The JUICE Media Podcast

Are the Greens to blame for Australia's lack of climate policy? | with Adam Bandt

Episode Summary

Ep 14: In which I give the leader of The Greens Adam Bandt a chance to respond to Malcolm Turnbull's claim in our last podcast that the Greens are to blame for our lack of climate policy today. You wanted debates folks!

Episode Notes

This is part 2 of our companion podcast for our latest Honest Government Ad: Economic Recovery. If you haven't seen it, you can watch it here.

You can follow Adam Bandt at @AdamBandt
The Green's recovery Plan: greens.org.au/recovery

This podcast is also available as a video - watch it here.
And you can find my full conversation with Malcolm Turnbull here.

Music featured in this podcast courtesy of Tom Day

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Episode Transcription

Giordano  

Hey everyone Giordano here from the Juice Media. Welcome back to the Juice Media podcast, a companion to our Honest Government Ad series. So in our last podcast I had as my guest former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, if you missed it, you can catch it here on our channel or on your podcast app. I genuinely enjoyed the opportunity of chatting with Malcolm about climate policy here in Australia, and I hope you got something out of it. However, during the course of that interview, Malcolm also said some pretty harsh things about the Greens, essentially saying that they are the prime reason why Australia doesn't have climate legislation to this day, because they voted down Kevin Rudd's proposed emissions trading scheme known as the CPRS, the carbon pollution reduction scheme. Now I see people making this claim online a lot. Both Labor and Liberal supporters, essentially saying that if you're upset that we don't have climate legislation to this day, blame the Greens for not voting for the CPRS in 2009. So I thought this would be a good opportunity to try and shine some light on the other less known side of the story and that is why my guest today on the podcast The leader of the Greens, Adam Bandt, I'm not going to try and tell you what to believe. All I ask is that you have a listen to what Adam has to say in response to what Malcolm said, and the claims about the CPRS. And then make up your own mind, I think you'll find that the truth is a bit more complex than what some people would like us to believe. Thanks for listening. And I'll catch you on the other side. Welcome to the Juice Media podcast, Adam Bandt, thanks for joining us. So, by way of introduction, I just wanted to give everyone a little bit of background as to why you're here today on the podcast. So in our last podcast I had as my guest the former prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and we were discussing our recent Honest Government Ad, which is about the post-COVID economic recovery. And we actually agreed on many things at the very start, Malcolm said,

 

Malcolm Turnbull  

I am firmly of the view that we need a Green New Deal in Australia.

 

Giordano  

And we both agree that the Morrison government's plans to embark on a gas-fired recovery is batshit crazy - just flies in the face of both what scientists are saying and what, you know, economic evidence from own government is saying

 

Adam Bandt  

is batshit crazy, is that the technical economic term is it?

 

Giordano  

I believe so, yes. Yes, it is. So, you know, we saw eye to eye on all that. And then when we started talking about history, I kind of asked Malcolm. Okay, can you take us back to that period of 2009 to 2013, crucial period where for the first time Australia actually had meaningful climate action, and the legislation that was introduced in 2011. And that's when at the mention of the Greens, Malcolm really kind of got stuck in and I don't mean just sort of mild criticisms. He really got stuck in.

 

Malcolm Turnbull  

The Greens, I'm afraid to say, have been among the worst wreckers, they've done as much damage to climate policy as the right wing in the coalition. I mean, if the Greens had supported Rudd's CPRS back in 2009, it would have passed. And, again, it would be part of the furniture. They've actually betrayed everything thing they stand for again, and again,

 

Giordano  

I hear this line a lot. I see it a lot in the comments of my videos. Well,

 

Malcolm Turnbull  

you hear it because it's true.

 

Giordano  

Now I thought these claims are a bit unfair. So I, as I have given Malcolm a platform to say this, I thought I would give the Greens a right of response. And at the end of the video, I said, Adam Bandt, if you're listening, come on, you know, welcome to come on the podcast. And that's basically, so everyone knows, that's why you're here is to respond to these claims. And I thought we could go through some of those claims, and perhaps you could give us your version of how that period unfolded.

