Greg Hunt’s “Game” of Hide and Seek: or how Australia’s most notorious wind power outfit – Infigen – hijacked Australian Energy Policy

greg hunt

Greg Hunt: Minister for Infigen?

****

Ian “Macca” Macfarlane and his youthful ward, Greg Hunt are the flies in the Coalition’s political ointment, when it comes to engineering anything like a sensible policy on energy. Both Macfarlane’s and Hunt’s offices are filled with wind industry plants and stooges, like Hunt’s senior adviser, Patrick Gibbons. Patrick is best mates with Vesta’s former head – and now full-time wind industry lobbyist – Ken McAlpine.

Both Macca and Hunt are still working flat-out at the minute trying to salvage the wreckage of the (completely unsustainable) Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET).

For months now, Macca has been trying to cut a deal with Labor in an effort to help his mates over at the near-bankrupt wind power outfit, Infigen (aka Babcock and Brown) stay afloat.

Meanwhile, Macca’s side-kick, Greg Hunt has been trying woo the cross-bench Senators, as part of the same last-ditch, salvage and rescue mission: back in December, Greg jetted down to Hobart to try and convince newly independent Tasmanian Senator, Jacqui Lambie about the “wonders” of wind power (see our post here).

Now, while young Greg was able to drop everything and jet off to Tasmania at five minutes notice in an effort to salvage the LRET – and his mates in the wind industry – the Minister for Obfuscation and Avoidance has been giving Australia’s leading pro-farming and pro-community advocacy group, the Australian Industrial Wind Turbine Awareness Network (AITWAN), the “run and hide” routine for over 6 months.

Here’s the lengthy (and frustrating) email chain between AITWAN’s Patina Schneider and Hunt’s office as she tries (in vain) to set up a meeting on a matter clearly within the Minister’s remit, and obviously worthy of his personal attention.

From: Patina Schneider
To: lynne.strahan@environment.gov.au
Subject: Meeting request
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:14:12 +1030

Lynne Strahan
Diary Secretary
lynne.strahan@environment.gov.au

Dear Ms Strahan

Members of the Australian Industrial Wind Turbine Awareness Network would like to request a meeting with The Hon. Greg Hunt as we have important issues that need discussing prior to our arranged meetings with a few Senators.

We understand that Mr Hunt won’t be in attendance at Parliament House in Canberra until the 26th August, so would like to request a meeting with Mr Hunt in his electorate office of Hastings at his very earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely

Patina Schneider on behalf of our AIWTAN Members
Australian Industrial Wind Turbine Awareness Network
PO Box 1082
ORANGE NSW 2800

From: Patina Schneider
Sent: Monday, 11 August 2014 3:44 PM
To: Strahan, Lynne
Subject: FW: Meeting request

Dear Ms Strahan

I have phoned the electorate office on a couple of occasions since sending the below email [STT readers see the email above], but have still failed to receive a positive response to our request for a meeting with The Hon. Greg Hunt.

Is there a problem with our request?

Yours sincerely
Patina Schneider

From: Lynne.Strahan@environment.gov.au
To: Patina Schneider
Subject: RE: Meeting request [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2014 06:37:43 +0000

Apologies Patina,

You should have received an apology for that week, the Minister’s program is completely booked.

Regards,
Lynne Strahan
Executive Assistant/Diary
Office of the Hon Greg Hunt MP
Minister for the Environment
Member for Flinders

From: Patina Schneider
To: lynne.strahan@environment.gov.au
Subject: RE: Meeting request [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2014 08:57:08 +1030

Dear Ms Strahan

Could we then possibly request a meeting for when Mr Hunt’s program isn’t completely booked. Either in Canberra or in his electorate office.

Yours sincerely
Patina Schneider

From: Patina Schneider
Sent: Monday, 25 August 2014 1:51 PM
To: Strahan, Lynne
Subject: FW: Meeting request [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Dear Ms Strahan

I have not yet received a response to my below email requesting a meeting with The Hon. Greg Hunt when and where it is convenient for him.

I do hope that you received it.

Could you please acknowledge receipt of the email.

