Macca shoulder to shoulder with Tony Abbott as PM signals end for RET

Tony Abbott 18.12.13

The Head Boy spells out demise of the RET.


Last Wednesday, Action Man Abbott fronted the Canberra press gallery and delivered a speech that signals the end of Australia’s insanely expensive (and completely pointless) Renewable Energy Target (RET).

Tony outlined the Coalition’s vision for restoring Australia’s beleaguered manufacturing sector, no doubt, in response to General Motor’s recent announcement that it will pull the plug on its Holden car making plants in South Australia and Victoria in 4 years time.

The new PM obviously understands the impact that the RET has had on power prices in Australia and the impact that spiralling power costs have had on Australian manufacturing employment.

Here’s what the PM had to say.


The high dollar has obviously been a problem for manufacturers more generally. Some of the decisions of the former government, such as the carbon tax, have caused very significant problems for some manufacturing such as aluminum smelting and other sectors.

I will chair a taskforce comprising the Treasurer, the Industry Minister and the Minister for Trade and Investment to develop a national industry investment and competitiveness agenda, which will make recommendations to the Cabinet by the end of June of next year.

As well as the obvious things; getting the fundamentals right. We’ll be looking at new options to reduce the costs of energy, new options to encourage innovation, such as employee share schemes and commercialisation programmes, because it is important to give manufacturing – new manufacturing, manufacturing for the future, not just for the past – the best possible deal. But, it’s also important that we do it in a considered and comprehensive way, that we don’t simply make knee-jerk, piecemeal decisions in response to the crisis of the moment.

I want to make this fundamental point though; in the end, no government has ever subsidised its way to prosperity. Just as no government and no country has ever taxed its way to prosperity, no country has ever subsidised its way to prosperity. And, I want to be very candid with the Australian people. This Government will be very loath to consider requests for subsidies. We will be very loath to do for businesses in trouble, the sorts of things that they ought to be doing for themselves and the sorts of things which the private sector commercial arrangements should potentially at least be doing for them.


And you said that the taskforce would look at ways to further reduce energy costs. Are you hoping that that will be an outcome of your review of the renewable energy target?


And the RET, well look again, we support sensible use of renewable energy and as you know it was the former Howard Government which initially gave us the RET and at the time it was important because we made very little if any use of renewable energy.

We’ve got to accept though, that in the changed circumstances of today, the renewable energy target is causing pretty significant price pressure in the system and we ought to be an energy superpower. I mean, this country ought to be an affordable energy superpower.

We don’t have a large domestic market, we don’t have closeness – geographical closeness – to other major markets, well, not many other major market. Let’s make the most of the comparative advantages we’ve got and cheap energy – affordable energy – ought to be one of our comparable advantages and almost everything that’s happened over the last few years, starting with the carbon tax, has conspired to put our power prices through the roof and what we’ll be looking at as part of this taskforce that I will chair is what we need to do to get power prices down and down significantly.

Do you want to add to that, Ian?


Well, I mean in terms of the RET review; we’re facing an enormous challenge in terms of an excess generating capacity in electricity in Australia. To be adding large quantities of generation into that situation has to be questioned. The review process will go through those things but as the Prime Minister says, in terms of the cost of energy, the fact that a coal-fired power station is dispatching electricity at a lower price now than it was five years ago and yet businesses are facing electricity prices that are more than double, is an issue that has to be addressed.

Every manufacturing industry uses electricity. It is a significant portion of their costs and it needs to be looked at and it will be looked at both through this taskforce but also through the RET review.
Transcript of Joint Press Conference
Parliament House, Canberra
18 December 2013

Tony Abbott macfarlane 18.12.13

C’mon Macca – step out into the light where we can see you.


STT has entertained serious doubts about Ian “Macca” Macfarlane and his unhealthy links with the wind industry and, it appears, that the Head Boy has his own reservations.

Making Macca stand side by side with him in front of the Canberra press gallery and concede that the RET is helping to cripple industry was like watching the school bully forced to say sorry in front of the whole school.

Macca, of course, created the RET mess in the first place (yes, he’s the one responsible for the RET and, therefore, the greatest fraud in Australian history) so there was a kind of poetic justice in watching Macca being forced by his boss to “suck it up” in front of the cameras and hacks.

Ian Macfarlane 18.12.13

Macca – brought to heel by his master.


During the press conference Macca was clearly uncomfortable; as if he was sucking on a particularly bitter lemon.

You see, Macca has been the wind industry’s last great hope and yet, there he was, standing shoulder to shoulder with the new PM spelling out the demise of the RET and – with it – the great Australian wind power fraud.