 

Adam Bandt  

Yeah, sure. Thanks. Thanks for having me on, I mean, there's one single unalterable fact in recent Australian political history, and that is that the only time that pollution, climate pollution has been cut, year after year in a sustained manner is when Greens were in balance of power in both houses and that was after 2010. That's the year that I first got elected in 2010. And of course, no party had a majority in either the House or the Senate. And during that time, we did something that basically no other party has been able to do before or since. Not Malcolm Turnbull, not Kevin Rudd, have been able to do and that is work through a parliament, where no one had a majority, but actually put in place a price on pollution, the carbon price that was designed by law to transition over to what people called a  trading scheme or an ETS, but basically, the guts of it is polluters had to pay for some of the costs of their pollution, and it brought down climate pollution. Right. And one of the things that everyone, especially commentators love to say is, oh, we had 10 years of failure and it's like, no, we actually had legislation in place that was working and that was driving down pollution. Now what happened then was that Tony Abbott and Rupert Murdoch came along, and tore it down I mean to be blunt, and working with the fossil fuel industry and they ran a ruthless campaign in the lead up to the 2013 election to tear it down, I suspect that they potentially would have done that, in 2010 had a price been introduced beforehand. And they would have tried to do it later on had a price been introduced afterwards. But, Malcolm, look, I think he went into it with good intentions. But I think that during that period, he's got a pretty particular view of that period. It's about defending his legacy and what happened to him. And there's also one other unalterable fact, which is that sadly, after 2013 when we had a trading scheme in law, despite all these other times of trying to get it into law and not quite working. We had one in law, Tony Abbott, Rupert Murdoch and the fossil fuel industry came and campaigned against it and tore it down but Malcolm Turnbull voted with them to tear it down. Like he had an opportunity in 2013 to say, oh, no, actually there's a trading scheme in place. This is exactly the kind of thing I said I support. He actually voted to repeal it. And sadly, we've seen pollution rise and rise and rise since then. So I understand that Malcolm wants to defend his legacy at that time, but I think it's a pretty skewed version of history that ignores one very important fact, which is that we had a trading scheme in law. And sadly, Malcolm Turnbull stood in repealing it.

 

Giordano  

So what Malcolm said to me, he put it to me in really stark terms, he said,

 

Malcolm Turnbull  

Do you think, hang on, just let me put this back to you. Do you think we would be better off as a nation if the CPRS had been passed into law in 2009? Yes or no.

 

Giordano  

I'm not, I'm not sure how to answer that.

 

Malcolm Turnbull  

Well, yes or no.

 

Giordano  

Would you accept, that you should have in retrospect, should you have voted for the CPRS? That's, I suppose, the question.

 

Adam Bandt  

No. I think there's an alternate view of history, that Malcolm Turnbull and the like are writing, which is somehow that if this bad scheme, this bad first draft of this scheme that Kevin Rudd put up got legislated. And part of the problem with it is that they had booby traps in it right? Which meant that if you were going to increase it at some later stage, you would have been on the hook for compensation of billions of dollars to polluters, for us, that was a big problem. And our view is like if you could get something and again, the carbon price that we negotiated with Julia Gillard, and the independents was it perfect? No. Was it a great opening chapter in Australia cutting its pollution? Absolutely. And could we have increased it later without being on the hook to polluters? Yes. But Kevin Rudd's scheme, which he negotiated with the Liberals, contained all these booby traps in it, and he wouldn't negotiate with us - he was not interested in talking to us about amending it, to fix it. But like, let's say there is a parallel alternative universe where - I'm just getting the call to go to a division, I'll come back in a second.

 

Giordano  

Hey, we have an intermission now here at the Juice Media podcast where if you need to go to the toilet or get some popcorn, you can do that.

 

Welcome back, Adam. So just for our viewers, that little intermission was that you are literally at work, and thanks for making time in the middle of your workday. You just went down to vote on a bill, I believe. And then you're back again.

 

Adam Bandt  

We want to make big corporations disclose their finances and report to ASIC. Sadly, we lost that one, but we'll give giving it another go.

 

Giordano  

Okay, please do. So. Look, we were just talking about the CPRS. And I feel like you were really getting -there was some really important information there, which, you know, I wasn't aware of and I think people really need to understand. So the question, I'm just going to frame it to you again, so you can just pick up from where we went. Malcolm asked me, he said do you think we would be better off as a nation, if we voted for the CPRS in 2009.

