The COVID-19 crisis has had a devastating impact on the Australian economy and the lives of the Australian people. Now governments are launching their stimulus packages which are intended to kick start the economy and avoid a recession.
In short, we have a chance to break with ‘business as usual’ and start the transition we need to be ‘climate ready’ for the 21st century.
However, all messages from the federal government are that it intends to do everything in its power to back up old and outdated fossil fuel technology at the expense of clean technology like renewables and storage.
This has been highlighted by the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) that has been appointed to lead the recovery. It is heavily dominated by hand-picked business people with deep connections to the fossil fuel sector unqualified to lead the national social and economic response to COVID-19. Key ministers in the federal government keep talking about a ‘gas led’ recovery. And now, as proof of the backwards program that the Commission intends to enact, a leaked report from an advisory body to the Commission, the manufacturing taskforce, shows the pro-fossil fuel, anti-climate agenda of those chosen to direct these ‘recovery’ efforts (details here).
Replacing an elected Parliament with a group of hand-picked fossil fuel devotees robs the Australian people of the democratic right to choose their leaders; not only is it a clear attempt to underwrite the failing fossil fuel industry, but it sets a dangerous precedent.
We do not believe that the Commission in its current form can be trusted to deliver ideas that will be adequate to the challenges we face from climate change and growing inequality.
The NCCC must be sacked, and a new commission established of non-partisan experts in appropriate fields such as public health, transport infrastructure and renewable energy, including electricity distribution, energy efficiency etc. It is essential that First Nation voices are included in this new body.