Time to do the opposite on climate, biodiversity and inequality?

The recent friction between industry and the Albanese government reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George decides to do the opposite of everything he’d done to date.

Unhappy with his lot in life, George reasoned that the decisions that had brought him to this point were to blame, and that it was time to… do the opposite.

When Anthony Albanese became PM, he inherited a country in denial on climate change and a devastating report on the state of our environment.

Wages, as a share of the economy, had fallen to an all-time low.  And east coast energy prices were out of control, again, driving higher inflation and interest rates.

Having worked on WA’s domestic gas reservation policy, I recall how that policy was attacked at the time, with some saying it was going to end investment in the sector.

These days, the policy is recognised as underpinning both WA’s economic success, and, more than any sports sponsorship, the social licence of WA’s gas industry.

Albanese has moved on climate and wages, with environmental protection and energy prices now in his sights.  Industry may have legitimate gripes about a lack of consultation, and time will tell if there are unintended consequences.

But, with the sum of all of the decisions we have taken to date delivering us climate change, biodiversity loss and growing inequality, surely it’s time to consider... doing the opposite.

This article also appeared in The West Australian newspaper.


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