 

Adam Bandt  

The answer is no. And like the thing, the reason that I think that a lot of people don't realise is that the CPRS because it was negotiated basically, between Labor and the Liberals rather than between Labor and the Greens, it actually ended up containing a lot of booby traps in it. So for example, if we tried to increase it later on, as the science became clearer and ratchet it up, we would have been on the hook for compensation potentially in the billions of dollars to the big polluters, and the so you know, people would say, "Well, why don't you vote for something that's a start". And when we came together with Julia Gillard and the independents, that's exactly what we did. Was it perfect? No, it wasn't perfect. But was it a great opening chapter in Australia's climate history? Yeah, it really was. But the the scheme that Rudd had negotiated with the Liberals wasn't a floor - it was a ceiling in a sense, and it contained all these booby traps and Rudd didn't want to talk with us. He just wanted to talk with the Liberals. And it was get it passed at all costs, even if it's going to put a handbrake on future action and make it impossible to turn up the dial in the future. And that for us is the critical thing. And I think that the first thing to know is that it's not that the scheme wasn't, wasn't good enough, it was that it actually had a lot of bad things in it. But a second thing is there's this sort of mythical alternative history that goes on that says, oh if only we'd passed it, it'd all be there and no one would have repealed it. So it's like, hang on, do you really think that Tony Abbott and Rupert Murdoch, they would just run in 2010. What they ran in 2013, like we would have had exactly the same, exactly the same fights. And I guess lastly, I'd say to Malcolm, Malcolm was Prime Minister for a while, during which he never reached out to the Greens or Labor or anyone to say 'let's get a carbon price back'. Which is a shame. That might have been an opportunity to actually get something up but I guess, the main thing I would say is even if you agree with all of that stuff that's said about we should have done things differently and should have negotiated and the Greens should had a different position. We did. The next year. That's exactly what happened. We sat down. I still maintain it was a bad first draft put up by Kevin Rudd, and we got the final product right with Julia Gillard, even if you think it was wrong, we got it right with Gillard. And I just wish that Labor, Malcolm Turnbull, everyone would actually give Julie Gillard's legacy bit more respect because it actually brought down pollution. And I think if we spent a bit more time talking about that 2010 parliament and what we achieved rather than the history that happened before that, we might actually be further down the road to getting it back.

 

Giordano  

It's a shame because as you said, everyone remembers the Greens didn't vote for the CPRS, instead of, hang on, they voted for a much better policy, as you said, in 2010, and passed the Clean Energy Act in 2011. So what Malcolm then said afterwards, we kind of we really got into it. We got stuck into this discussion. And he said,

 

Malcolm Turnbull  

Because you see the thing about Rudd with the CPRS, he had the legitimacy of a massive electoral mandate. I mean, he had gone to the election. He'd said, I'm going to introduce an emissions trading scheme. He won the election. And if it had been passed, I can tell you, what would have happened was the coalition would have then said, okay, it's done. It's past. The problem that Julia had was that she was not seen to have a mandate for it, because she had not gone to the election, proposing an ETS number one, and the only thing she'd actually said in a definitive way was we won't have a carbon tax. And then she introduces an ETS for which she did not have a mandate and then mistakenly characterises it as a carbon tax for which she, if anything, had a mandate not to introduce you know, so it was the worst of all worlds.

 

Giordano  

And he really put a lot of emphasis on that. What is your response to that?

 

Adam Bandt  

I think people need to see what Julia said in the rest of that quote, because they always cut it off before she went on to say, it's time to put a price on pollution, right? And that's what we did. And this is the thing that gets me about this version of history that Rudd spins, I mean Rudd was just a terrible negotiator and didn't want to reach out and talk to us. And okay, the rest is history. Whereas Julia Gillard, was actually really good at working across the aisle and saying, "Let's find a way to all come together and agree". Is it something each of us pretend is perfect? No, but is it something that we think is a good start.

 

Giordano  

Sorry, Adam, what was the full quote, can you give it to us?

