huge cost to our economy and jobs, and Australia’s impact is wiped out by China every 8 months anyway. Lets get real here.

    • Dave says:

      04:15pm | 12/10/09

      Time for the media to demand some substance to back up the spin.  The government has had a free ride for far too long on issues that will affect us for generations to come.  Writing about Liberal leadership speculation is easy, the stories write themselves just as they did during Labor’s time in opposition.  Its lazy journalism.  How about actually focusing on the issues that will actually effect Australia?

    • Rachelle says:

      04:16pm | 12/10/09

      Helen Coonan can you please convince a reporter to throw some of this sort of stuff at Rudd Gillard and Swan in their next interviews.

    • elliott bledsoe says:

      04:17pm | 12/10/09

      although i can see helen coonan’s point on this; i can’t stand when people cite research/data as evidence for a broad claim then refuse to provide any detail of the primary source so you can verify it yourself. i guess the issue becomes, ‘what is the test for when this information should be made public?’ if it’s in the public interest it should ALWAYS be released, not just when it is favourable to make a case.

    • Jacko says:

      04:20pm | 12/10/09

      Oh the Rudd Lovers will have something to say about this little piece Helen. LOL

    • Brian B says:

      04:58pm | 12/10/09

      Plain and simple - the ETS will not make one scrap of difference to the climate and will simply place an expensive burden on the taxpayer through increased service charges and an inflated public service.

    • mags says:

      05:01pm | 12/10/09

      yoy libs should keep hammering this message its so true, I have been waiting for someone to say this, I can’t believe the amount of spin the government gets away with well done helen fo calling them out like this keep it up

    • Jonnywalker says:

      05:06pm | 12/10/09

      Your comment: You nailed it Helen. The media accept at face value and print headlines and run TV news stories which accept, without verification or questioning, what members of the Government say in ther media releases or press conferences. By the time the analysis comes through, the Government has already moved onto the next story and the same thing happens again. The journos should be pressing for the detail, not just regurgitating Government media releases. If the Government are being dodgy or evasive, the headline should be “Government fails to back up claims of…” not just a reprint of the media release.

    • mags says:

      05:14pm | 12/10/09

      it’s about time the libs came out and said something like this the amount of spin and rubbish the rudd govt gets away with is almost criminal thanks for this helen, there are a lot of australians none too pleased with kevin and wayne and waiting for you guys to step up, this is a positive step for you guys cheers

    • haydos says:

      05:16pm | 12/10/09

      glengyron - how about the government tells us the regulations?? they keep saying they want to see some amendments from the opposition - I want to see the regulations for this stupid ets from teh GOVERNMENT.
      you remember, the people actually governing??

    • mumbles says:

      05:18pm | 12/10/09

      “Hey Wayne, show me the money problem with our ETS”

      “our ETS”, eh.

      Sadly for Ms Coonan, her Leader Mr Turnbull has already said this very day that the Frontier proposal, whatever it may be, is not part of Liberal policy! Oh dear.

      Indeed, after 14 long years of fumbling and endless delay, the Liberal Party in fact still has NO policy at all, Ms Coonan, does it?

    • Alice says:

      05:27pm | 12/10/09

      There is incredible political bias in the Australian media which is why the Rudd Government is able to hide behind closed doors and not face a great deal of questioning by the Australian public.

    • Biff says:

      05:42pm | 12/10/09

      All the models should be made known so that an informed debate can take place. I

    • Razor says:

      05:43pm | 12/10/09

      How much more will a Birthday Cake cost with an ETS?

      This is a reasonable question to ask for a new taxation regime. No?

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      06:13pm | 12/10/09

      Forget the ETS scheme, most of the Australian public doesn’t really understand it anyway. The Rudd government’s major weakness is illegal immigration. Keep hammering away at that and you’ll pick up seats

    • John says:

      06:23pm | 12/10/09

      Thanks Helen for putting what I’ve been thinking and wondering about for some time. We need more scrutiny of the Government of the day whether Liberal or Labor. And the way things have been, it ain’t been happen’n!

    • Betelnut says:

      06:25pm | 12/10/09

      Yawn.  Another day, another wasted opportunity for the Coalition to provide us with any positive policies they plan to take forward to the election next year.

