Tony Abbott’s Business Advisor, Maurice Newman says: “RET is killing manufacturing”


Maurice Newman was the former head of Deutsche Bank, the ABC and ASX so you’d think he might know a thing or two about the big end of town.

When it comes to giant fans Maurice doesn’t mince his words: calling wind power “a crime against the people” (see our post here).

Maurice has also previously made the connection between spiralling power costs – being driven by the insanely expensive and utterly pointless Renewable Energy Target – and the death of manufacturing in Australia (see our post here).

Maurice has access to the ample ears of Tony Abbott, as chairman of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council.  On the eve of the RET review – which was a promise broadcast by the Coalition in the lead up to the last election – Maurice has come out swinging with a cracking opinion piece which appeared in The Australian.

Crowds go cold on climate cost
The Australian
Maurice Newman
31 December 2013

IN his marvellous chronicle of human gullibility, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Charles Mackay wrote: “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

It’s a pity Mackay did not live long enough to include anthropogenic global warming in his list of popular delusions. There has been none bigger.

Since its first report in 1990, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change progressively has applied mass psychology through a compliant media to spread the delusion that wicked Western industrialists are causing irreparable damage to the climate. It champions compensation for developing countries for unspecified damages. The related UN Framework Convention on Climate Change issued a press statement in Warsaw last month saying that 48 of the poorest countries had finalised plans to deal with the inevitable impacts (what inevitable impacts?) of climate change. Several of the richest countries have pledged $100 million to add to the Adaptation Fund.

The $100m fund is additional to the hundreds of billions of dollars spent annually on reducing greenhouse emissions. Germany has been an exemplar, showing the way through substantial investment in wind turbines, solar panels. hydroelectricity and biomass (wood). Yet it has not reduced CO2 emissions in Europe by a single gram. That’s little consolation to the 800,000 Germans who had power cut off last year because they couldn’t pay their power bills. Little consolation, too, for German industry, which finds it is paying twice as much for electricity as its American competitors.

German utilities, which are required by law to provide back-up power for the renewable generators, are facing a bleak financial future with falling profits, increasing debt and depressed share prices. This is a serious economic and political challenge for Germany.

In Britain, which is subject to EU emissions directives, there are reports that hundreds of businesses are to be paid to shut down between 4pm and 8pm on winter weekdays to prevent blackouts. Is this the developed economy of the future?

Australia, too, has become hostage to climate change madness. It has been a major factor in the decimation of our manufacturing industry. The Australian dollar and industrial relations policies are blamed. But, for some manufacturers, the strong dollar has been a benefit, while high relative wages have long been a feature of the Australian industrial landscape. It is the unprecedented cost of energy, driven by the Renewable Energy Target and carbon tax, which, at the margin, has destroyed our competitiveness. And for all the propaganda about “green employment”, Australia seems to be living the European experience where, for every green job created, two to three jobs are lost in the real economy.

The scientific delusion, the religion behind the climate crusade, is crumbling. Global temperatures have gone nowhere for 17 years. According to climatologist Roy Spencer’s research, “Over the period of satellite measurement, 1979-2012, both the surface and satellite observations produce linear temperature trends which are below 87 of the 90 climate models used in the comparison” – that is, 97 per cent were wrong.

If the IPCC were your financial adviser, you would have sacked it long ago. Yet, undaunted, some NSW councils still restrict beachside development based on IPCC predictions, which are 10 times the 80 years observed record. Now, credible German scientists claim that “the global temperature will drop until 2100 to a value corresponding to the ‘little ice age’ of 1870”.

True to Mackay’s observation, individuals and scientists are slowly recovering their senses. Global polls confirm that climate change policies are losing public support. The scientific community, including some former IPCC reviewers, is rethinking. .

But the climate change establishment, through the IPCC, remains intent on exploiting the masses and extracting more money. When necessary the IPCC resorts to dishonesty and deceit. Himalayagate and Amazongate are examples. Passing off NGO activists and single-degree graduates as top scientists, likewise. Its authors have fudged data to ensure conformity with their narrative. IPCC scientists were implicated in Climategate 1 and 2. Its notorious megaphone, the BBC, hosted a conference of Britain’s “best scientists” to justify biased reporting. After years of refusing to name attendees, it was finally revealed they were mainly green NGOs and BBC executives.