 

Adam Bandt  

She went on to basically say that we've got to put a price on pollution and a carbon price as opposed to a tax. What I wish people and Malcolm understood a bit better, it hurts to think that we had a scheme that was about to flip over for those who want to get into the technicalities of it, and become an emissions trading scheme and join the European Union emission trading scheme. He voted to repeal it like a year when it was, you know, as it was becoming an emissions trading scheme in law. So, we can have the back and forth. This litigation of alternative view of history and this ignoring, this complete whitewashing of this period, where we actually worked together and actually brought down pollution, and I bring everyone back to that fact, again, and again, it's like, you can have your alternative use of history, but the only one thing that brought down pollution was the Greens and Labor and independents working together. And I just wish in hindsight, Malcolm Turnbull with his government had respected that and left that in place. We'd be in a much, much better place now. And that would be the question I'd put back to him. Would Australia have been a bit of place, Malcolm Turnbull, if you hadn't voted to repeal the carbon price that we had put in place, and I think the answer to that is unambiguously yes. But going forward now, with Malcolm Turnbull, I'm kind of in olive branch mode, right? Because I understand that time in history was tough time for him. But we're actually, there's actually now an increasing level of commonality about pushing for a Green New Deal. And by saying, and the basic premise of it is this, that I think he would probably agree with, that we've got an economic crisis that's facing us, we've got an inequality crisis or job crisis with so many people out of work, in part because the economic crisis and we've got a climate crisis. Now, if you go to the doctor, and the doctor says, look, you got three things wrong with you and I can give you a medicine that fixes one or give you a medicine that fixes all three, you take the medicine that fixes all three, and that's where we're at at the moment and it's about a great To you, which I back and I think he backs as well is about saying now is the time for government to step in, take control and create these new industries of the future that are going to help us tackle the climate crisis. And it's called  the Green New Deal, because it's based on the New Deal which came out of the depression, the response to the depression, which says, look, we're gonna fix the depression by giving everyone decent jobs, and tackling the multiple crises we've got, and they delivered something of real lasting benefit to the country. Well they not only got huge transportation networks, they've got the National Park Service in the US, it really not only found a lot of meaningful work for people, but delivered something of lasting benefit. That's I think, what we've got to get on the table now. And I think, carbon price should be part of that. But I think increasingly there's some grounds for commonality.

 

Giordano  

Sure. I want to ask you about that. But I'm going to frame it again within a quote that Malcolm said.

 

Malcolm Turnbull  

The problem with the Greens is that inevitably they will not be taken seriously on an economic basis, I mean you need to have something, you need to have a plan that is supported by business, that is supported by credible third party economists. It's got to be one that is very doable.

 

Giordano  

How do you respond to that? And I suppose this is a way of asking, you know, what is your policy? Is it economically costed? I feel like it's ironic that a lot of the time, it's the government's policies that aren't properly costed. What is the Green New Deal? Is it a serious policy that economists should, you know, and business take seriously?

 

Adam Bandt  

I'll send Malcolm a copy of our recovery plan, because what we're arguing is that at this time in history, where money's the cheapest it's ever been for governments to borrow, when we've got so many people who are going to be out of work for a long time and looking for decent work. And we've got so much work that needs to be done. On the other hand, to transform Australia to a renewable energy superpower. It's time for government to step in and invest right and pull the two together. And government takes the lead in that transition, and has to make some of the big investments in things like, the backbone of the renewable energy grid. So, because at the moment basically the grid largely just goes out to where the coal mines are, a series of copper wire and aluminium wires out to coal mines. Whereas what we need to do is build a grid out to where the sun shines, and the wind blows so that we can start building renewable energy to put on the end of it. Things like that are things that the government should do just as back, over 50 or 100 years ago, the government said, well, we're going to step in and build the infrastructure that's there for a common good. And we've costed this and we've worked out what it would take for Australia to be able to do it. We have to wind back some of the the big tax breaks that the big polluters get at the moment, but I think that we can, we can, you know, the public would be up for that. We'd invest but we'd still end up with debt levels around about half of what comparable countries have. We still end up in a really strong position. And what we get out of it over on our Invest to Recover plan, what we get out of it in the next 10 to 15 years is half a million new public housing homes to help tackle the homelessness crisis and the jobs crisis. We end up with 100% renewable energy. We end up with export hubs where we could start exporting green hydrogen and green steel, we'd revitalise manufacturing, and we'd be able to get free education for everyone and expand the education sector. So it is costly. And it is eminently doable. It just takes a bit of leadership and increasingly that's what people are saying, Yeah, look, it's now or never and I guess the flip side is, you know, the government, the current government that we've got now said when the Coronavirus came along, look, I know it's gonna involve hundreds of billions of dollars of expenditure, but we've got no choice. We've got to do it to keep things going. Like in other words, the alternative of not doing it was too bad. And I think if the government can follow the science and follow the expert advice in relation to the corona crisis then we can potentially get them there on the climate crisis too.

