March 8, 2013
So the faceless men in the Right faction of the Victorian Liberal Party didn't roll Ted Baillieu? That's what the spinners say. Their talking point is that it was an orderly leadership transition wisely executed.
Well, this kind of factional party politics is about numbers. Baillieu didn't have the numbers because the faceless men--eg., Planning Minister Matthew Guy --withdrew their support. Members of Baillieu's own party ---those opposed to “radical Greens-style social policies”---were pushing for a change in leader and they conducted a whispering campaign against him. The Liberal Party suffers from a bitter factional division to the point that it imploded.
The factionalised Liberal Party has been effectively destablising itself, and this has resulted in it becoming a minority government that is dependent on the ongoing support of the cross bench Frankston MP Geoff Shaw on issues of supply and confidence. Shaw is an evangelical Christian who once equated gay sex with child molestation and murder, and he is currently under investigation for abusing his parliamentary entitlements (ie., using his parliamentary car to run his business interests).
The destablisers said that the Baillieu Liberal government was failing to sell its message. They were behind in the polls. If things were to be turned around the premier had to be replaced if the Liberal government was to continue to govern the state with purpose, implementing its agenda of building for Victoria's future.
It appears to me that the Liberal government's agenda of building for Victoria's future equates to the agenda of the National Party, the fossil fuel industry, and the urban developers--all of whom dismiss energy efficiency as the ravings of starry-eyed greenies wanting to reduce households’ demand for energy. Their's is an agenda that is connected to News Ltd's relentless culture war against “the Left” and to the austerity cuts to schools and cuts to TAFE.
The Liberal government's vested interest agenda is one that dismisses how serious the climate change issue is, and rejects the urgent need for action. Apparently Australia's high emissions per capita is because we have cattle that belch.
This is a government that has turned its back on a burgeoning clean energy industry, has left the state with a shrinking economy, and it has implemented VC82, the regressive planning laws. These laws have four main components – a minimum 2km setback from all homes, a 5km exclusion zone around 15 regional towns, the establishment of several “no-go” zones, and handing responsibility on wind farm approvals to local councils.