Yours sincerely
Patina Schneider

From: Lynne.Strahan@environment.gov.au
To: Patina Schneider
Subject: RE: Meeting request [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2014 03:52:06 +0000

Hello Patina

Your request is under consideration

Regards,
Lynne Strahan
Executive Assistant
Office of the Hon Greg Hunt MP| Minister for the Environment

From: Patina Schneider
Sent: Tuesday, 26 August 2014 8:25:01 AM
To: Strahan, Lynne (lynne.strahan@environment.gov.au)

Thank you.

Patina Schneider

From: Patina Schneider
Sent: Monday, 8 September 2014 9:34 AM
To: Strahan, Lynne
Subject: FW: Meeting request [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Dear Ms Strahan

In your last email you stated that our request for a meeting was under consideration and we were wondering where that request was up to.

We do note that the wind industry has been meeting with federal politicians, so presumably Mr Hunt would have been one of them.

As Minister for the Environment, we believe Mr Hunt holds a position that entails developing and implementing national policy, programs and legislation to protect and conserve the future of our environment and heritage, which of course has a dramatic impact on our People. He was chosen by the People, approved by the Crown for the People, in order to carry out the Peoples’ wishes and maintain the People’s rights.

So is there a problem of arranging a meeting with those very People, whose very lives are being impacted by Industrial Wind Turbine developments?

Yours sincerely
Patina Schneider

From: Strahan, Lynne (Lynne.Strahan@environment.gov.au)
Sent: Monday, 8 September 2014 4:59:15 PM
To: Patina Schneider

Hi Patrina

NO there is not a problem with setting a meeting, I just an unable to offer a time at this stage as the Minister’s diary is very full. Please understand that we receive approximately, 50 requests a day and trying to fit everyone in is impossible. However, having said that the Minister has agreed to meet with you, but it won’t be until October. If a meeting is required before October, I can arrange for you to meet with an adviser.

Kind regards,
Lynne Strahan
Executive Assistant
Office of the Hon Greg Hunt MP | Minister for the Environment

From: Patina Schneider
To: lynne.strahan@environment.gov.au
Subject: RE: Meeting request [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2014 18:24:26 +1030

Thank you Ms Strahan.

October will be fine.

Many Thanks
Patina Schneider

From: Patina Schneider
To: lynne.strahan@environment.gov.au
Subject: RE: Meeting request [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:43:18 +1000

Dear Ms Strahan

We were wondering if you have been able to confirm a time for our meeting request in October. We know how busy Mr Hunt must be and want to make sure we fit into his schedule.

Regards
Patina

From: Lynne.Strahan@environment.gov.au
To: Patina Schneider
Subject: Meeting with Minister Hunt [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 04:03:43 +0000

Dear Patina,

I can offer a meeting with the Minister on 21st October @ 4.40 – 5.00 pm in the Minister’s Suite M1.40, Parliament House Canberra.

Contact number 6277 7920

Please confirm that this meeting is on a suitable date and time and please advise the names of all attendees.

Thank you.

Lynne Strahan
Executive Assistant
Office of the Hon Greg Hunt MP | Minister for the Environment

From: Patina Schneider
Sent: Tuesday, 23 September 2014 2:19:44 PM
To: Strahan, Lynne (lynne.strahan@environment.gov.au)

Thank you Lynne.

Patina

From: Patina Schneider
Sent: Tuesday, 23 September 2014 2:11 PM
To: Strahan, Lynne
Subject: RE: Meeting with Minister Hunt [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Dear Ms Strahan

That date is acceptable. I will confirm the names of attendees within the coming days once I have a firm commitment from them.

I know we have to be within reason but just wanted to confirm the number of attendees permitted.

Thank you. It is very much appreciated.

Regards
Patina Schneider

From: Lynne.Strahan@environment.gov.au
To: Patina Schneider
Subject: RE: Meeting with Minister Hunt [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 04:18:57 +0000

Hi Patina

A delegation of no more than 4 would be preferable

Lynne Strahan
Executive Assistant
Office of the Hon Greg Hunt MP | Minister for the Environment

From: Patina Schneider
Sent: Friday, 17 October 2014 5:44 PM
To: Strahan, Lynne
Subject: RE: Meeting with Minister Hunt [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Dear Ms Strahan

I received your message on my phone about having to cancel the meeting with Minister Hunt on Tuesday and that you have offered for us to meet with his Senior Advisor at 3.30pm.