Australia lends its own subtle helping hand. Tens of millions of dollars are being paid annually to non-compliant wind turbine operators by compliant politicians and bureaucrats. In a speech to the Senate on December 10, senator John Madigan exposed the “cosy relationship” that exists between wind generators and the Victorian government. He said: “Victoria’s wind industry is churning out multiple millions of dollars’ worth of renewable energy certificates it is not entitled to and being allowed to rort the RET and LRET systems. Is the wind industry telling its financiers that they are funding wind farms that breach their planning permit conditions?” Obviously not. But where is the media scrutiny?

The health departments in NSW and Victoria also have fallen for the delusion. They, together with the departments of Planning and Noise Pollution Regulation, have abrogated their responsibility to protect the health of the people. They are guilty of numerous examples of false and misleading statements and hiding what is occurring to rural communities in their states. Where is the outrage? The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage even gave a $60,000 grant for “Overcoming Barriers and Generating Opportunities for Community Wind Power in Central Western NSW”.

Why are taxpayers promoting for-profit enterprises?

From the UN down, the climate change delusion is a gigantic money tree. It is a tyranny that, despite its pretensions, favours the rich and politically powerful at the expense of the poor and powerless. But the madness of the crowds is waning and, as Mackay writes of the perpetrators: “Punishment is sure to overtake them sooner or later.” We can only hope it comes before most of us descend into serfdom.

Maurice Newman is chairman of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council.
The Australian

There can be little doubt about the advice that Maurice will be giving the Head Boy on what to do with the RET.

STT hears that the choice being bandied about within Coalition ranks is between scrapping it altogether and leaving it at a fixed 10% target (which Australia has already met).

The majority are, apparently, in favour of scrapping it outright.  Whereas, a handful are keen to show some mercy to those with substantial investments in wind power, who would – if the RET were scrapped altogether – automatically lose their shirts.

In the middle, is a group that would like to retain a modest renewable energy target, but to make sure that any incentives to generators are exclusively limited to “on-demand” renewables (ie generation sources capable of delivering power whenever power punters flick the switch) – that don’t need to be backed up 100% of the time by fossil fuel generators, like wind power does.

This group is keen to back hydro projects, like Origin’s massive Purari project in Papua New Guinea – an 1,800MW run-of-the-river system (so, no dam involved) at Wabo, about 350 km north-west of Port Moresby, that would send power back to Far North Queensland via under-sea cables in the same way Basslink sends hydro-power from Tasmania to the Mainland and all over the Eastern Grid.

The same group within the Coalition is also keen to see nascent on-demand renewable technologies – like geo-thermal – receive a little government “grease” to get them off the ground and running.

The next couple of months will determine just exactly where the Coalition’s renewable policy settles – it’s all about to get very interesting, so stay tuned.

Maurice picks up on Victorian Senator John “Marshall” Madigan’s recent naming and shaming of those within the Victorian government who continue with, apparent, impunity to assist Acciona, Pac Hydro, AGL and others in their unlawful receipt of RECs (so far worth over $120 million) – and he fairly asks: “where is the media scrutiny?”

Indeed, Maurice.  STT made the same observation yesterday.

The Australian’s Graham Lloyd lifted some gems from Maurice’s Opinion piece and recast them on the front page of the same edition.  Graham added some comments from John “Marshall” Madigan and a “keep-your-head-down” response from the Clean Energy Regulator:

Senator Madigan said the issuing of renewable energy certificates to one of the non-compliant wind farms, at Waubra in Victoria, reflected “a culture of noncompliance arising from systematic regulatory failure that impacts every wind farm in Victoria”.

He said the issue involved “the pain and suffering of little people living in rural Australia, environmental damage, fraud on a grand scale, deception, lies and concealment”.

The clean energy regulator has defended the decision to allow the Waubra wind farm to receive renewable energy certificates.

STT is not sure whether defending the indefensible started out as part of the clean energy regulator’s job description?  But it seems to be relishing its new task-list.

