Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Influential Australian politician Pauline Hanson, leader of minority party One Nation, has demanded infrastructure projects including a new coal power plant in return for supporting government tax cuts.
Pauline Hanson holds out for infrastructure over tax cuts
Pauline Hanson is holding firm against supporting the government’s full tax package, saying she wants Scott Morrison to focus on improving infrastructure instead.
The One Nation leader last week said she wanted the government to back her plans for a royal commission into family law, the implementation of the Bradfield water scheme, and a coal-fired power station before she negotiated on tax cuts.
Today, she confirmed she had not had any discussions with the Prime Minister or cabinet ministers about their signature packages and had not changed her mind on supporting the bill.
“In full, no, I won’t be … I won’t be,” she told the Nine Network today.
“Actually I haven’t been approached by Mathias Cormann, there has been no negotiations that have gone on. I haven’t spoken to the Prime Minister and my office had a meeting with the Treasury last Friday to discuss the tax cuts.
“Now, the feedback that I have got is that they can do it one of two ways. We can either go with the tax cuts or we can go with infrastructure projects which will do exactly the same.
“But at the end of the day, we are going to end up with infrastructure that will deliver us cheaper electricity, security, and also the water security that we need as well for the country. Instead of increasing population.”
…Read more (paywalled): https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/pauline-hanson-holds-out-for-infrastructure-over-tax-cuts/news-story/5f01089058b42484d7713e96901aa6e6
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has consistently supported an end to green energy mandates, to make Australian energy more affordable. Her climate views are advised by prominent Aussie climate skeptic Malcolm Roberts, who is likely to win a One Nation federal senate seat (votes are still being counted).
The Conservative Morrison government does not have a majority in the Australian Federal Senate. The government holds 33 seats, eight short of a 39 vote majority. Pauline Hanson’s party has at least two senate seats, so her support may be crucial to pass government legislation opposed by the strong left wing presence in the senate.
The modified Bradfield scheme Pauline is referring to is a large scale irrigation scheme backed by Australia’s CSIRO, to capture the vast runoff from reliable tropical watersheds in Australia’s North, and pipe the water to dry farmlands in the south. The third item Pauline is demanding is a review of child custody laws, to address a perceived bias against fathers in family court judgements.
Correction (EW): Nick points out I’m mixing up my water schemes. The following is a better description of the modified Bradfield Scheme, which does not have a CSIRO endorsement. https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2019/02/the-bradfield-scheme-reborn/