Many in this country held their breath when the decision was made by the Federal Abbott/Hockey government not to give money to companies struggling to continue with their manufacturing industries. This followed the Global Financial Crisis and the staving off of job losses by the Rudd government after its election in 2007. The toxic nature of Abbott in opposition appealed to the people who chose to change things in 2013.
Abbott was not a good Prime Minister and his bumbling attitude towards manufacturing as a whole has devastated manufacturers who chose to move offshore. While his short administration was soon taken over by Turnbull the facts are nothing much has changed.
The incompetent treasurer Hockey was given the post of ambassador in Washington to get him out-of-the-way. Abbott, however, stayed on as a back-bencher to snipe at Turnbull at every turn. The facts are, however, that the latter plays into the former leader’s hands and many of his policies are against the country’s interests.
Today the country mourns the closure of the Holden plant in South Australia and the effect will be huge. Aside from the car factory, many suppliers of parts are also affected. Some have already gone with a promised wide-spread tsunami of closures expected to follow.
The question is why was the decision made to drop these industries and what, if anything will replace them? We can’t exactly get into the heads of the decision makers of that time but we can look at their records to see how they think.
Abbott is a long-term denier of climate change and supports the continuation of coal-fired power station. He and Hockey closed down renewable energy plants and withdrew money from research bodies working on this form of power. They also contributed to the company, Adani, a proven environment wrecker, to start the biggest ever coal mine in Queensland.
The Turnbull government is now looking to grant it a billion-dollar loan, something they would not do for the car industry, on the suspect promise of creating jobs in the region. It is now a concern of the agricultural industry which is stating how the artesian water on which they rely can be poisoned. There is already evidence of this.
Aside from the destruction of natural habitat over a huge area of land the coal is of poor quality and will be used to prop up the generation of electricity in India. That means that Australia will reap few benefits, if any, from it. Meanwhile there is also a risk of damage to the Great Barrier Reef over which large ships must pass to be loaded with the coal. A spill of such would spell disaster to the fragile eco system.
The bottom line is that people believe lies rather than facts. They get a small idea and it builds within their brains into something that ultimately will prove to be nothing but pain and suffering. This is human nature and it worked for Trump in the USA. The bashing of one’s opponents with lies and deceit is, therefore, a winner when it comes to politics. It certainly worked for Abbott.