The Dutton-proof fence has got a hole in it (got a hole in it)

by | Jul 26, 2022 | Lobbyland

The idea of ”Dutton proofing” a law has a certain appeal. Up there with the legendary Abbott-proof fence.

And as of writing on Tuesday, this was the vow by Greens leader Adam Bandt as his party’s negotiations continued with the Albanese government.

Bandt is adamant that the 43% emissions reduction target by 2030 not be unwound at a future date. Alas, most legislation can be unwound at a future date. Under the Westminster system, parliaments do not allow themselves to be hobbled. That’s the job of the constitution. As for the Abbott-proof fence, Tony Abbott unwound Labor’s climate targets. Peter Dutton could do the same, should he choose (though he shouldn’t).

As they have done before, the Greens are in danger of letting perfection be the enemy of the good on climate policy. They should do is back Labor’s 43% target and keep pushing for more. If they must, they can put up a couple of impossible demands on behalf of their hard-core base (cynical as that sounds, it’s called politics).

Bandt assails Labor for leaving open the approval of 114 coal and gas projects. It’s true that if all were approved they would more than double Australia’s domestic emissions. But, as detailed by AAP Factcheck, ”It is unlikely that all 114 projects will proceed to production”.


Mark Sawyer is a journalist with Michael West Media. He has extensive experience in print and digital media in Sydney, Melbourne and rural Australia.

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