Ministers in the new government have been announced today.
First, there are now two Environment ministries. Peter Garrett (ex-Midnight Oil singer) retains his lead portfolio, but Penny Wong has been given Water and Climate Change. It’s possible to read this several ways – for example, maybe Climate Change has been relegated to a junior ministry, or maybe there’s that much work to put into it. Wong is apparently from a Left faction of Labor, which might be good or bad too. Good, if she will thus be more likely to have the commitment to the issue, or bad that the Left have less power (voice) than the right in the new government. The Australian (formerly the Government Gazette, now somewhat rudderless) paints this situation as sidelining Garrett, although doesn’t specifically back up this assertion in the copy.
Wong’s off with Rudd to the Bali conference.
Another snippet of news today mentions that plans for future coal power stations are likely to be put on hold because of the government’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions. This from the National Generators Forum. Good news for investment in clean technologies. Australia has plenty of sun to spare.