Kevin Rudd’s mellifluously named ‘Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme’ had gone from bad (Green Paper) to worse (White Paper in December 2008). Something had to be done. While Rudd and others pretended to listen to the greenies and their ‘Southern Cross Climate Coalition’, his Environment Minister was dispatched to cut a deal with the head of the Business Council of Australia.
There is an excellent account of this (well, it’s by Lenore Taylor, so of course it is excellent).
Today – April 14 – in Noosa is about a strategic backdown. The target is the president of the Business Council of Australia, Greig Gailey, who is on holiday in the town. Today he opens the door to some very businesslike guests. They want to sound him out about exactly what it would take to win business over.
It is, as meetings mostly are with Wong, forensic, controlled, focused. No walks along the beach. “I think I had a glass of water,” the Minister for Climate Change and Water will recall later.
By the time Wong and Frater hit the road again for the trip home, they know they can start devising a rescue package for the scheme. If they can’t make it work, it will be the first serious setback in the career of the 40-year-old South Australian senator.
Taylor, L. 2009. The minister of cool. The Australian Magazine 23 May.
And of course, 6 months later it would all be gone, like a fist when you open your palm… So it goes.
Also on this day –
Koutsoukis, J. 2003. Industry backs carbon sinks. The Australian Financial Review. 15 April. p.5.
“The federal government’s strategy to reduce Australian greenhouse gas emissions received a boost yesterday when big business agreed to support a carbon emission-trading system.” – well, not quite. And Howard vetoed it when it did get to Cabinet anyways…
2014 The Minerals Council of Australia launches “Australians for Coal” – oops.