Monday, September 29, 2008

Ferguson's boiler-plate response offers no answers on climate change

Well, back on 19 September one of Martin Ferguson's media minders said he'd respond to my email the day before challenging the federal energy and resources minister to hold a public meeting. This to explain a proposal said to be circulating from his office/department advocating a softer emissions trading scheme to industry.

His reply, dated 26 September but received today, is nothing short of an embarrassment.

About 90 per cent of it is a limp recital of generalities about the Rudd Government's position on climate change, along with this gem of irrelevance:

Detailed fact sheets about all of these measures, as well as copies of the Green Paper and further information about how to make a submission, can be found at
Small problem there, Martin. Submissions closed on 10 September (mine should be online shortly). That's the problem with unresponsive, boiler-plate text.

The last couple of paragraphs may actually have had some input from Ferguson. He refers me to Kim Carr's return to order in the Senate on 15 September for the supposed facts about the soft ETS proposal (which his media minder claimed did not exist). I had, of course, already provided links to that statement and other relevant sections of the Senate transcript in my 19 September post, thanks to

Regarding the Wilkins Review on climate policy suppressed by the Rudd Government, Ferguson's letter instructs me to write to the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Lindsay Tanner. So, after his media minder told me on 19 September that the Wilkins Review was 'one of Penny's', it has now become 'one of Lindsay's'.

You see how the silos work? Quarantine the different facets of climate and environmental policy so it's harder for citizens to make connections between them. A tokenistic ten per cent cut on 2000 emissions on the one hand, the greedy pursuit of the Sunrise oil and gas fields (disputed by East Timor) on the other. Then we have the secret Wilkins Review on climate policy held at arm's length from a claim to open consultation on the Green Paper.

And what of the public meeting? Nothing. In short, no answers and no accountability to his electorate for the views Ferguson holds on climate change and his fondness for our big emitters. On the eve of the release of the final Garnaut report, I just can't wait for tomorrow's good news.

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