However we actually wish to meet with Minister Hunt and not his Senior Advisor. We are very flexible on the time of the meeting, out of hours will be quite acceptable. So could we please arrange a time that we can meet with Minister Hunt in person.

Yours sincerely
Patina Schneider

From: Lynne.Strahan@environment.gov.au
To: Patina Schneider
Subject: RE: Meeting with Minister Hunt [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2014 23:41:36 +0000

Dear Ms Schneider,

I appreciate that you would prefer to meet with the Minister, however, given his schedule, it would be appropriate for you to meet with a Senior Adviser, Patrick Gibbons, who will in turn brief the Minister on your concerns.

We do sincerely apologise that the Minister is no longer available to meet in the near future, and do hope that you will take the opportunity to meet with Mr Gibbons.

Kind regards,
Lynne Strahan
Executive Assistant
Office of the Hon Greg Hunt MP | Minister for the Environment

From: Patina Schneider
To: lynne.strahan@environment.gov.au
Subject: RE: Meeting with Minister Hunt [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:03:48 +1100

Dear Ms Strahan

Sorry I haven’t responded prior to now, but I wanted to make sure what people within the network wanted. Most of those who have responded to me have unequivocally stated that they would like the issues raised directly with Minister Hunt. Face to face is one of the most effective ways of communication besides the media.

We therefore request a meeting directly with Minister Hunt at his first available opportunity and not an Advisor.

Yours sincerely
Patina Schneider

From: Lynne.Strahan@environment.gov.au
To: Patina Schneider
Subject: RE: Meeting with Minister Hunt [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2014 05:29:22 +0000

Dear Patina,

I appreciate that you would like to meet with the Minister. Unfortunately, the Minister is not able to meet with every group/person that requests a meeting. As you would understand his schedule is extremely busy and time is limited.

The offer of a Senior Adviser, is welcomed by many of those that are offered the opportunity, therefore, I once again make that offer and trust that you will see this as an opportunity to have your concerns heard and raised by the adviser with the Minister.

I understand that you are based in Victoria and a meeting in the Melbourne office could be arranged to alleviate travel expenses for you.

Yours sincerely

Lynne Strahan
Executive Assistant
Office of the Hon Greg Hunt MP | Minister for the Environment

RUN-HIDE-logo_crop

The runaround received by Patina Schneider – as detailed above – stands in stark contrast to the Minister’s open door policy for renewable energy rent-seekers.

From the moment Dick Warburton was appointed to head up the Renewable Energy Target review panel in April last year (see our post here), the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers – like the Clean Energy Council – have beaten a very well worn path to Greg Hunt’s office in Canberra.

Faced with the terrifying prospect of seeing the LRET substantially cut back, or even scrapped, these boys made a bee-line for the Parliamentary offices of Macca Macfarlane and Greg Hunt believing (on not unreasonable grounds) that their overtures would be warmly received; and knowing they’d be amongst friends.

Over the last 10 months, John Grimes of the Solar Council and Kane Thornton and Rusty Marsh of the CEC have been regular fixtures – seen buzzing around, and in and out of, Hunt and Macca’s office, on an almost daily basis.

So too, operatives from near-bankrupt wind power outfit, Infigen, like Miles George and Jonathan Upson – who were seen traipsing the halls of Parliament House almost every day that Parliament was sitting (like a pair of unruly hyenas); as part of their desperate efforts to save the LRET – and otherwise stave of Infigen’s inevitable collapse (see our post here).

Although, STT notes that Miles George was not only wearing his Infigen hat during that time, he also slotted in as the head of the CEC and was, therefore, able to do the bidding of two masters at once, albeit with much the same brief.

Miles and Jonathan spent so much time in Hunt’s and Macca’s offices in the last-half of last year, that it would have been easier for them to have changed their business address to “Parliament House, Canberra”; and pinned their own brass Infigen nameplates on Hunt’s and Macca’s office doors.

And if it wasn’t Gregory Hunt himself lending a welcoming ear to the wind industry and its parasites, Hunt’s senior adviser, Patrick Gibbons – a wind industry ‘plant’ if ever there was one – was always around to give them a more than sympathetic hearing.

All of which begs the question: who is Greg Hunt representing?

