On this day in 1991, at the end of a long and fractious Cabinet meeting, PRime Minister Bob Hawke used his personal authority to ban uranium mining in the Kakadu National Park ( the Coronation Hill cabinet decision). It was the beginning of the end for Hawke, who was gone five months later, and also was the impetus for the Industry Greenhouse Network, such was the anger among mining interests.
Also on this day-
1972 “On 18 June 1972, Patrick White made his début as a public speaker from the back of a truck in Sydney’s Centennial Park. He was there to address a rally against the state government’s plan to turn the area into a sports centre, which would have ruined the ecology and amenity of the park.” Peter Ferguson “Patrick White, green bans and the rise of the Australian new left”
2004 AAP, 2004. Australia branded worst greenhouse polluter. Sydney Morning Herald, 18 June. Environmentalists today urged the government to do more to develop renewable energy technologies, amid news that Australia had been branded the world’s worst greenhouse gas polluter. Green groups and industry associations held a crisis meeting in Canberra to develop an urgent action plan for the environment ahead of the federal election.
Ferguson M., 2008. Carbon capture and storage bill introduced. Press release by the Hon Martin Ferguson, Federal Minister for Resources and Energy, 18 June 2008. (cited in Warren et al. 2016)
2013 National Wind Power Fraud Rally in Canberra
2014 The Government introduces the first Direct Action legislation: The Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Bill 2014 establishes the Emissions Reduction Fund, the keystone of the Direct Action Plan.
2015 Technical Advisory Forum on climate records releases report: “The report found that BOM’s temperature data-set is well maintained, but suggests that BOM refine some of its statistical methods, improve public understanding of the program, and avoid using jargon when discussing uncertainty.”
On this day in 2006, the then Federal Labor MP Bob Sercombe and current MP Anthony Albanese issued Our Drowning Neighbours, Labor’s Policy Discussion Paper on Climate Change in the Pacific, with the goal of generating a more proactive, strategic approach. [Does anyone out there have a copy. It’s strangely absent from the internet these days…]
Climate change had been recognised as an existential threat (in the literal sense.None of this Sartre nonsense) from the late 1980s. Then Foreign Affairs Minister Gareth Evans had talked about Australia’s responsibility. Of course, it was just fine words, which John Howard dispensed with altogether (see the spat in CHOGM just before the 1997 COP3 meeting in Kyoto Japan).
For an overview on the issue, you could do worse than this 2009 paper from the Australia Institute. See also this coruscating piece from 2010 by Kellie Tranter. And an event report from October 2016 on Voices from the Climate Front Line. See also 350 Pacific and SEED.
We will return (again and again) to Australia’s clear contempt for its neighbours. So it goes…
Oh, and this is probably worth a read
Charles Hawksley (2009) Australia’s aid diplomacy and the Pacific Islands: change and continuity in middle power foreign policy, Global Change, Peace & Security, 21:1,
115-130, DOI: 10.1080/14781150802659473
Great powers seek to influence world affairs; middle powers seek to influence their regions. Australia’s ‘near abroad’ includes Indonesia and the South Pacific, especially Melanesia. Elected Prime Minister in November 2007, Kevin Rudd has indicated a new direction for Australian policy in the Pacific and the previous image of a pushy or bullying Australia has to some extent been laid to rest. Yet the key differences between Rudd’s policies and those of the former government of John Howard appear to be of style rather than substance. Despite the new rhetoric of greater engagement, the emphasis on market forces creating development shows an essential continuity of Australian foreign aid policy in the South Pacific
Also on this day –
1995 The “greenhouse interdepartmental committee” met for first time to plan Environment Minister Faulkner’s next submission to Cabinet on the proposed carbon tax. The committee was led by Phillip Toyne… (see Henderson, 12 Jan 1995 [Or was it actually the 11th, as per a different source]). On the same day, Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett sent out a news release , “opposing carbon tax and using many of the points put forward by the Industry Greenhouse Network….” (Worden, 1998: 111)