Sacked, for believing in climate change

The sacking yesterday of three public department heads signals that the Abbott Government fully intends to politicise the Public Service. In that regards they follow in John Howard’s dreaded footsteps.

Those sacked include Don Russell from the Department of Innovation and Blair Comley (pictured) from the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET).

Here’s where I think their sackings were politically motivated.

When the Gillard Government disbanded the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency in March, the climate change functions were absorbed into the Department of Innovation and the energy efficiency functions into RET. Is it a coincidence that both these department heads have now been sacked?

I have only met Don Russell a couple of times but I’ve had the pleasure to hear Blair Comley speak on a number of occasions. His commitment to addressing climate change was one of his great drivers and he possessed a passion that also drove others. His devotion is unmatched by anybody I have ever met.

Further, his knowledge of international and local initiatives on energy efficiency techniques alone made him an asset to the government.

His other great passion was Indigenous affairs and he fought tirelessly in his portfolio to address the social and economic disadvantages of Aboriginal Australians.

Is it any wonder Tony Abbott wanted to sack him?



From Tony Abbott’s address at the Institute of Public Affairs 70th Anniversary Dinner on April 4 we read:

. . . I want to assure you that the Coalition will indeed repeal the carbon tax, abolish the Department of Climate Change, abolish the Clean Energy Fund.

Perhaps he missed Minister Combet’s media release on March 25. Combet, the Minister for Climate Change, Industry and innovation announced that:

The Gillard Government is merging the majority of functions of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) with the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE).

The detailed policy design work and legislation for the carbon price has now been completed and the carbon price is being implemented successfully.

He might have also missed the Channel 9 news that night where it was reported that:

The federal government has announced that with the carbon tax up and running, there is no longer a need for a dedicated Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.

Well, he really is on top of things, isn’t he? The department was abolished within 24 hours of Combet’s announcement.

And of course, we had the Opposition condemning it:

Opposition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt said the decision to merge the department was “more climate chaos”.

“We’ve had pink batts, green loans, cash for clunkers and the citizen’s assembly all announced and abolished. Now we have an entire department announced and abolished,” he said.

Yes, the same department that Tony Abbott wants to abolish . . . no longer exists. Meanwhile, Hunt condemns the fact that it’s been abolished before Tony could do it.

The fact is, everybody knew it was abolished but Tony Abbott himself. A search of the internet reveals that the story of the department being abolished appeared in just about every newspaper in the country, including those media giants in Maribyrnong, Port Stephens, Parkes, Katherine and Mudgee.

Tony Abbott is, in a nutshell, clueless. Does he have any idea what going on in this country? He certainly is blind to what the Government has been doing.

English: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott address...

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott addresses a forum to discuss the Government’s recently-proposed carbon tax at Customs House, Brisbane, Australia on July 14 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)