The Bullroarer - Monday 17th November 2008 National under fire for plan to review climate scheme

Environmental groups are horrified at a "radical" turn in the National government's climate-change policy just a week after the election. Under a confidence-and-supply agreement with ACT, the emissions trading scheme (ETS) will be put on hold during a review and a thermal-power generation ban will be lifted.

ABC: Concern at push to make houses more energy efficient

Tasmania's Master Builders Association has cautioned the Premier David Bartlett against agreeing to a national six-star energy efficiency standard for new housing. The MBA says the matter is up for discussion at the Council of Australian Governments Meeting later this month. It warns the Tasmanian housing market is in a difficult position because of the global financial problems, and any rash decision at COAG could increase housing costs by $10,000.

Improving the energy efficiency (and public transport access) of new housing in Australia has to be one of our highest priorities and one where we get the greatest bang for the buck. As it stands, we are digging ourselves deeper into a hole with exactly the wrong kind of new housing.

NZ National Business Review: Comment: Climate change review echoes world trend

As the new National government charts its course toward the brighter future promised to the electorate, John Key and his team will undoubtedly be mindful of avoiding the imposition of unnecessary regulations and restrictions, but also reviewing and removing those that are unnecessary.

The Age: Women drive up train, tram crush

MORE women than ever before are using public transport, with a study showing that female commuters make about 1 million more trips each week than men. This surge in patronage indicates that women — who use public transport to reach leisure activities as well as their places of work — are behind the boom that has left the system buckling under record overcrowding.

Herald Sun: Call for national biofuels institute

AUSTRALIA should establish a national biofuels institute to improve collaboration between local biofuels researchers, a report recommends.

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) report said such an institute should resemble the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute or the Australian Solar Institute, which is still being developed.

Herald Sun: Transport bureaucrats spend $3.3m on new Victorian offices

PUBLIC transport bureaucrats have won a multi-million-dollar office facelift as commuters continue to suffer cramped conditions. The Brumby Government's recently formed Department of Transport had $3.3 million spent on a new fitout at its Collins St offices in March. The money would have bought three new three-carriage trains.

The Australian: Renewable energy fund fizzles out

INVESTMENT in Australia's renewable energy sector has failed to take off, totalling just $3 billion in the eight years since the scheme was introduced.

Modelling by the Energy Supply Association of Australia estimates that a $23 billion investment in renewable energy will be required to achieve the federal Government's goal of doubling the market share of renewable energy from 10 per cent to 20 per cent by 2020.

Uncertainty over interim Mandatory Renewable Energy Targets (MRET) beyond 2010, which is slated to be announced in early 2009, has been the key reason for investment in the sector stalling, according to "2020 Vision", a new report from Ernst & Young on the investment challenges and opportunities of meeting the target.

The Brisconnections toll road venture continues to unravel:

Courier-Mail: Airport link faces end of road

AIRPORTLINK investors, hit by a 1000 per cent loss, have been warned they face legal action if they renege on further payments into the project float. Hundreds of Queenslanders bought shares for $1 each in the $5-billion-dollar BrisConnections when it was floated in July, with a condition of purchase being two more $1 payments within the next two years. However shares in BrisConnections spectacularly crashed in the economic meltdown and the $1 units are now worth a measly 0.1¢.

ABC Inside Business: Trevor Rowe joins Inside Business

ALAN KOHLER, PRESENTER: The cheapest stock on the ASX right now is BrisConnections, which is building Brisbane's $3.4 billion Airport link toll road.

It's one tenth of a cent, the lowest possible price for a listed security. And at that price it's attracting interest. This week, tens of millions changed hands, although you can get a million of them for a thousand bucks.

Trouble is, BrisConnections shares are not quite what it seems. You're not just buying a piece of a toll road, you're buying a liability.

The stapled securities were issued at $3 each in July, with a dollar paid then, another dollar due next April, and the final dollar in 2010. These are not optional. If you don't pay, you get sued.

For Chairman Trevor Rowe it's a potential nightmare. Do his shareholders know what they're up for?

The MBA scare in Tassie on more energy efficient houses is exactly the same as the scare campaign we had here in WA in 2005-06. Led to Minister MacTiernan downgrading her proposed energy efficent housing scheme, that was originally based on NSW's BASIX. She also faced opposition from Energy Minister Logan who seemed to have been unduely influenced by the MBA's campaign. Of course, the new home buyers suffer the most over the longer term as energy prices sky-rocket and they are stuck in poorly-designed homes.

It's a littlehard to feel sorry for the new home buyerswhen they as consumers do have the power to specify what goes inot their new homes or they simply shouldn't buy them. The trouble is the home buyers don't care about energy efficiency. If is is a choise between a third gargae or energy efficiency,they'll take the garage. Market forces at work! Nobody wants the dead hand of governemtn to interfere. I thnk waht may be needed is a climate blacklist where organsisations an individual are publicly listed as greedy self serving bastards because they refuse to do their bit. At least our kids will know who to hang first when the time comes.