Climate commission turbulence

NEWLY installed Lyne MP David Gillespie has backed moves to dismantle the Climate Change Authority and Clean Energy Finance Corporation, as well as the axing of the Climate Commission.

“We’re so pleased and proud we’ve been able to deliver already on one of our campaign promises,” Mr Gillespie said on Wednesday as he moved into his new electorate office.

The Member for Lyne said the actions taken against the environmental groups were necessary as their funding is linked to the current carbon tax.

“The carbon tax is something we’ve said we would get rid of, and Tony Abbott is a man who means what he says and then does it.”

In response to the axing, scientist Tim Flannery announced the formation of the community funded Australian Climate Council (ACC). In the first few hours of its existence, the group amassed $165,000 in funding through donations. 

Climate Change Australia Hastings branch president Harry Creamer wrote to the Prime Minister to express his group’s opposition to the new government’s moves, prior to Professor Flannery’s announcement. 

“The central message about how disappointed we are about the axing still stands,” Mr Creamer said following the announcement . “This is not just about the axing of the Climate Commission, but is also about the downsizing of staff, cutting of budgets for research into renewable energy and the potential axing of the Climate Change Authority.”

Mr Creamer expressed his admiration for those concerned environmentalists who have rushed to support the ACC. 

“It’s a positive move, and the rapid response gives us hope that this issue is still important,” Mr Creamer said.

“Climate change, as an issue, will not go away and people will not stop putting it in their list of priorities.” 

Mr Gillespie was measured in his assessment of the ACC.

 “I’ve got no objection to Tim doing what he does. The fact is it was a duplication, and a huge lot of taxpayer funds were simply going into things that couldn’t get commercial funding.”