 

Giordano  

So if people want to find your fully costed serious economic ,not idealist, not fanciful, Greenie - this is how often you know people try and portray and delegitimise the Greens policies, where can they find that? Where can they findyour policy on the Green New Deal?

 

Adam Bandt  

Right now google 'Greens recovery plan'. And if you google 'Greens recovery plan', you will find our Invest to Recover plan, which is our plan for a pathway out of the triple crises that we're facing - the climate crisis, the economic crisis and the inequality crisis. It's a very, you can see the detailed plan there and you can see what we're arguing for and just as a reminder to people one of the other things we got during that shared power Parliament, as well as the carbon price, as well as getting dental into Medicare for kids, which we want to get done for the rest of the population as well. We actually got the Parliamentary Budget Office so that policies can be costed. Like we've taken this serious, we've taken the lead as you say, often the government doesn't do it, the government gets away with making all sorts of promises. But we've taken the lead in taking these things seriously, because if there's a grain of truth, I guess, in some of the things that Malcolm said before, it's that people, often, they know that we fight hard on climate as the Greens, but they don't necessarily know what our economic plans are. And I think people are taught to run the ruler over us in the same way that they run it over other parties. So I would say go and have a look at our Invest to Recover plans and what you see is that the Green New Deal that we're working on at the moment is the fully fledged, not only the recovery plan, but the fully fledged plan that we will take to the next election. That is something that will be going through consultation with our members and  nationwide consultation at the moment. And you're gonna see more of that sort of the flesh on the bones of all of that at the end of this year and the start of next year, but Google 'Greens recovery plan' and get an idea where we're coming from.

 

Giordano  

Okay, we'll stick that in the show notes, so you heard that if you know if you want to know, what the Greens are proposing, you know from Malcolm's serious economic perspective, if you want to check that out, we'll put in the show notes. Um, can I just ask you, obviously the next federal election is a little while away. But you've got a by-election coming up in Eden-Monaro, which I think is, is important, especially in terms of climate action. There's an outgoing Labor MP. And I thought, perhaps you could give us a sense in terms of long-term for the federal election, but also now in the short-term for this by-election. How are the Greens trying to engage with people who aren't already on board, especially on the need for climate action? I mean, people in rural communities, farmers, where the perception of the Greens is very much as the one that we've been discussing where, you know, it's, you're not serious about jobs and economy. How are the Greens reaching out to that demographic?

 

Adam Bandt  

One of the things that we were saying in the Eden-Monaro election,  they are some of the most powerful voters in the country at the moment, and this is their best chance to send a message to the government about the climate crisis. And I think people in Eden-Monaro have lived through a summer that, that people have told us was, that they knew was unprecedented, which is what the scientists were saying as well. And, and it is terrifying for them to think that it might be coming back and or might be becoming something like a new normal. And so I think there is a growing sense that what is happening is, is scary, and it's wrong, and it's going to get a lot worse. So there's a very strong opportunity for them to send that message to the government about climate. But what the point that we're also making in that by-election is that the recovery plan in support of the Green New Deal approach, the recovery plan to tackle the climate crisis, it's going to create jobs, it's going to create jobs, and so one of the big pushes in Eden-Monaro but also as part of our recovery plan more generally. Is the work that would be available in rehabilitating and restoring some of Australia's environment. You know, 1 billion animals died as a result of the bushfires, as well as people losing their homes and their lives. But we've got an enormous amount of Australia's environment that we've got to restore because it's just getting to a breaking point. Now, these jobs and the work in these jobs in building social housing, and having apprenticeships as part of that, that's actually going to solve the homelessness crisis as well, which is part of our approach of like, try and tackle as many problems as you can with the one response. And so, that message, right up there with the climate message in Eden-Monaro is talking about our plans for jobs as well. And that, I guess, is something that you're going to hear me - before I came to this position as a parliamentarian I've worked as an employment lawyer for 12 years and I understand that crappy jobs hurt people right? Insecure jobs can hurt, make it impossible to plan your life. And if you're constantly living on the edge as so many people are with the rise of insecure work, it makes it really difficult to live from day-to-day. If you're living below the poverty line, because Newstart is kept below the poverty line, then you're spending your whole time to try to survive. So we're going to lift the level of Newstart and Jobseeker. So those economic and social issues for me, are kind of a big part of what drives me. And a big part of what we're going to be presenting over the next year or so side by side with that strong climate message.

