It’s great to be back on Australian soil. Whatever the merits of other nations, I remain firmly of the view that Australia is the greatest country in the world. My aim is to keep it that way (and make it better) for generations to come.
However, already being a great nation doesn’t mean we can’t be better and that means confronting some of the issues we face head on. After all, that’s what our governments and our political representatives are meant to do.
But there seems to be a problem between what our citizens want and what our politicians are prepared to deliver. It’s that disconnect that is fuelling the crisis of confidence in the major political parties.
A perfect example of this played out over the past few days with the government’s ‘everything is on the table’ review of carbon dioxide emissions policy.
It was a clear attempt to reintroduce a price on hot air to satisfy the extreme greens and others seduced by the socialist alarmism of anthropogenic climate change.
I said it was the dumbest thing I had seen in recent political debate. Not only did it go against Liberal Party political interests, it was against our national interest.
How any Australian political representative can justify actively seeking to weaken our already struggling economy is beyond me. Yet that’s precisely what they tried to do.
It’s even more incredulous given the main topic of conversation since I returned home.
At every single meeting and function in recent days, the single biggest issue people have raised with me has been the cost of electricity and the lack of reliable supply.
In South Australia, where we have the highest renewable reliance in the country, we also have the least reliable energy supply at the highest cost. My home state is the living example of what Shorten, Xenophon et al (and some Libs) want to see repeated across the rest of the country.
Businesses here are in despair. Some are seeing 100 per cent increases in annual contract prices. Some are deferring investment whilst others are shutting up shop because they cannot afford an extra $500k every year to power their enterprise.
Households are struggling to keep their air-conditioners running as utility bills skyrocket.
Incredibly, this state of affairs is a direct product of politics and the abrogation of real leadership to act in the national interest.
Too many state and federal politicians would prefer to be seen hugging a wind turbine and blowing up a power station rather than having to make a principled and considered economic argument about the importance of reliable and cost-effective power.
The loopy Left are intent on shutting down the most reliable and cost-effective method of generating power that gives our nation a competitive advantage – coal-fired power stations.
It seems okay for us to dig it up and send it to China to burn but not for us to burn it ourselves. The idiocy of this approach appears lost only on our political masters. The rest of us want cheap reliable electricity for the good of the country.
In fact, if I were a struggling state or federal political leader, here’s an election-winning platform:
“I want to make (South) Australian electricity prices the most competitive in the nation/world. To do that, we are going to remove bureaucratic impediments to the construction and operation of new power stations and remove subsidies for uneconomic schemes.
"This approach will create jobs, benefit Australian industry and help ease the cost of living pressures for every Australian family.”
Simple, easy to understand and easy to achieve: just don’t hold your breath waiting to hear it from the current players!
The appeal and practicality of such an approach is even stronger with the election of Donald Trump. His promise to withdraw from the Paris climate accord should be the catalyst for Australia to do the same.
We don’t need to be part of an international agreement that actually impedes us from making determinations in our own best interest; particularly an agreement that won’t include the world’s largest economy.
We all know that some people get into politics because they seek position or authority. These people seem to love the power.
It’s just a pity that they don’t share a love for the power that is the basis of our prosperity, our industry and our future success.