Zali Steggall
Zali Steggall, Australian MP © AAPIMAGE via Reuters Connect

Your Big Read on Australian politics and the role of so called teal independents oversimplifies the issue (“A new shade of climate champions”, Big Read, May 10).

Climate policy is complicated and has indeed been highly polarised in Australia.

There are certainly opportunities to create a better transition framework, but comparing a primary producer like Australia with somewhere like the UK is invalid, as despite wind power the UK imports a majority of its energy.

There is a valid debate about the speed of transition and with which sources, but there can be significant costs and dependency, as Germany illustrates with the Ukrainian war.

A carbon price mechanism can have a role to play but is not a panacea.

While a discussion can be had about the speed of transition to renewables, Australian emissions will make minimal if any impact on global emissions and its local climate. China’s annual increase in emissions exceeds Australia’s total emissions.

The independents often have significant other agendas beyond climate policy and are mostly “false flag” Labor. For example, Zali Steggall, who defeated former Liberal party prime minister Tony Abbott at the last election in Warringah, has voted 84 per cent of the time with Labor in the current parliament.

Other independent agenda items include stronger powers for Aboriginals, stronger rights for women and reduced defence expenditure.

The independents are not in fact independent at all but financed by Climate 200 and Simon Holmes à Court, the Australian businessman.

None of their agenda is publicly costed.

If a Labor government was dependent on not only independents but Greens — with its leader Adam Bandt, a former teenage Marxist — there would be a very sharp turn to the left in Australian policy, with some pretty disastrous consequences.

Richard Winckles
Sydney, NSW, Australia

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