Is he representing himself, hoping to line himself up as a “consultant” to the wind industry at the end of his parliamentary career?

Is he representing Infigen? Or the Clean Energy Council?

Who knows?

But one thing’s for sure, he plainly isn’t representing the interests of either Australian power consumers; or its rural communities.

With the Liberal Party dealing with – what will be an ongoing – bloody leadership battle, and at its lowest electoral ebb for a decade, it’s high time that people like Greg Hunt stopped acting as patsies for the likes of Miles George & Co; and started acting like a representative of the people that put him where he is in the first place.

Refusing to meet with representatives of AITWAN, Australia’s leading pro-farming and pro-community advocacy group, is one thing, but being always ready to schmooze with wind industry rent-seekers at the drop of a hat, is quite another.

Some might call it old-fashioned “lobbying”. STT calls it “cronyism” of the highest order.

People like Miles George have been haranguing federal politicians with one aim in mind: salvage the LRET – in order to get at another $50 billion in subsidies drawn from power consumers via the REC Tax (see our post here) – and to thereby keep the companies that these boys own and run afloat a little longer, before the whole scam inevitably collapses (see our posts here and here).

People like Patina Schneider and groups like AIWTAN, on the other hand, represent both Australian power consumers and rural communities; and have one aim in mind: to obtain a sensible energy policy that works for ALL Australians, not just one that lines the pockets of wind industry cowboys and their baggage train of parasites.

What’s that they say about political parties, “tin ears” and electoral defeat?

200355536-002

Pretending to ‘hear’, but can’t be bothered to ‘listen’?
Next stop: electoral oblivion.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. What a disgraceful stooge is this pipsqueak Hunt. Abbott not only has to deal with the blatantly obvious fifth column plotting of Turnbull, but also has to contend with the active disloyalty and plotting of wind industry apologist Hunt.
    C’mon Tony when’s the much needed cabinet reshuffle gunna happen mate? We know being mister nice guy is your way, but when these destructive fools put the country’s future at risk, mate ya just gotta act!

  2. STT, I am a member of Greg Hunt’s constituency, if you have concrete evidence that Greg Hunt believes in wind farms or is assisting the wind industry in any way, or believes in the RET, let me know and I will campaign hard against Greg Hunt.

    Regards,

    Neville Wright, 6 Bellevue Court, Kilcunda 3995 5678 7134

    • Neville, you need look no further than the comments Hunt has made repeatedly in the media; his public efforts to salvage the RET (eg his whirlwind trip to Tasmania to cut a deal with Jacqui Lambie, etc); and his statements to his political colleagues. Ask his office for every press release he has ever issued on the RET, or wind power, and the wind industry and you will have a field day. If you’re keen to do some further digging, go after his campaign finances.

      No doubt our followers will be happy to provide you with more of the same by contacting you directly.

  3. Trim Flannelry says:

    A fine example of how the government deals with its cosy financial mates vs the everyday citizens of the country they are supposed to represent. Or have they really changed their tune since the PM stated yesterday they are now more ‘collegiate’ and ‘socialised’ with their decision making?

    One thing is for sure, with the Minister’s unelected wind ‘plant’ Gibbons controlling information, there is no way the Minister is going to get a straight story from his constituents on wind. btw, last time I was at the zoo, the Chimpanzee was eating its own excrement with zeal. I believe Gibbons (also an ape) are also suited to eating their own shite.

  4. Terry Conn says:

    Don’t forget ‘Macca’s’ energy white paper with the advisory board stacked with wind industry goons. With Abbott having been white anted by the senate and his own party there is no doubt the left wing ‘fantasists’ are looking forward to getting their noses in the trough big time once again. On the plus side is the fact that the wind industry’s lies and total failure to provide even the slightest evidence of being ‘fit for purpose’ it is getting very hard for them to keep fooling everyone. The ‘fools’ now appear to be limited to politicians like Hunt and MacFarlane and the government officials they surround themselves with. The ‘revolt’ is gaining steam and has not one chink in its factual base.

  5. Patina, it realy sounds like Macca and Hunt are nothing more then grubs, and we all know were there their snouts are. Hunt would have plenty of time to see you, but being the grub he is he would not be able to look in the eye and be truthfull.

  6. michaelspencer2 says:

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair, 1935
    Nothing’s changed!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: