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Abbott warns of a ‘drift into defeat’

“The government is talking about using the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to subsidise a coal-fired power station,” he said. “We subsidise wind to make coal uneconomic so now we are proposing to subsidise coal to keep the lights on. Go figure.” “Wouldn’t it be better to abolish subsidies for new renewable generation and let ordinary market forces do the rest?”

Tony Abbott says the Coalition risks a “drift to defeat” if it fails to lift its performance as he brazenly advocated ending subsidies for renewable energy, reducing immigration and abolishing the Human Rights Commission.

In a bold speech launching a new book of essays, Making Australia Right, Mr Abbott conceded that voters have been disappointed with the Coalition government and it is losing conservative support.

“Our challenge is to be worth voting for,” Mr Abbott said last night. “It’s to win back the people who are giving up on us ... It won’t be easy but it must be possible or our country is doomed to a Shorten government.”

“Why not say to the people of Australia: we’ll cut the RET, to help with your power bills; we’ll cut immigration, to make housing more affordable; we’ll scrap the Human Rights Commission, to stop official bullying; we’ll stop all new spending, to end ripping off our grandkids; and we’ll reform the Senate to have government, not gridlock?” He had earlier told the Bolt Report on Sky the Coalition had to lift its performance.

“Plainly there are lots of people who are concerned about... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Tony Abbott says the Coalition risks a “drift to defeat” if it fails to lift its performance as he brazenly advocated ending subsidies for renewable energy, reducing immigration and abolishing the Human Rights Commission.

In a bold speech launching a new book of essays, Making Australia Right, Mr Abbott conceded that voters have been disappointed with the Coalition government and it is losing conservative support.

“Our challenge is to be worth voting for,” Mr Abbott said last night. “It’s to win back the people who are giving up on us ... It won’t be easy but it must be possible or our country is doomed to a Shorten government.”

“Why not say to the people of Australia: we’ll cut the RET, to help with your power bills; we’ll cut immigration, to make housing more affordable; we’ll scrap the Human Rights Commission, to stop official bullying; we’ll stop all new spending, to end ripping off our grandkids; and we’ll reform the Senate to have government, not gridlock?” He had earlier told the Bolt Report on Sky the Coalition had to lift its performance.

“Plainly there are lots of people who are concerned about our direction, and plainly the risk is that we will drift to defeat if we don’t lift our game,” he said.

While acknowledging there was a “glimmer of hope” in the last parliamentary sitting week when the government targeted Labor over its energy policies, Mr Abbott argued the Coalition could launch a more “potent” attack if it ended subsidies for renewables and froze the RET at current levels.

“We are sleepwalking into an energy policy catastrophe if we don’t do better,” he told Sky.

After defending his right as a backbencher to speak out “from time to time”, Mr Abbott also criticised the Prime Minister for choosing to live in his private home in Point Piper rather than in Kirribilli, which is reported to cost an additional $3 million in security for taxpayers.

“I think it would be a better look if the Prime Minister did live in Kirribilli House, I think it would be better for him, I think it would be better for the government,” Mr Abbott said. “By trying to avoid being a burden on the taxpayer, it seems you end up just costing the taxpayer even more.”

He said as Prime Minister he had also wanted to stay in his home in suburban Forestville, but had felt obliged to live in the official residence given he was told it would save taxpayers $1m.

In his speech that will inflame tensions in the government, Mr Abbott said the centre-right in Australia needed to re-examine its overarching purpose and challenged the Coalition to support an ambitious policy agenda.

“In or out of government, political parties need a purpose,” he said. “Our politics can’t be just a contest of toxic egos or someone’s vanity project.”

On energy policy, Mr Abbott noted his government reduced the renewable energy target from 28 per cent to 23 per cent but said this was not enough as renewable energy could not be relied upon for security of supply. It would be better to “freeze” the RET, he said.

“The government is talking about using the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to subsidise a coal-fired power station,” he said. “We subsidise wind to make coal uneconomic so now we are proposing to subsidise coal to keep the lights on. Go figure.” “Wouldn’t it be better to abolish subsidies for new renewable generation and let ordinary market forces do the rest?”


Source: http://www.theaustralian.co...

FEB 24 2017
http://www.windaction.org/posts/46365-abbott-warns-of-a-drift-into-defeat
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