 

Giordano  

In the context of the bush fires which you've just raised you know, the Greens have copped a lot of criticism, a lot of blame for being behind you know, the whole issue of the back burning and all that sort of stuff. Again, this is another narrative that risks really becoming cemented into the discourse. So for anyone listening, what is your defence on this heinous behaviour on behalf of the Greens?

 

Adam Bandt  

For a start, in New South Wales and Victoria. I mean, if you haven't noticed the Greens haven't been in government, it's been Liberal governments and Labor governments who've been in charge. And so they've been in charge of land management practices for a very long time. So if the people who are making these points really believe them don't point at us, point to the people who've been in power in the state governments for a long period of time, but well, the simple answer is that we support hazard reduction burns, support science based hazard reduction burns, always have and have been crystal clear about it. What I think is happening though, is that after the climate and coal-fired bushfires that we saw over the summer, and the penny started to drop for lots of people right around the country that this is what the climate crisis looks like. And it's not just in those fire regions. It was in the cities as well. When you can't drop your kids off to childcare because the air is too polluted. What happened after that is the Murdoch media and the conservatives realised 'Oh, people are actually now putting two and two together'. So they mounted a massive reaction to say, 'Oh, it's all the fault of the backburns' and so on. But I get the sense that a lot of people, especially in these areas realised that this was unprecedented and that they had been doing the preventative burning, the hazard reduction burning during the years. And when we've been talking to firefighters, what they've been telling us is that the window to do these hazard reduction burns is actually getting shorter and shorter. And so there's less and less time for them to do it. Not only that, but a lot of the forests that burned over this summer was forest that hadn't burnt before. They hadn't expected to burn before and you don't do -  Firefighters tell us that there's not a history of doing hazard reduction burns in rainforest areas, for example, in some rainforest areas. And as far as backburns are concerned, which is kind of a different thing to hazard reduction burns, but it's like the fires getting out of control and so you try and do some back burning to stop it from spreading. They're telling us that, that part of the problem is that in part because of global warming, the temperatures weren't even getting down low enough overnight for them to be able to do it. So the firefighters are telling us really clearly, hazard reduction burning is not the issue. The issue is climate. And as in the word of one firefighter, the way they said it to me, there's no sceptics at the end of the fire hose. And so when it comes to listening to that argument about hazard reduction burns, I guess I'll listen to the firefighters or listen to the experts and listen to the scientists who are telling us that this is fueled by global warming. This is not something that you can burn your way out of and if we don't want this to become the new normal, the single biggest thing we could do is just get out of coal, oil and gas as quickly as we possibly can.

 

Giordano  

Hopefully people the people who need to hear that will hear that. Adam, I know you're at work. I don't want to keep you too long. I want to ask you two more questions. One is on the Federal ICAC. With all the stories that we see now with corruption in the Victorian Labor Party, I mean it's not just that but this is just the latest sort of chapter in the history of shitfuckery in this country. Federal ICAC is something that you've working on that's really coming back to the fore. Can you bring us up to date where that's at? Is this a moment where we could finally see an anti-corruption commission with teeth?

 

