Australian Politics – Leftist Libs Target Abbott, Who Could Cost Their Green Mates Cash

Posted on Thu 05/03/2018 by


By Andrew Bolt ~

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

The Liberals would be worthless if professional lobbyists and global warming fanatics pull this off:

Tony Abbott’s political future could be under threat from a group of activists who have been organising environmentally conscious [sic] voters to join Liberal party branches on Sydney’s north shore – a move that could unseat the former prime minister.

Billing themselves as “the counterweight” to the pro-coal power Monash Forum, the North Shore Environmental Stewards have held at least two recruitment functions at which attendees were urged to tap into their networks of environmentally conscious people to join the Liberal party branches in Abbott’s seat of Warringah and on the lower north shore…

Several high-profile figures in the moderate [sic] faction of the Liberal party, including the powerbroker Michael Photios and his wife, Kristina, attended the lunchtime gathering of the NSES at Seaforth in March.

Also attending were the New South Wales MP for North Shore, Felicity Wilson, and David Begg, a longtime Liberal party member who ran against Abbott for preselection in the 1990s.

Photios addressed the meeting and, according to one attendee, put the case that the Liberals were the party that would tackle climate change – and that they should join. He highlighted his own record of defending the environment when in state parliament.

“At the meeting I soon realised that the NSES was … seeking to recruit people concerned about the lack of action on climate change to join the Liberal party in order to block the preselection of Tony Abbott to stand in Warringah at the next federal election,” the attendee claimed.

One invitation for the Mosman meeting said: “We have a real opportunity be a force for good in the party, a voice for the environment right here in the electorate of the Monash Forum’s figurehead – Tony Abbott. Come and learn about how we can shift the politics here in Warringah at our info session this Sunday!”

This is disgusting.

It’s not just the intolerance and the hijacking of the party by the Left.

There’s also the vested interests of a paid lobbyist with an unhealthy influence on Liberal party preselections:

Kristina [Photios] is known for her passion for the environment, describing it to Fairfax Media as “the cause I have dedicated my life to pursuing”.

Conservatives for Conservation [set up by Kristina Photios] has also served as a platform for powerful companies that have recently paid Kristina and Michael as professional lobbyists. That includes the energy generator and retailer AGL, Australia’s largest emitter, now pivoting from coal toward solar and wind farms.

Every NSW Liberal who lets their party participation be influenced by Photios should be embarrassed. How can this kind of thing be tolerated?

Two months after the release of [Chief Scientist Alan] Finkel’s review [into global warming policies], Kristina’s Conservatives for Conservation brought 90 corporate and political guests together for a “Finkel Report Brief” in a theatre in NSW parliament house…

Three senior businessmen sat on the four-person panel, representing AGL, the multinational technology company Siemens and the law firm Norton Rose Fullbright.

AGL has pushed for the Australian government to adopt a clean energy target as the company moves toward non-coal energy investments worth billions.

Siemens is another heavy investor in new energy technology while Norton Rose Fulbright describes itself as a “powerhouse” of energy advice.

What the audience paying $65 a head for the Finkel briefing was not told was that all three businesses were registered clients of the Photios’ lobbying firms.

And now Michael Photios is linked to a push to drive out of Parliament the politician most likely to stop the gravy train that so profits some clients of his family’s firms.

Liberal MPs and members are OK with this? The collaborators think this does not make them look shabby?

Kristina — a former Macquarie Bank analyst and KPMG adviser — has also created a new group called “Conservatives for Conservation” to champion environmental causes within the Coalition.

Kristina chairs the group, which we understand has secured the patronage of former Howard-era environment minister Robert Hill, former father-of-the-house Philip Ruddock, the Liberals’ first federal female president Chris McDiven and, perhaps most significantly, former NSW premier Nick Greiner, the party’s all-but-official president-elect who will replace the outgoing Richard Alston in a fortnight at the Liberals’ federal council…

Kristina and Michael Photios … are now both officially lobbyists, acting on behalf of a range of energy clients diverse enough to span most of the Alan Finkel-sketched future.

Kristina is now working for Clean Energy Strategies, a new business founded in recent months by her husband and his business partners Nick Campbell and David Begg

Andy Vesey’s energy shop AGL is Kristina’s first client. AGL has announced a long-term plan to get out of coal and increase investment in solar and wind farms, thereby diverging from the views of respected energy analyst Tony Abbott.

Abbott has suggested the Turnbull Government compulsorily acquire AGL’s Liddell coal-fired power station if AGL insists on closing it, thus risking electricity shortages and price hikes. Keeping Liddell going would cost AGL by keeping down prices for its renewable energy.

So how glad would AGL be to get Abbott out of politics? How hard is Photios working to do that? Let’s hear from him.

Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.

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