Tag Archives: Minerals Council of Australia

March 2, 2009 – Climate groups very unhappy with Senator Penny Wong…

Kevin Rudd had come to power promising to do something substantive about climate change, which he described as ‘the great moral challenge of our generation’.  By the time White Paper for the ‘Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme’ (CPRS) was released in December 2008, nobody was happy (with the possible exception of the miners, who must have been beginning to suspect that the whole thing would fall over – as it did…).  The environmentalists were furious with the lack of ambition around targets for emissions reductions, and support for renewables, alongside the amount of compensation being offered to the big end of town.

In January -February 2009 climate activists had held a Climate Action Summit, and decided that the CPRS was a dog. Recriminations and potshots were exchanged.  On this day in 2009, 65 Groups published an open letter to Rudd’s Climate Change Minister, Senator Penny Wong.

Also on this day- 

1991  The following advert appeared in the Canberra Times

1991-03-02-adverts

The reports mentioned were published in late 1991, but by then the Hawke Government was circling the drain…

1994 The Australian Conservation Foundation began its push for a carbon tax…

 

AAP, 1994. Alter taxation, spending to aid environment: ACF. Canberra Times, 3 March, p.4.

The Australian Conservation Foundation has proposed sweeping changes to the Federal Government’s taxation and spending practices to safeguard Australia’s future environmental and economic interests.

In its first detailed Budget submission, released yesterday, the ACF proposed measures it said would save the Government between $ 1.4 billion and $1.9 billion next financial year at the same time as promoting more environmentally responsible practices and creating jobs. The measures include a jobs levy, carbon tax, woodchip export levy, more money for public transport, and taxation incentives for nature conservation and the use of green technologies.

1994 Middleton, K. 1994. Conservationists Urge PM To Go For A Green Budget. The Age, 3 March p.7.

Canberra — The Australian Conservation Foundation has urged the Prime Minister, Mr Keating, to consider green-based Budget measures, including a radical tax on carbon.

The foundation’s president, Professor David Yencken, and its executive director, Ms Tricia Caswell, met Mr Keating yesterday. They sought support for a complex Budget submission and asked for a swift replacement for the former Environment Minister, Mrs Kelly.

 

 

2012 ABC interview with Mitch Hooke, then CEO of the Minerals Council of Australia and the man who killed off Kevin Rudd’s mining super tax.

Aedy, R. 2012.Interview with Mitchell Hooke. ABC,  2 March.

 

Jan 11, 2008 – NSW Minerals Council tells industry to sell sustainability

On this day in 2008 Nikki Williams, then head of thge NSW Minerals Council (think ‘trade union for the mining companies) called on industry to ‘get on the front foot in selling its sustainability message.’ (to quote International Coal News.]

This was a year or so after the NSWMC had run a series of adverts which had been spoofed by Rising Tide. But we will come back to that another day…

Williams became head of the Australian Coal Association in August 2011, and remained the boss until the ACA was swallowed by the Minerals Council of Australia (or vice versa, as some would have it) in 2013.   We will come back to this, and Ms Williams herself, who has made some interesting scientific observations about the Arctic…

These sorts of ‘give us money and get involved in the bare knuckle fight with the activists’ calls are a recurrent feature of trade associations, going back to the 1970s.  Industry always feels misunderstood and under-appreciated, vulnerable to stupid politicians who are endlessly wrapped around the fingers of lentil-eating inner city arts graduates, and crusty ferals…

Also on this day –

1995  The interdepartmental working group that is supposed to design the ‘carbon tax’ meets for the first time. Canberra Times hack Ian Henderson reports in a front page story

“A greenhouse gas levy remains firmly on the Government’s agenda, with the bureaucratic working group responsible for developing the levy meeting for the first time yesterday.”

Henderson, I. Greenhouse  gas levy remains to the fore. The Canberra Times, 12 January, p.1.

June 16th, 1972- Un Conference on the Human Environment ends

Forty three years ago today, in Stockholm, the UN Conference on the Human Environment ended.  It gave us… um… the United Nations Environment Programme.  And, um….

Meanwhile, 22 years after that (1994), business started telling the Keating Government how to throw out a drag anchor on the international negotiations around climate change (the UNFCCC had entered into force, and the first meeting was happening in March of 1995. Pressure was building for real targets, something that the previous US administration (Bush Snr) had scuppered.  Australian business knew that with Clinton in the Whitehouse, they could not rely on the US as “blocker”…

Gill, P. (1994) CALL TO FORM STRATEGIC ALLIANCES The Australian Financial Review 17th June

BUSINESS groups have called on the Federal Government to form strategic alliances with other countries to maximise its negotiating position in future climate change negotiations.The suggestion at yesterday’s round table follows widespread concern in the business community that Australia might be forced into a greenhouse response which is not in its interests.While the form of any alliance on greenhouse gas has not been spelt out, it could be modelled on the Cairns Group of 14 agricultural exporters which played a key role in the Uruguay Round of world trade talks.It is understood the Cairns Group model has been informally discussed by industry representatives concerned that Australia will have little influence in the negotiations.A paper prepared for yesterday’s round table by the Australian Coal Association and the Australian Mining Industry Council says it is “high time we stopped mouthing undefinable expressions” and pursued more precision in a so-called “burden-sharing agreement”.

Also on this day
1981 Jules Charney dies
2004 Howard launches idiotic energy white paper, with minimal mention of climate change (plus ca change, eh?)

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

Jan 11, 2008: NSW Minerals Council does a Lady Macbeth

Nikki Williams, as per ABC photo
Nikki Williams, as per ABC photo

On January 11th, 2008, the CEO of the New South Wales Minerals Council calls on the industry to get on the front foot in selling its sustainability message.  [to quote International Coal News.]

Context: That, after all, is one of the roles of these sorts of business groupings. As well as behind the scenes “lobbying” (a term that hides at least as much as it reveals) and the united-front blandishments, there’s a definite bit of “screw your courage to the sticking point, and we’ll not fail” to the role.

 Nikki Williams, for it is she, later became the head of Australian Coal Association, until it was swallowed by the Minerals Council of Australia. More on Ms Williams and her considerable rhetorical abilities at a later date. Unless she gets “bumped” by more important on-that-dates.

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

Other things that happened on this day:

1964 – Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Luther Terry, M.D., publishes the landmark report Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the United States saying that smoking may be hazardous to health, sparking national and worldwide anti-smoking efforts.

[And for the benefit of any libel lawyers who may have wandered in; we are saying that the NSW Minerals Council had a ‘screw your courage’ role, NOT that Ms Williams ever
a) henpecked her spouse until he entered into a conspiracy to kill the King of Scotland
b) said that she would have dashed the brains of her child out.
or
c) Threw herself from a high window, riven with remorse.]