      Seriously Helen, your good self, Scottie, Mitch and Bronnie need to stop wasting all you time writing pointless Punch columns for cheap laughs, and instead put your energy into policy formulation.  What exactly is your position on an ETS?  Clearly the policy taken to the last election was bogus, so what now stands in it’s place? You have been provided an forum to canvas your position, yet you waste it with the piece of BS instead.

      With your incremental slide into irrelevancy playing out in front of the Australian electorate every week, you are truly doing Australia a disservice by failing to provide a credible opposition.

    • Yadu Singh says:

      06:47pm | 12/10/09

      It would be smarter to wait for the outcome of The Copenhagen conference before committing Australia to anything. Labour Gov and the opposition should negotiate in good faith for a policy on ETS which has a genuine bipartisan support.

    • Cooper says:

      06:54pm | 12/10/09

      Helen for Opposition Leader! Go get them girl!

    • SamScout says:

      07:25pm | 12/10/09

      Your comment:


      It’s not up to the coalition to come up with a policy since they are not in government. It’s about time that the government of the day justified why they are reimbursing the big polluters and not using the money raised to reinvest into green energy.

      If anything is pointless its the current ETS scheme. The lawyers and the bankers will laughing all the way to the bank while small business as usual will be burdened with red tape, while our locally developed technology continues to head overseas.

    • Bian says:

      08:15pm | 12/10/09

      I’m watching Four Corners at the moment on how James Packer made bad investments but it was too late to do anything by the time the writing was on the wall. Australians will have the same sour taste when they realise in a few years the consequences of bad government.

    • Tony says:

      08:21pm | 12/10/09

      @SM…suggest Helen get a thesaurus??  How about you get a dictionary…Labour???  d’oh!

    • paul says:

      08:30pm | 12/10/09

      What’s the Punch become a dumping ground for clueless conservative press releases? Rudd can’t fix the problem, neither can you Helen. Rudd isn’t transparent just as Howard wasn’t. COME BACK TO US WITH A SOLUTION - that’s why we are paying you Helen and stop GOOFING around!

    • pc says:

      08:58pm | 12/10/09

      As Betelnut and mumbles have pointed out - and the anti rudds have pointedly ignored - Senator Coonan would rather have no ideas and nothing to say than have malcolm as leader. (Shes certainly doing her best to contradict him at the punch today)

      I am not surprised. The senator is probably still bitter about having to turn up to the senate committee on stimulus.  A good friend of mine said “She looked like she’d heard of the death of a close friend when Glenn Stevens gave the government a cautious tick.” That friend was coalition policy, its been on life support for some time but it went into arrest with the non position on climate change - and died with this new PHONEY non positiion.

      If global agreements on climate change are to be reached, they must be made in good faith. Why should other countries make committments if we are not prepared to do the same? How can Australia negotiate a position in good faith without first knowing the position they were going to negotiate? How can the government negotiate with the opposition if the opoosition dont have a position to negotiate?

      We are still waiting Malcolm, and frankly I think GODOT will get to a position before you do.

    • Jaydog says:

      09:14pm | 12/10/09

      COONAN FOR PM!! (or at least Finance Minister!!)

    • gabi says:

      09:18pm | 12/10/09

      wayne goose is a chump

    • Betelnut says:

      09:39pm | 12/10/09

      @ SamScout,

      Couldn’t agree more about the current ETS legislation.  It seems excessive compensation will result in a failure to provide the necessary price signals to promote the reduction of CO2 generation and alternative energy utilisation.

      However, with less than 12 months until the next federal election, we have absolutely no idea what alternative policies are available to vote for at the next election.  Whilst an opposition cannot drive the policy agenda of the day, it should be developing a clear set of propositions to take to the Australian people as the “alternative government”. Failure to do so means the current government is under no pressure to improve policies currently under consideration, and is insulting to voters (like me) who tire of the juvenile antics shown by both major parties in this country and actually vote upon ideas not personalities.

      Articulate the problems, propose solutions, enact and monitor a policy agenda (if in government) and then let the people decide how well you have performed. Pretty simple really.

      BS filled partisan blogs from either side of politics make absolutely no contribution to advancing Australia fair.

