Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gillard Defends Carbon Tax

Julia Gillard has defended the budget, and the proposed carbon tax. Her comments, though, came only at the Victorian Labour Party State Conference.

During her speech she attacked Tony Abbott’s credibility, and his thoughtless right wing agenda. She said:
“We know climate change is real.
We know we must cut carbon pollution.
We know the cheapest, most efficient way to do that is to make big polluters pay.
And we know that when big polluters pay that every cent of that money can be used to help families, protect jobs and fund programs to tackle climate change.
Friends, it’s been said before now but it’s never been truer than of the fight to price carbon:
This isn't a fight between right and left.
It's a fight between right and wrong.”
"We are fighting to price carbon to tackle climate change and to build a clean energy economy which is prepared and strong."
Ms Gillard’s attack on Tony Abbott’s attempt at a climate change populism included:
"We don't have time for politicians and shock jocks who deny the scientific conclusions of NASA and the CSIRO.
We don't have time for made-up figures and shameless fear mongering.
We don't have time to waste on a debate that lacks fact and reason.”
"Our national efforts and energies must be focused...
"We are a nation determined to do our bit to tackle climate change and urgently need to make a start to build the clean energy economy of the future."
The full transcript of Ms Gillard’s speech of 21-May-2011 is at
It seems to me that these are the types of comment that Ms Gillard, As Prime Minister of Australia, should be making often in the media. She might not like that Tony Abbott is effectively running his negative 2013 election campaign in almost daily press releases, radio interviews with largely conservative media and set-up TV appearances, but they have been effective in raising not only Mr Abbott’s profile, but his approval rating. Many unthinking voters will say he’s doing a good job, simply because they do not see Ms Gillard using the media in the same way, with the same frequency, or countering Abbott’s negativity.

Despite any, and all, governments saying they do not worry about the polls, they do. Their media advisers and their party strategists are all over the polls, and regularly and routinely use “focus groups”.

Tony Abbott does not argue policy deliberately – he doesn’t want any policy scrutinised. His campaign is based almost exclusively on negativity. He does not want public debate, he wants perception of a “good job” because he makes frequent noises. But this is not public debate on policy directions, and Ms Gillard does not help the government by not taking the debate to the media daily. She needs to show some passion, even crankiness at Abbott, during any such media grabs.