In his victory speech, Scott Morrison acknowledged the contributions of Tony Abbott who lost his seat after 25 years in parliament, but made no mention of his immediate predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull, who had appointed him to the key position of Treasurer in his government.
This omission suggests that Morrison is trying to restore harmony and functionality to the government and is prepared to appease the demands of the Conservative faction to achieve this. But will leaving Joyce in limbo jeopardize this?
ScoMo may believe in miraculous election victories, but he has to acknowledge that it has more likely been the strategies of the Conservatives that has put him in the Lodge. Indeed, it is the Conservatives that have been the big election winners.
Not only have they successfully removed a Prime Minister they disliked, but they have been able to retain office after doing so. By attaining a working majority, they are now in a position to finally implement the pro-coal policies of Tony Abbott, that ignored climate change concerns, and frustrated Malcolm Turnbull into calling a spill for the leadership.
Some commentators have expressed the view that with the protagonists for the “wets” and the “dries” of the Liberal Party gone, Scott Morrison is free to do as he likes, stamp his authority on the Coalition, and to establish a new political dynasty. He, however, might well respond “would that it were so simple”.
He is under some pressure since the election result to fast-track the Central Queensland Carmichael Mine in the Galilee Basin, inland from Rockhampton, in spite of valid environmental concerns. Assuming he agrees, what incentives is his government prepared to give to make it happen?
When Adani was not able to raise the finance for a A$16.5 project they decided to self-fund a much smaller operation of $2 billion with a proposed operational life-span of 60 years, and production of $2.3 billion tonnes of coal, or $60 million tonnes a year.
A relevant unpredictable factor is the future price of coal, and the risk that coal could soon become a stranded asset. It would be prudent if Adani were able to secure firm contracts in the proposed Asian market, before starting operations. Might it not be cheaper for Adani to provide power to poor Indian consumers from renewables, than to import coal from Australia for electricity generation?
Initially slated to provide 10,000 jobs, a more conservative estimate is 1500 but what is Adani’s record in terms of employee Health and Safety?
For the case against the Adani Mine, North Queenslanders should study Get Up’s website “the Adani files” before pinning their hopes on Adani to find them jobs.
Another valuable reference source is the website of the Environmental Justice Australia organisation.