Our politicians have only one goal. That goal is to be elected to govern and then to stay in government for a long time. They have zero interest in any other goals! They have no interest in our education policies which are somewhat disastrous. They have no interest in creating Australia as a renewable energy powerhouse, preferring to leave Australia to pollute not just our own air, rivers and seas but also to pollute the rest of the world by way of coal exports.
Australia’s education system needs to be a needs base system whereby schools are financed according to their needs and not according to prejudice and privilege. We need to move to from the long existent and failed top down system to a bottom up system as actually recommended by the Gonski Report. Gonski did not recommend increasing funding to schools overall but rather to moving to a bottom up financing system. The reasoning behind this is to ensure that schools get the funding they need rather than the funding that various interest groups want.
Australia is well positioned geographically and intellectually to become a renewable power giant in the world but federal government policy favours so called “clean coal”, an essentially ineffective but very expensive technology over renewables. Federal government policy has also forced natural gas prices in Australia so high that gas burning power plants are now too expensive to run. This is a result of world parity pricing and allowing our gas generators to compete in the Asian markets where prices are very high. Australia went from being the cheapest gas supplier to being by far the most expensive and now domestic users are being forced out of the market by very high prices.
There was a time, not so long ago, when the shutting down of old and dirty coal burning power plants was to result in gas-burning power plants that could be rapidly started at need and just as rapidly shut-down when peak power needs had receded. This would cover our energy needs as the transition from coal to renewables was proceeding. Now this is impossible because gas is just too expensive. Meanwhile our federal government insists that the faults with our electricity generation lies with renewables but this claim has been extensively debunked. Still our climate change-denying government continue to insist that renewables are the problem when in fact the problem lies entirely with federal government policy.
The opposition is not sensibly responding to these crises either. They originally corrupted the introduction of the Gonski report, doing nothing whatsoever about the top-down system that Gonski recommended. Like the government, they continue to support this malformed policy, probably because they are too afraid to adopt and promote the rational and sensible bottom-up policies that Gonski recommended. They could make mince-meat of the government but they wont!
Similarly the government remains unchallenged on coal with the opposition even supporting the continued mining and burning of coal for Australia’s energy needs and allowing the export of coal in a market where the price of coal continues to decline because the rest of the world has recognised it as belonging in the past. The more coal mining Australia allows the less the price of coal will become. Coal mining is a pursuit that can only end in tragedy.
The Australian Labor Party (ALP), the official opposition at least supports a price on carbon but that’s about as far as they are willing to take good energy policy.
There are those who think that Australia should “go nuclear” possibly in the mistaken belief that uranium is a renewable resource. It isn’t and if Australia and the world continued to grow and construct power plants the supply of uranium would likely last very roughly 60 years. After which we be left with a significant amount of highly radioactive material that would be around for hundreds of thousands of years. The nuclear answer is just too expensive and limited.