    • MaxC says:

      09:40pm | 12/10/09

      Paul, that’s the whole point you goose. The Coalition came up with a solution but all the Government said was that there was a hole in their solution but can’t back it up with any evidence, data, modelling. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. That is the story of this government, lurching from one headline to the next and apparently the Coalition don’t have a solution. Go back to your hippy commune with Bob Brown and the rest of the Greens.

    • Joel B1 says:

      06:12am | 13/10/09

      I swear I must be having a bad acid trip!

      Why is it that Labor supporters INSIST that the opposition who are not in a position to implement legislation provide complete and workable schemes?

      Firstly, even if they did Rudd would just dump a “shit-storm in a tea-cup” on it.
      And, secondly, it’s the Rudd Labor government long held, and recently realised ambition to implement legislature. Not the “soundly beaten” Coalition…


    • Olga says:

      06:31am | 13/10/09

      The Rudd Government have beenn too busy using the ETS as a tool to spear the opposition. While they sit on their hands and keep the media focus on Turnbull and the opposition they haven’t explained to Australia what THEIR regulations are. Yet they’re more than happy to redicule the opposition about amendments. You guys are in Government so don’t we have the right to understand what it is YOU are planing? Stop the political games and get your ass into gear Rudd and give us the bad news, Or are you afraid you might take a drop in the polls.

    • Frank says:

      07:16am | 13/10/09

      Great Article, thanks for the insight Helen. This is what Australians need to know about so they get the true picture of what goes on in the Labor Party. We’re all becomoning a little sick and tired of the continual games of this Governmnet with the opposition. We’ve heard enough about Turnbull and the opposition! Whats going on in the Government? They parade themselves around like the Cinderellas of the political scene. We are starting to see through those hide and seek games Labor play.

    • Michael says:

      07:52am | 13/10/09

      Helen can you please become a Journo and get this information out to the broader public so we can have a more balanced view of what goes on behind those closed doors of the Rudd Government.

    • Snap says:

      07:58am | 13/10/09

      Simply put, the Liberal-National coalition -they offer themselves as alternative government, after all - are
      a) opposing the plans of an elected government with a strong mandate to act on climate, yet
      b) unblushingly have no policy of their own, yet. None. After 14 years!
      So its only right that we should try and hold them to account, when they offer up public statements for debate.

      In this piece, Senator Coonan shows that her Liberal Party is still in total confusion on climate issues.  While she claims this Frontier thingo *is* “their ETS”,  her own leader has not only said it is *not*, but has also walked away from Frontier’s own costings.

      Frankly, the Australan people - its not only Labour supporters who want climate action, you know - deserve better than this stupid fumbling, delay and misrepresentation.

      Senator, the Frontier thing isn’t *your* ETS. Your Party doesn’t have one yet. Mr Turnbull, bless him, says only that it’ll be the sum of your Party’s amendments to Labour’s ETS -  whenever you deign to have them ready.

      You should be ashamed, Senator. You’ve kept us waiting now for some 14 years, and yet you still cannnot agree in public with your own Leader about what your Party’s climate position is, let alone show us a workable policy.

      So, before making another blunder as big as this in public, perhaps you’d care to talk among yourselves for just a little bit longer, to see if you can perhaps come up with something you all grasp, agree about,  and can explain consistently?

      At $200,000 a year each, you’d think we’d get better performance than this.

    • Tabatha says:

      08:28am | 13/10/09

      MMMM..Snap - and what would Rudds policy be?????????? You want to talk about the coalitions policy, when we don’t even know the Governments policy? umm last time I looked Rudd was the Leader of the Government, shouldn’t he be on the news explaining what he plans to do and the cost it will cause Australia and jobs that will be lost? So far not a word about it from him. Because it ain’t good news, so you think the best approach is to keep all eyes on Turnbull and the leadershoip I suppose. How strange.

    • Leticia says:

      08:38am | 13/10/09

      Oh no Snap, we certainly wouldn’t want to scutinise the Governments policy now would we. We’ll just scrutinise the coalition.

    • Flan says:

      08:58am | 13/10/09

      What is the Government’s ETS/CPRS?
      Where is it written down?
      Where can we get a look at it ?
      It is patronising to suppose the public won’t understand it. It will impact on our lives in every way but what is it and how does it work?
      It will cost us more to use carbon producing energy so we will use less? There has to be more to it than that!!

    • Liam says:

      09:10am | 13/10/09

      I agree with Bian, bad government policy will ensure the future isn’t going to be so bright, Labor has always been about trying to sort out current problems and very little investment in the future. Look at State NSW Labor, now magnify that to see the results of federal Labor and their policies in 10 years.

    • watty says:

      09:12am | 13/10/09

      Apparently, according to Channel7 News last night, the NSW Government has discovered some major flaws in the
      Rudd /Wong ETS model which would result in loss of wages.

      Garnaut has also expressed doubts about the “negotiations” surrounding the Rudd/Wong model. though, he like Rudd and Wong suggests better to submit a “flawed” ETS than do nothing.

      I would suggest Senator Coonan that complying with or even appearing to. comply with Labor’s ETS would be not only be a disservice but also a betrayal of loyal Coalition supporters

      Policy on the run seems to be the order of the day in the Labor camp


      Might I suggest Senator Coonan that the Opposition refrains from negotiating any part of a proposed ETS until all Australian voters have had all the costs explained to them.

      Last I can remember was Rudd promising “working families” that Labor’s “Global Warming ” solutions would cost each family only $1.00.

    • Snap says:

      09:19am | 13/10/09

      Not at all, Tabatha and Leticia.

      You can *say* you don’t know what the Government climate policy is, but what you *mean* is that you haven’t bothered to find out.

      You can *say it hasn’t been subject to scrutiny, but it won’t alter that fact that it *has*, at length, on all sides.

      You can *say* the Governments carbon scheme hasn’t been expained, but all that tells the rest of us is that you did not bother to listen.

      As many others have pointed out so often in so many other Punch climate threads, like the facts on climate, the Gov’ts climate & carbon plans, and discussions around them, are all on the public record, on-line, and a piece of cake to find - and not too difficult to grasp, either. Explained many, many, many, many times.

      But did you not notice? Senator Coonan’s piece, subject of this thread, is all about the Frontier Economics plan - paid for by the Liberal Party, but apparently *not* Liberal policy, nor well costed, according to Mr Turnbull.

      If Senator Coonan wants to put forward a weak case in public, and in complete disagreement with her own Leader, she - and you - should not be at all surprised that ordinary folk like me take a tick to run a ruler over it. And find it wanting.

    • David C says:

      10:01am | 13/10/09

      Snap please point me to where I can find out what the impact on the cost of birtdhay cake will be

      The public is tiring of the ETS discussions both here and overseas. They are happy for the renewable energy legislation but are now baulking at the ETS debacle. Global warming hysteria is finally fading thank God and as a result panic moves, huge costs and “flawed” (crap) policy are being shown the door.

    • iansand says:

      10:09am | 13/10/09

      See what might have happened if the dipshit deniers had let the Liberals actually formulate a response instead of turning it into an internal slugfest.  It is no wonder that the electorate thinks that they are unfit to govern.

    • colt45 says:

      10:18am | 13/10/09

      Surely the ignorant Australian media can take a message from the consistent thread through these posts - won’t someone please start asking Rudd and Swan some questions which demand answers other than continuing irrelevant criticism of the Opposition.
      Kerry O’Brien’s not going to do it.

    • Peter says:

      10:36am | 13/10/09

      i’ve just heard on ABC radio that Rudd made a call on the weekend to the Indonesian President about boat loads of refugees, which were then intercepted by the indonesian Government. OH MY GOD….after the latest news we hear about the Government giving visa to refugees who set their boat on fire, and an increase in boat people atetmpting to come to Australia. The news report makes it sound like Rudd himself stopped them! LOL. The boats now are heading straight to Christmas Island instead of heading for the mainland. Why not it’s closer and there is a nice facility there (which Rudd said was a waste of money by the Howard Government). It’s also almost full to capacity since Rudd took over. You are such a hero Rudd!

    • Betelnut says:

      10:49am | 13/10/09

      Here is a pretty good summary of what is currently proposed by the government:

      A lot less digestable but still freely available are the 6 actual bills that compose the CPRS scheme, which you can access here:

      just search for CPRS or go for a browse.

      The information is out there, do the research!. Can we put to bed the BS that the government has not released what they propose to enact. Whether it will be effective or not remains to been seen (and debated).

      My 2c..  I think the science is real (C02 emissions contribute to global climate variability) , the results will be highly unpredicatable (more variability in the climate) but feel that human nature, the tragedy of the commons, petty nationalism and cynical politicians will conspire to prevent any migration away from carbon intensive energy generation.  So, the only option is to take as much personal action as practical, adapt to the new climate and ride out the storm/s.


      PS.  Birthday cake.

      Flour - wheat - no change, milling - costs go up, transport - costs go up

      Icing - sugarcane - no change, processing cost go up, transport costs go up

      Baking - costs go up (although with proposed compensation, probably not that much.

      Summary, the cake is more expensive. Not hard really, but spare a thought for those little Maldivians with their ovens under water grin.

    • Jim says:

      10:53am | 13/10/09

      Well Peter there was a little bit of bad press coverage a coupl;e of days ago about the Government giving visa’s to those guys. And now this from Rudd actually stopping a boat with 200 or so people single handedly himself. Yep typical Rudd style. Make this the news cycle today and we won’t talk about the visa’s.

    • Neil says:

      11:51am | 13/10/09

      Media to the rescue again! Ruddock was given some air time (must have been a slip up by the media)on the weekend talking about Rudd’s changes to detention policy and the ever increasing amount of assylum seekers now coming here.

    • PatC says:

      12:59pm | 13/10/09

      Maybe I’m dumb… Maybe I just don’t get it… but can some please tell me… When did one of the most common elements on the planet - Carbon- become a pollutant???

    • Murray says:

      01:45pm | 13/10/09

      Good to see Fonteer Economics Chief Danny Price has come out today and defended the claim against him by Wayne Swan. He has come out and siad there is no such $3.2 billion hole in it. It is just a beat up by the Government. But lets see if he can get onto the news and out to the broader public, I bet he can’t. The media won’t be interested in putting to air a story that defutes Swans bassless claims. But I’m sure we will hear Swan get some more air time over it. The only version we will get is Swans!

    • h says:

      01:46pm | 13/10/09

      Helen, for some this will work, but for me (not a welded on voter to either party) you can’t convice me by questioning the reliability of the treasurer’s views by citing Glen-what’s his Liberal party membership number again-Milne. How dumb do you think myself and other Aussies are?

    • Snap says:

      01:52pm | 13/10/09

      For PatC
      When? When it became atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and others, man made, and in increasing quantity, from the Industrial Revolution onwards. All of which lead to detectable global atmosphere and on to ocean etc warming.  Carbon emissions for short.

      For Betelnut - and David C
      Not bad, betelnut.  The impact on the Consumer Price Index is expected to be about 1% in 2011, if I recall correctly - less for food items.

      And as for the cake, well I can tell you exactly if you’re a middle or lower income earner or pensioner - in the end it’ll cost you *nothing* more. Not a cent. The CPI impact is to be fully compensated for those groups.

      As for pointing, sure, can do.

      Aus CPRS full bottle

      Cost of living impact of-living.pdf

      On food:
      Hansard Monday, 17 August 2009,  Ms Macklin:
      “add around 1.2 per cent to the consumer price index over two
      years. Of this, household food prices could contribute around 0.1 per cent.”

      Is that all? By no means. There are good, reliable websites on every aspect of global warming and on Australia’s position. There’s simple discussions of the cap & trade scheme, the physics of climate change etc etc. But you wouldn’t want to be sppon fed, would you? Seek, find, make up your own mind.

    • Rose says:

      02:17pm | 13/10/09

      Wayne Swan has a little problem with being completely honest, we found that during the UTEGATE fiasco. Here he has clearly lied to Australians again about a $3.2 billion hole in Fronteers report. Kevin and Waynes desire to discredit anything that comes from the Opposiition will be back to haunt them at some stage.

    • Snap says:

      02:33pm | 13/10/09

      Rose is kidding us, surely. Let’s do a quick check. Ah yes, here’s Mr Turnbull, yesterday:

      “Mr Turnbull distanced himself from the alternative ETS, which was modelled by Frontier Economics, claiming he talked it up as “a contribution to the debate” and it was never coalition policy.

      “They’re not my numbers,” he told reporters, when asked about the figures in Frontier’s ETS.

      “I think that’s something that the Treasury should raise and discuss with Frontier Economics.”

      And after all, its just a rehash of some stuff the lashed up for Garnaut, back in 2008! Dearie me!

      If this wasn’t so serious, it’d be quite funny.

    • Luke says:

      02:40pm | 13/10/09

      Wayne and Kev mates, a word of advice.(and you don’t need to pay me)
      It’s a tangled web we weave, when we practice to decieve.

    • Kelley says:

      02:48pm | 13/10/09

      hey snap, where are you? sounds like your sitting in waynes office. LOL and on your own i’m guessing.

    • Hoss says:

      02:58pm | 13/10/09

      Robb said ‘fundamentally flawed” so many times he was floored himself. McFarlane repeats it ad nauseam. others in the Liberal party keep repeating it. Now Helen Coonan talks about the “flawed” legislation but not one of them has pointed out where it is flawed. We’d like to hear from them soon.  On the other matter of boat people, Ruddick claims 100,000 a year will come that way. If each boat carries 100 that would be 2 boats a week .  We’ll need a much bigger Navy eh? get real Libs.

    • Ian Milton says:

      03:03pm | 13/10/09

      Snap - the issue here is, did Swan tell reporters that a $3.2 billion hole had been found in Fronteirs alternative by the Treasury Department? YES he did…...
      Is this the truth????? It doesn’t look like it.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      03:11pm | 13/10/09

      Oh, you’re the Helen Coonan that stuffed up the telecommunications sector and the implementation of digital tv? Very well, carry on…..

    • Loretta says:

      03:27pm | 13/10/09

      Snap, you say- ” I think that’s something that the Treasury should raise and discuss with Frontier Economics.”
      Well wouldn’t you think Swan should have checked his facts from Treasury first before running to the media? after all Turnbull coped shit for accepting Gretch’s e-mail and information without checking.

    • Carl Palmer says:

      04:38pm | 13/10/09

      I couldn’t agree more with the statement that the “practice of hiding under Treasury’s skirt has become a habit for the Rudd Government”. Neither Hawke nor Keating did this, they stood up and argued their case however unpalatable it was – they had balls. Mr Goose gets under mummy’s skirt and plays hide and seek. 

      You’d think that having immediate access to the head of Treasury who also so happens to be a member of the RBA Board, that Mr Goose would have all of the necessary “advice” to make an intelligent and articulate argument, but no, he gets Mr Henry to tackles those difficult “assignments”.

      As for the ETS pointless to discuss until the outcome of what the world agrees at Copenhagen is known.

    • David C says:

      04:47pm | 13/10/09

      Snap so a human co2 molecule is different to a natural co2 molecule?
      And re its impact on the climate, double the co2 and you will get about 1.2 degrees celsius of warming, 0.7 degrees so far so Id say not much more to go.
      The “end of the world” scenarios are based on computer model projections. The debate is still very much alive on wether they are reliable.
      Methane primarily comes from animals and is a greenhouse gas not co2.
      And as far as co2 being a pollutant I think thats a stretch.

    • Snap says:

      05:18pm | 13/10/09

      Kelley, pffft. What a hoot! Very, very tired old ploy, that one. Just me, at home in my own little office, own words, own work, never been a member of a party or a staffer in me life!

      Ummm, Loretta, Mr Turnbull’s own, exact words, while trying to dodge the issue. True! Nothing to do with me. Of and spare us the bad language, do.

    • Tom says:

      05:24pm | 13/10/09

      The problem Carl is the Rudd Government don’t only have the Treasury skirt to hide behind but they also have the media to hide behind! So much for democracy in this country.

    • Snap says:

      05:38pm | 13/10/09

      OK,  David C, wants to mount a diverson into climate change causes. OK, but how about you do the homework yourself first. And without any smart-alecky putting words in my mouth that I neither said nor implied, ta all the same. 

      No? OK. Without needing to check:
      Farmed animals - methane.
      Natural gas and oil-well by-gas: methane.
      Sewers: methane
      Coal mining: more sodding methane!

      The physics of CO2 and CH4 as global warming agents is not in serious dispute, anywhere. Go and check the IPCC site, or Prof Garnaut’s, and judge for yourself.

      Oh I forgot. You want to spout an opinion but haven’t bothered to keep up and now want to be spoon fed.  Here you go then.

      Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (the recognised international body reporting on the whole shebang):.

      Garnaut Ctee

      Oh yeah - some icing for the cake…
      Methane sources:

      It doesn’t matter if you’re not that well informed - not everyone is. It doesn’t matter if you have an opinion of your own - most of us do. But it *does* matter if you put the two together to spout nonsense in public without bothering to *check your facts*.

      Cheers! Time for tea.

    • Wayne H says:

      06:06pm | 13/10/09

      Snap, come on mate, not one of your links proves diddly! Climate change has been going on for billions of years and that is not what is in dispute. It’s the cause I am interested in and nothing you have linked to proves that. Science has moved on but you and many more obviously can’t.  Green house gases and global warming are two different things. One day in the very near future you are going to look like a fool. Take off your blinkers.

    • Snap says:

      06:49pm | 13/10/09

      Uh huh, Wayne. Sure.  Just too lazy to check the IPCC summary, even, eh? Well, too bad. Here’s just a taste:

      “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal”
      “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely* due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.”  (ie * over 90% likely, as defined)
      See: IPCC Summary for Policymakers

      And, as Mr Turnbull himself said, only yesterday “A major political party - any political party that aspires to be in government - has to have a clear and credible policy on action on climate change” . Quite.

      Wayne and others are trying an old, old trick -  trying to shift the goal posts, trying to move the focus,  since Senator Coonan’s piece shows she is completely at odds with her own leader’s position.  Tough. She wrote it, and he did say otherwise - they do not have an ETS, but they do need one.

      Now, its past time to get on with trying to get the Liberal Party to produce some sort of policy, however belated, so we can make some belated progress on a climate change/carbon reduction programme for our country.

      Site back and watch, Wayne - it’s coming whether you like it or not, and whether you choose to take an honest part or not.

    • Mark says:

      08:56am | 14/10/09

      Please someone tell me isn’t ETS this generations Y2K?

      1999= Y2K

    • Carl Palmer says:

      03:05pm | 14/10/09

      Oh and in relation to anthropogenic CO2 warming the globe – codswallop.

    • Wendy says:

      04:48pm | 14/10/09

      Oooh Carl, you big stwong fellow! What a lovely stwong case you make, so well put, so full of facts, so well argued, so carefully sauced.

      Goodness, you’ve quite won me over, you big stwong boy. Yes, all those nasty foreign countries they must be qwite wrong, weally.

      And all those silly scientists in their silly white coats, golly the poor dears, all those years wasted measuring funny little things. And all quite wrong, the sillies.

      And all those big big words they write, and all wrong too, arent they Carl?!

      “Global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have increased markedly as a result of human activities since 1750”
      Ooooh! Goodness! How can they be so sillie!

      “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level”
      Oh goodness. More tewwibble mistakes!

      “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic
      greenhouse gas concentrations.”

      “Carbon dioxide is the most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas”

      “Continued greenhouse gas emissions at or above current rates would cause further warming and induce many changes in the global climate system during the 21st century that would very likely be larger than those observed during the 20th century.”
      Golly me. They really do seem very confident, Carl. Goodness, poor silly things!

      My my my! Oh Carl! Carl! Let’s leave all this silly mess behind!  Let’s wun away together!

      Let’s find a lovely little desert island (a nice bloody high one) to pass our few wemaining days together.

      I’ll bwing my copy of
      and we can burn it page by page to cook our coconut milk with. Won’t it be fun!

    • snap says:

      05:15pm | 14/10/09

      Ah, Wendy, you’re a very naughty girl!

      Nice pick up on the Climate Change Panel link!

    • Carl Palmer says:

      07:51am | 15/10/09

      @ Wendy “Let’s wun away together!” you are probably a very attractive person – but sorry I’ll have to knock back the offer – I’m not into “desert islands”. Thanks for the offer. 

      I’m trying to figure out who is scarier you or the IPCC. Now that’s a challenge

      Never mind, I’ll let you meander along happy in your simple thoughts, hugging trees and hanging out with the white coat brigade.

      Loved the “silly scientists in their silly white coats” line, highlight of the post.


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