Adam Bandt  

Yeah, I really hope so. And we've got anti-corruption commissions. With varying size teeth at state levels and some are really good and some have, as a result of the investigation they've done, ministers have gone to jail because they've misused their position or misused public money. And the the push for it at the federal level I think is now unstoppable. I introduced the first bill into the house of representatives to establish an ICAC a few years ago, the Greens introduced a bill, the first bill into the parliament a few years ago. We've improved on it since. Cathy McGowan the former member for Indi, did a lot of work with former judges and some transparency groups to improve that bill. And so we built on it and now got a bill that has had the input of some of the finest legal minds in the country, about to deliver an anti-corruption watchdog with teeth. The good news is it's actually passed the Senate, so it's actually passed. A law needs to pass two houses of parliament. This has already passed one house of parliament. And it's just waiting for a vote in the in the House of Representatives. Now we've got a really tightly balanced parliament in the House of Representatives. It's only a couple of votes in it. And there have been some government backbenchers who've spoken out and said, 'Look, enough's enough, we need to get on with it and legislate a corruption commission'. It only means a couple of them need to cross the floor and we could have it passed. Right. That's how close we are to having it. The government is trying to hold it off by saying 'Oh, no, we've got a better version. Don't you worry we've got a better version'. Though, they said that 18 months ago and we haven't seen draft legislation from them since. Their latest excuse was we had to put it on hold because of the Coronavirus you know, they could still barrel on with a bunch of other things like cutting environmental protections during the Coronavirus but apparently they can't get on with passing a federal anti-corruption commission. You've got to get your priorities right. We've had sports rorts, we've had forged documents, we've had branch stacking, I think the case for it is now just unstoppable. And I think it's a bit like issues like marriage equality, you start out with a bill that you're introducing and people say, 'No, no, it'll never pass' and you just keep coming back and keep coming back. And look at some point they'll probably claim it as their own and pretend it was their idea all along. And, you know, that's just the way it goes. But, I think we're closer than we ever have been. And I think they've got no argument anymore. What I'm worried about is that they'll come up with a version that doesn't have any teeth. And we just got to be vigilant to make sure that if we do it, we do it right.

 

Giordano  

When is the bill coming up for a vote in the lower house?

 

Adam Bandt  

We're about to go on the winter break. So hopefully when we come back in August.

 

Giordano  

I love this, another intermission. As Adam goes back to do his job.

 

Welcome back for part three. Um, how did that one go?

 

Adam Bandt  

Yeah, sadly the government didn't agree that they'd ripped billions of dollars out of TAFE and higher education and should put it all back, which is a shame, but we'll keep trying.

 

Giordano  

I feel like, we'll just have to keep going until something good happens here. Keep going till the next one, then we'll wait. Last question Adam, and we'll let you go. You're clearly very busy. So, on top of the climate emergency, we've had the pandemic, but we've also got multiple cascading systemic disasters in our society that are really, you know, taking their toll on people. And a lot of people are suffering. You know, psychologically, I think there's a lot of anxiety. There's a lot of fear. And people you know, there's a lack of leadership from government. What do you have to say to people who are struggling?

 

Adam Bandt  

If there is one word to describe, I guess sort of the spirit of our times it probably is anxiety, that word that you used. And it started before the climate crisis and the corona pandemic, like these last three decades of trickle-down economics have meant that people feel pretty anxious about the basics of day to day life. Are you going to have a job? Are you going to have a roof over your head? Are you going to have enough money to live? Have any enough money to retire on? Basically, over the last three or four decades, governments have taken all of those things and said, we're gonna let the market decide everything. And that means for people, life becomes a roller coaster. And it leaves people very, very worried about not only their future but about day to day life. And then you add on top of that, the climate crisis that comes along and makes it even difficult to think about the future at all because of what might be in store and you listen to the scientists telling us that we've got a very short period of time to turn things around, otherwise we might not be able to keep global warming under control. Anxiety is the completely rational reaction to it. And as far as neoliberalism goes and economic rationalism, that whole system of making people feel worried about their everyday life. Anxiety is not a bug. It's a feature of the system. It's designed to make people feel worried. And I guess what keeps me going is knowing that there's a different way of doing things. And part of what politics has to be about is saying no, politics should be about guaranteeing the basics of life, guaranteeing the basics so that people can live a good life, taking away some of that anxiety. I mean, that is the point of living in a society, that we are able to share risk amongst each other. We don't have to all carry it individually, because that can become really debilitating. And it can make you feel like you're powerless, and there's nothing you can do about it. But the point about society and the point about politics is understanding that we've actually got these amazing connections with each other. And we've actually got to take care of all of these things that we share in common, like the languages that we have, but also the environment that we've got. And also, you know, the government money like this is about pooling our resources and our money so that we can look after people who are doing it tough, and that reminds me of Margaret Thatcher who used to say, 'Oh, well, there is no alternative'. But like, yes, there is an alternative. And it involves us looking after each other and caring for those things that we've got in common. And I think around the world, people are realising that now, and realising that we've kind of been sold out over the last 30 or 40 years by politicians and we've been sold a lie and the kind of society, the dog eat dog society that we've all been told that there's no alternative to, people are realising that there is an alternative and look, you know, I've got young kids, and a lot of people feel like this whether you've got kids or not, but I've got young kids and when I read the science, and realise that during their lifetimes, during the lifetime of every one of today's primary school students, the world could go from seven and a half billion down to 1 billion people by the time that they reach retirement. Like that is terrifying and I am going to fight as hard as I possibly can to ensure that we've got a safe climate and an equal society. And I think people are starting to see a bit of hope creep back in. And it's one of the things about the pandemic is that like, the things that have got us through this pandemic have been all the things that they've attacked for the last 30 years, it's actually been our public health system, it's been listening to the science, it's been putting human life above a surplus. So we've just seen a little crack in the door and realised that it can be done differently. And that gives me an enormous amount of hope that, when we realise actually we've got an enormous amount in common, actually, we've got an enormous amount to say, actually, if the government wants to, it can turn in a blink of an eye and do things that were previously thought unthinkable Who'd have thought that you know, Scott Morrison is going to give us free childcare and start guaranteeing people's wages and doubling the dole but he's done it like that. If things can happen that quickly on that, then they can happen that quickly on the climate and inequality crisis as well.

