Greg Hunt & Ian Macfarlane: aka “Dumb” and “Dumber”

greg hunt

So the wind doesn’t blow 24 x 7? Who would’ve thought?

STT has raised one or two suspicions about Ian “Macca” Macfarlane’s unseemly connections with his mates at Infigen (aka Babcock & Brown) and we’ve entertained the odd doubt about young Gregory Hunt.

Now it seems that they’re ready to convert doubts and suspicions into cold, hard – industry and employment destroying – facts.

These clowns haven’t got the first clue about Australia’s energy market, the operation of the mandatory RET and the impact that it’s having on power prices.  Power is a critical and necessary input to industry, manufacturing, mining and upstream mineral processing, in particular (Alcoa announcing that, yet another, Australian aluminium smelter will close its doors for good).

Fortunately, this pair of policy pygmies represents a vocal (and not too bright) minority within the Coalition.  STT hears that a solid majority of these boys and girls are sharpening their axes, ready to lay into the RET – and scrap it in its entirety.

Ron “The Boss” Boswell is leading the charge and Angus “the Enforcer” Taylor is providing solid cover.

Angus Taylor

Angus “the Enforcer” Taylor has assembled a growing
band of brothers & sisters all ready to scrap the RET.

Here’s a hint of what’s going on within Coalition ranks from The Australian.

Cabinet rift on RET: Hunt firm amid scrapping calls
The Australian
Graham Lloyd
11 January 2014

THE federal government is badly split on what to do about the mandatory renewable energy target, which has been blamed for rising electricity prices and making manufacturing Australian uncompetitive.

The terms of reference are being finalised for a review, which was expected to look at whether the RET should be reduced in line with falling demand for power.

Nationals senator Ron Boswell is pushing to have it scrapped.

Tony Abbott said on Thursday the government was committed to “looking at the impact of renewable energy on power prices”.

“We are going to have a good, long, hard look at this with the fundamental objective of doing what we can to get power prices down,” the Prime Minister said.

A senior government figure told The Weekend Australian yesterday that Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane were the only cabinet members supporting the RET.

“We can’t afford to follow the example set by Germany, which now has some of the highest power prices in the world, in large part due to its headlong rush into renewables,” Senator Boswell said. “We should instead learn from the lesson set by the United States, which has power prices over three times cheaper than ours.”

Confirming a review, Mr Hunt said the RET was a “key element of the government’s agenda for reducing emissions in a sustainable and broad-based manner”.

He said the RET was “helping to transform our electricity generation mix to cleaner and more diverse sources, while also supporting growth and employment in the renewable energy sector”.

Mr Hunt said the review would be completed well before the end of the year.

The RET forces large power users and retailers to source a fixed amount of their energy demand from renewable sources.

At present, the target has been set at a fixed 41,000 gigawatt hours by 2020, but opponents of the scheme say this would be much more than 20 per cent of demand as electricity use falls away.

Senator Boswell said the RET was calculated to cost Australians $5 billion a year by 2020.

He said reducing the fixed 41,000 gigawatt hours target to better reflect falling power demand would lower the annual cost of renewables from $5 billion a year to $3.7 billion.

The Prime Minister’s chief business adviser, Maurice Newman, has said that the RET and carbon tax had helped to make Australian manufacturing uncompetitive.

The renewable energy industry has said preservation of the RET was crucial for the future of billions of dollars’ worth of investment in large-scale renewable energy projects.

The Clean Energy Council said the RET was encouraging households to invest in renewable and efficient energy.

Analysis from the Clean Energy Regulator released this week showed that more than two million household systems had been installed across the country.

They include more than 1.15 million solar-power systems; almost 670,000 solar hot water systems; over 173,000 heat-pump water heaters; and a modest number of small wind turbines.

The RET scheme

The Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme is designed to ensure that 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.

There is a fixed target for large scale projects of 41,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) a year from 2020 to 2030.

There is no upper limit for small scale renewables such as rooftop solar.

The federal government has announced a review of the RET that is expected to consider reducing the fixed target in line with falling power demand, extending the time frame to meet the target or to scrap the scheme altogether.
The Australian

For a detailed run-down on how the RET operates in relation to wind power see our post here.

STT thinks that what Macca and Hunt have to say about Australia’s future energy policy is unlikely to save the RET.

tony abbott on 2GB

If you’re betting on the RET, tune in to the Head Boy.

If you’re looking to lay a bet on what happens to the RET you’ll be far better off listening very carefully to what the Head Boy has been saying, at every opportunity, over the last month or so.  For instance, read closely what Tony Abbott had to say on 2GB last week:

We do also have to have a look at the impact of renewable energy on power prices. The problem, at this stage, with renewable energy, is that there’s always got to be a back up. Because sometimes the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. If the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, the power doesn’t flow. That is a simple fact and that’s why we are going to have a good, long, hard look at this – with the fundamental objective of doing what we can to get power prices down.

Australia should be the affordable energy capital of the world. We have a super-abundance of coal, we have a super-abundance of gas, these are the drivers of prosperity – and let’s make sure we can get access to them at the lowest possible price.

Couldn’t be clearer!  And it all sounds like common sense to STT.

If you happen to catch up with young Greg or Macca, why not try and explain some economic and energy market fundamentals to them.  Who knows, they might just get it?

dumb 3

Tell me again Greg, what’s that Tony said about wind power being
intermittent and needing back-up power on standby all the time?

About stopthesethings

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


  1. Bart Harrold says:

    Hi STT,

    Great work folks.

    Live in South Gippsland and am communicating with local Council etc. etc. on this topic and debacle from a local perspective.

    Also my brother in Ireland is a keen follower of STT via email and he sends me items from over there and Europe on similar issues in this blight.

    Is this your email contact point as I would like to keep you posted on some items that might assist the cause – if not please let me know the best contact address.

    Keep up the good work.

    Regards, Bart Harrold

  2. I run a You-Tube channel which debunks the CAGW nonsense.
    I also have videos on wind farms;
    Also check these out; and

  3. Honestly…..those two fellows look too “bright” to be wind weasels!!! LOL!

  4. Jim Hutson says:

    Last week, thanks to STT- links, I learn that China produces 50 % of the Worlds so called CO2 emissions and the rest of the World the other 50%. Britians yearly output of CO2 is exceeded by China every 20 days. We have a population of 23 million out of a World population of 6.8 Billion which in the scheme of things is stuff all, and all we can do is keep wilfully wasting our borrowed money or money that could be spent on producing something that actually makes our Country money, on so called renewables, and in doing so we are destroying our economy, our way of life, along with jobs and Industry. Are we totally insane? I guess the answer to that is yes.

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