Katharine Murphy has fact-checked Barnaby Joyce from this morning’s interview on ABC Radio National.
It was quite the task, as you could imagine. But given David Gillespie is repeating his claims and it is nearly 5pm, it’s well worth the read:
Joyce is currently the deputy prime minister of Australia. In a representative democracy, voters elect parliamentarians to make plans and legislate them. That’s their job. Signatories to the Paris agreement (and that’s Australia) have already signed on to achieving carbon neutrality by mid-century, or not long after. Paris is a beautiful, romantic city that famously stirs human emotions, but no government (certainly not the one led by Tony Abbott) signed the Paris agreement because of “emotion” or because of “the moral perspective of it”. That agreement was signed because political leaders accepted the science that was set out again by the IPCC this week – the science that shows humans need to move quickly to head off runaway global heating
This is in relation to ending ParentsNext.
If the vote is tied, practice says the status quo stays – meaning no change.
David Gillespie is now trying to explain why the government can’t make a climate plan.
I think. It’s very confusing. The Nationals seem completely surprised that as part of the government for the past eight years, they might be responsible for contributing to government policy.
Q: 2050 net zero emissions, do you think we should move to that?
We won’t sign a blank cheque.
Q: This is not about a blank cheque, it’s about a plan. You make the plan. Should you make a plan to get on a zero emissions by 2050?
The first thing you have to do is meet your targets by 2030. As I said, many countries and many parties take the easy road out and kick it down the road, you know, another almost 30 years.
Q: You are only responsible in this country.
No. We are a world leader in so many areas but we’re not getting the credit we deserve.
Q: 2050 net zero emissions. Do you think it is a feasible idea?
Show us the detail and then we will.
Q: I can’t! You are the government! We haven’t seen the detail. Shouldn’t you develop it, with respect?
We have a road map. We’ll use technology, Patricia, and that is what we are committed to. I don’t want to see my dairy producers shut down or my beef producers shut down. I want the timber industry to keep continuing capturing carbon to turn into manager and build houses. I don’t want cities to grind to a halt because we don’t have power to run them. Aluminium smelters and all those industrial parts of the modern world, we need cheap, reliable, affordable energy. We offshore a lot of manufacturing and in Covid we found out that we had been caught short and we have to have an industrial base in the country and we have got to have an affordable 24/7 reliable cheap energy and we will use technology to achieve that rather than break an aspirational 2050 commitment that is 30 years away.
NSW Health has updated its venues of concern:
David Gillespie, the regional health minister, who is also a doctor, is now in a circular conversation with Patricia Karvelas about whether George Christensen’s comments are “opinions” or not, despite previously saying he is wrong on the facts.
So Christensen is wrong on the facts (which he is) but he can say it, because it is his opinion, is what Gillespie is arguing here:
I’ll never stop George from speaking. If you can’t say your piece, what is the point of being here?
Q: What is the point if your facts are wrong is my point?
Well, it is his opinion. He was giving his opinion and it has been pointed out by many people that the wearing of masks is part of the requirement for us to keep control of this very infectious virus but the main thing you have to remember is this is a one-in-100 year [pandemic] and a lot of people are under a lot of stress. You get information overwhelming people that don’t understand all the details and I have read the transcript of what he said and as I said, we’ve already had that conversation about masks and how it helps control things.
David Gillespie is on the ABC, talking lockdowns.
And he mentions this, which has been creeping into a lot of government MP’s rhetorics lately:
People discount the severity of this because we have managed it so well.
We are in a way victims of our own success.
Because we haven’t seen the carnage that you have seen in other nations and we know from what has happened in many countries overseas that this is a very infectious disease, but the mortality and hospitalisations in the UK aren’t coming like they came in the first wave because building up a herd immunity knowledge of how to fight a virus means that people don’t get as sick.
It means that if you are still excreting the virus, you don’t excrete as much. So it reduces the risk but is critical to get above 70-80%.
There has been no acknowledgement though, of the role federal government MPs/ministers have played in that attitude. From the “not a race” comments, to the “you can wait for Pfizer” to the “we have to learn to live with the virus” to “we’re doing better than any other nation in the world” to the “almost no other country in the world is living with the freedoms we are seeing in Australia” comments, which were made repeatedly, have all led to the “attitude” the government now says we have.
Australia still doesn’t have a vaccination advertising campaign you’d want to brag about (arm yourself is not the campaign people were waiting for) so if those tasked with coming up with the new campaign are interested, there is always what Baltimore went with:
Labor is really seeking to reinforce the fact that Josh Frydenberg was also involved in the car park funding (and it is worth noting again that two-and-a-half years on from the election none of the promised car parks in Frydenberg’s electorate have been built/started being built).
Here is part of a release from Jim Chalmers and Catherine King:
“The ANAO report tells us that the Prime Minister personally signed off on 27 commuter car park projects the day before entering caretaker for the 2019 election. Now we know the Treasurer was up to his neck in the scandal as well.
“It has been revealed –
- Around 10 per cent ($65 million) of the total funds committed for commuter car parks at the last election were in the Treasurer’s own electorate;
- Not one of the four commuter carparks the Treasurer promised his community is under construction or has been approved by local planning authorities; and
- One $15 million carpark is never likely to be built – because the train station it is mean to service is unlikely to exist.
“No wonder the Liberals and Nationals have racked up $1,000,000,000,000 in debt when Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg are presiding over the most wasteful government since Federation.”
After question time, Bill Shorten also made a personal explanation, following the rehashing of Scott Morrison’s criticism of Labor’s electric vehicle policy at the last election (which Morrison has attempted to rework as only criticism of Labor, not of electric vehicles).
Shorten said that Morrison was wrong then and he is wrong now, and that he himself now drives an electric vehicle – and that the weekend continues to roll on.
While we are discussing tactics, you may have noticed one of Labor’s new lines in there – “the Morrison-Joyce government”. It’s not unusual to hear that, but it usually comes from Nationals MPs when asking a Nationals minister a question, and even that has dropped off recently, given not everyone is keen to remind Australia that Barnaby Joyce is the current deputy prime minister, again.
But Labor wants you to remember. Hence the questions about the “Morrison-Joyce government”.
Just after question time, Anthony Albanese stood up and asked the Speaker: “Where is Barnaby Joyce?”
Joyce isn’t able to attend because he is in Armidale, which went into lockdown.
But he hasn’t appeared via video either.
Is it appropriate, just as the prime minister took questions virtually and was available, that the deputy prime minister should be available during question time, for members of parliament on both sides and on the cross benches to hold him to account and ask questions. I note that he hasn’t turned up, but he is on the payroll and it is expected at a minimum that ministers will be here.
Tony Smith says that all members have the option of using a video link, and their offices have been set up and staff trained to turn the electorate office into a virtual parliament office.
But he says it is voluntary for members to choose to take it up or not.
“And that’s all I will say on the matter,” he says.
Chris Bowen however does gets a shout out for having the best backdrop that Smith says he has seen.
It hasn’t been a good turnout for government MPs at key moments this week – including during the Closing the Gap statements. And while there do seem to be a lot of Labor MPs who are zooming in for debates and question time, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of videos on the government side (despite the absences).