April 7, 2014
As expected the Palmer United Party is in the box seat in the new Senate and the ALP was mauled. Whilst Clive Palmer has been able used his wealth to buy enough political influence to force the Abbott Government to negotiate with him over their legislation for the next three years, the ALP continues to self-destruct.
Despite the electoral flaws the Senate has the power to continue to act as a force of moderation on political excess. Will it? We know that the micro-parties will support the Abbott Government’s plan to repeal the mining tax and carbon pricing after July 1. What then?
Given Clive Palmer's extensive mining interests, will PUP use its power in the Senate to moderate the Abbott Government's policy of going all out to maximise economic growth whilst doing unacceptable damage to Australia's ecosystem? Will Palmer do something to address the growing inequality caused by the neo-liberal mode of governance of global capitalism?
Will the new Senate go along with reforms of financial advice industry that are aimed at both boosting bank profits at the financial services companies acting in their clients' best interests and cementing the power of the banks?
We do know that for the key policies that will affect Australia’s renewable energy industry – and the decarbonisation of the Australian economy – the equation is essentially unchanged. The numbers in the new Senate, means that the carbon price is effectively dead and buried; the downgrading of the renewable energy target will pass; whilst the fate of Clean Energy Finance Corporation in the hands of Palmer, who holds that 97 per cent of the world's carbon comes from natural sources and that human-caused climate change is a myth.
It sure looks as if the climate skeptic crowd, and the fossil fuel interests are now in control of climate and renewable energy policy in Australia. Australia is not going to slash its use of high-polluting fossil fuels in order to stay below agreed limits on global warming, This is not good for Australia, and its increasing uncertainty about its position in a rapidly changing and warming region and world.