A quick look at the CER website suggests that one of its roles is investigating non-compliance and prosecuting fraud committed by the renewable energy industry.

A while back the CER made a big song and dance about the fact that it had rounded up a few domestic solar installers for rorting the small-scale Renewable Energy Target by creating bogus RECs.  But that little “policing” effort involved peanuts ($170,000 in one case).  What Marshall Madigan is after involves over $80 million filched by Acciona at Waubra, alone. Maybe the CER just finds it’s easier to beat up on the little blokes?

In STT’s view the clean energy regulator is just as guilty as those within the Victorian state government, simply because it’s aiding and abetting the greatest fraud committed against the Commonwealth in Australian history – notwithstanding its express statutory powers and obligations to enforce compliance with the Renewable Energy legislation.

As to the “media scrutiny” called for by Maurice Newman, STT hopes that Graham Lloyd starts digging just a little deeper.

For a clever scribe like Graham, even scratching the surface will reveal a systematic effort by the entire Victorian Planning Department to deceive, obstruct, mislead and otherwise lie to a Commonwealth Senator.  There has to be a Walkley Award in that, surely?

In the meantime, there’s also the little story just waiting to be written about how the Coalition pulled Australia’s runaway renewable policy to a screaming halt just in the nick of time.


Abbott’s ample ears tune-in to Newman’s RET Newsflash.

About stopthesethings

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


  1. Despite what the wind weasels and their camp followers might tell you, without job-killing subsidies (free money) the wind boondoggle would simply fade away. Were it not for the RET subsidy, the carbon dioxide tax, and a raft of other cleverly disguised subsidies, not a single wind turbine would have been built in Australia.
    The wind industry rent seekers, the likes of AGL, Infigen, Acciona, Pacific Hydro and Hydro Tasmania would simply pack-up their tents and disappear into the night, to appear no doubt at the scene of the next subsidised “free lunch”.

  2. Keith Staff says:

    Let’s all make sure that Tony Abbott pays attention to his business advisor. It is time to stop pussy-footing around.
    Hasta La Vista.

  3. It’s about time the Government listened to experts – especially the likes of Maurice Newman. We just can’t afford to put turbines all over Australia.

  4. There are no compliant industrial wind power developments in Australia, as none of them have done ‘due diligence’ on Native Title under the Act (Cth) and or Common Law Native Title. The government should demand all money be returned and allocate those funds to Aboriginal issues.


  1. […] Maurice has been pressing the Head Boy to scrap the mandatory RET in its entirety (see our posts here and here and here). Kill the RET and the wind farm scam dies in a […]

  2. […] 800,000 German homes are without power simply because they can no longer afford to pay their bills (see our post here). That number can only escalate – something like 300,000 households are being disconnected from […]

  3. […] of motor manufacturer, Ford and lots of other energy intensive businesses (see our posts here and here and […]

  4. […] 800,000 German homes are without power simply because they can no longer afford to pay their bills (see our post here). That number can only escalate – from the pieces below something like 300,000 households are […]

  5. […] There is, however, relief in sight. The Head Boy understands the impact the RET has had on power prices – and has taken advice from people like Maurice Newman – people who are acutely aware of the true and hidden cost of wind power (see our post here). […]

  6. […] Germany has disconnected some 800,000 homes from its grid simply because they can no longer afford their – renewables driven – soaring power costs (see our post here). […]

  7. […] Grant is also very keen to back large-scale hydro. Origin’s huge planned Purari run-of-the-river hydro project in Papua New Guinea has the potential to eclipse Australia’s Renewable Energy Target on its own – so he is clearly a fan of real (ie on-demand) renewables (see our post here). […]

  8. […] heading to the US – where power is a third of the cost that it is in Germany – and some 800,000 German homes have been disconnected from the grid – victims of what is euphemistically called “fuel […]

  9. […] Australian power prices have gone through the roof and its manufacturing sector is being flogged to death as a result, so we doubt you’d find much “support” for insanely expensive wind power from the thousands of workers facing the axe at Ford and Holden (see our post here). […]

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