Tony is clearly taking more than a passing interest in how Australia’s future energy policy will be shaped – setting himself up to chair the task force that will inevitably tip a bucket on the RET. Keeping it simply means spiralling power prices and unemployment like that seen in the 1970s – sharp and intractable rises in jobless rates due to spikes in input costs (oil then, electricity now).

As Queensland Senator Ron Boswell put it: “We can have renewable energy targets or viable manufacturing. We can’t have both.”

As the new PM puts it Australia’s power prices have gone “through the roof” and his task force is out to bring them back to earth.  The first – and most obvious step – is to scrap the RET in its entirety – and there are plenty lining up to help.

STT hears that Angus “The Enforcer” Taylor has assembled the best energy market economists in Australia to quantify just how ridiculous the cost of the RET has been (so far) and how – if it’s maintained any longer – the RET will drive mineral processors and manufacturers to the wall – well, next to some Chinese Wall, anyway.

Angus Taylor

Angus Taylor – a man with a plan to can the fans.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    In the meantime a Moratorium on any more installations – even those that have already received approval – otherwise this disgusting fraudulent industry will push through as many projects as they can, no matter whether they have finalised the planning of them, just as long as they get the permission before the RET is removed. And let’s face it, there are many in positions who can assist them in the approval processes. To really stop this fraud, an immediate Moratorium must be the highest priority.

    • David Mortimer says:

      With a bit of luck, all the financial institutions will wise up (if they haven’t already) and dry up the cash flow to the wind weasels, in which case, they die a slow and painful death. Then hopefully, the Government planning departments will not extend the “major works commenced” deadlines. In the meantime, we have the sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of us living in the vicinity of approved wind farms.

      Perhaps the government would be better off buying the wind farms at cost and simply scrap them?

    • Melissa Ware says:

      Pacific Hydro wins gold for pushing projects onto an unwary public. Please no more projects, no more ‘Stages’ until noise studies, actual health studies and post construction environmental impact studies of wildlife kill, environment changes etc. are independently undertaken.

      How does this industry acheive exemption from responsibility for inflicting such immediate human suffering? ‘Sorry’ and public apology won’t be enough when good health is irreparably damaged.

      PM Tony Abbott recognises, ‘wind don’t blow, power goes’ and associated ensuing problems for rural residents and long standing industry and business. Problems caused by electricity price rises attributed to blow-in ‘renewables’, previous poor awareness or understanding of issues and poor policy. Thanks Mr Abbott. Time for listening to and resolving the grief caused by (un) ‘renewable’ and non-sustainable wind factories in the huge backyard of Canberra.

  2. Love that Angus Taylor… to see Macca, looking like he’s ready to cack his pants!!! Sooo exciting!

  3. Our PM Tony Abbott, getting Ian Macfarlane to stand with him at the press gallery, is very encouraging indeed. We hope this will be the start of the end of the wind weasel and the greentard goons, and not before time. This move will be the beginning of the turn around of this great Nation of ours.

    It is a shame that we are loosing Ford and Holden in Australia, as both cars have served our country extremely well. I have always owned Ford Falcons and have been very proud of the vehicles. The people that work and have worked at both car companies, can be proud of the vehicles they have helped produce over the years, they have been world class vehicles. This so called clean green energy (dirty grey energy which is very expensive ) is one of the main reasons why these great motor car companies are pulling the plug.

    Tony, it is great to see you are biting the bullet to give Australians a better future down the track once again. It will be a hard slog.

    GOD bless our PM and his Government.

  4. Old Ranga from Victoria says:

    Beautiful, just beautiful.

    Well done you lot.

  5. Jim Hutson says:

    Well done Prime Minister, and well done Angus Taylor.
    Light at the end of the tunnel.


  1. […] matched by his distaste for corporate welfare; we’ve covered a little of it in our posts here and here and here.  The PM is determined to bring the wind industry to an end; the only question is […]

  2. […] most colossal corporate welfare scheme in the history of the Commonwealth (see our posts here and here and […]

  3. […] In our last post we saw how Labor’s climate change spokesman, Mark Butler was quick to come out swinging in favour of maintaining the ludicrously expensive and utterly pointless Renewable Energy Target.  The RET has already cost Australian power punters more than $8 billion in RECs – added to their spiralling power bills – since it began in 2001 – and will go on to cost power consumers a further $50 billion in RECs to be issued and added to power bills until the scheme (as currently constituted) comes to an end in 2030.  Unless, of course, Action Man Abbott puts it to the sword first. […]

  4. […] the Head Boy, Tony Abbott recently signalling the demise of the RET (see our post here) Labor apparatchiks have gone into a flat […]

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