Both sides of politics felt the warmth of gas-led boosts to donations

First trumpeted by the prime minister at a National Press Club address in February 2020, it proposed that the energy transition plan Australian business has been begging for for more than a decade — and that Turnbull lost the Coalition leadership over twice — should be built around gas. Also that Australian taxpayers should underwrite the manufacturing sector’s efforts to deliver it.

There is, the PM said, “no credible energy transition plan for an economy like Australia that does not involve the greater use of gas”. The howls of protest that greeted this were voluminous and widespread.

They came from the 82% of Australians concerned about the effect of climate change in our backyard and appalled that the leaked draft report backing the strategy didn’t even mention the climate crisis, nor propose a single alternative to centring Australia’s energy future around fossil fuel.

They also came from governance experts, appalled at how the membership of the National COVID-19 Coordinating Commission that wrote the report had been stacked by members from the mining and fossil fuel industries, including taskforce head Andrew Liveris, who was also a board member of Saudi oil company Aramco and mining business Worley.

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