 

Giordano  

It's interesting to hear what helps to keep you going and I think having something that you're dedicating your life - like you clearly have a lot on your hands, you've got a way of enacting some change and making some changes. And I suppose, hopefully everyone has access to something that they can get involved in, whether it's volunteering, or whether it's getting involved with, you know, a political party or a group. But in my experience, doing something is the medicine. It's not only the solution to the problem, but it's also what keeps you going in the meantime, because doing nothing can be very scary.

 

Adam Bandt  

We share it with others, like we're not all alone. A lot of us feeling like this, right, like reach out, get involved in something, get involved. Get involved in something with someone else by sharing it. Like that's one of the things about being in a society and it's going to be key to getting us through this, as you say getting active but also recognising, you know, it's a great song, but it's true. We're all in this together.

 

Giordano  

Great. I want to end it on that, on that positive note, but thanks so much, Adam, for taking time out. Between your parliamentary sessions.

 

Adam Bandt  

Thanks very much for having me on.

 

Giordano  

Take care. Bye bye, Adam. Well, that brings us to the end of this episode of the Juice Media podcast. The main purpose of this episode was, of course, to give the Greens a chance to respond to an accusation against them which we often hear, no doubt there are valid criticisms one can make about the Greens, but holding them responsible for all the climate shitfuckery we've seen in Australia over the past decade, as some people do, is clearly not one of them. So next time someone makes that case, you might want to link them to this video. We also had a chance to cover a bunch of other issues. And I have to say the thing that really struck me during the course of my chat with Malcolm and Adam is the issue of minority governments, which is when no single party wins enough seats at a federal election in order to form government and therefore has to negotiate with other parties, such as what happened in 2010. Between Labor, the Greens, and independents, unlike what we're often told by the two major parties, minority governments are not necessarily inherently bad. In fact, arguably a minority government is when we get the most out of our democracy, since political parties then have a stronger incentive to come together and negotiate. It's when our interests, rather than the interests of the two major parties, are served best. And not by chance, as Adam said, it's the one and only time that our government produced genuine climate legislation when Labor, independents and the Greens came together to pass that legislation in 2011. So when it comes to discussing climate policy in Australia, let's keep alive that chapter of history in our memory, the story of how a minority government gave us genuine climate policy rather than the chapter we're constantly told to remember, which is the failure of Rudd's CPRS. We need to be mindful of this tendency to discredit and delegitimise minority governments. And we need to ask, whose interests does that serve because what the historical record of the past decade shows is that the most likely way that we're going to get genuine climate and energy legislation in Australia is through a minority government and that is something that we all need to keep at the front of our minds as we approach the next federal election. And lastly, after hearing Adam say that Julia Gillard achievements around climate policy are often dismissed. I think it would be fair to extend the invitation also to Julia to complete the picture. We've heard from Malcolm, Liberal politician, Adam Bandt of the Greens. So Julia, if you're listening and would like to come on the podcast to provide your own perspective on these matters, here's your invitation to come on the Juice Media podcast. All right, that's enough political nerdery for now, time to get back to writing our next Honest Government Ad. You've been listening to the Juice Media podcast with me, Giordano, and as always a huge thanks to our patrons for making this podcast and the Honest Government Ad's possible. Take care.