Environment and Heritage
Robert Hills been replaced by David Kemp. Kemps been described as a “severe rationalist”, and has a manner that some say is condescending and disinterested. In his maiden speech in 1990 he said that Australian Governments had been steered by minority pressure groups and that they instead need to listen to the mainstream and ignore the radicals. Hes a supporter of the user pays principle so well see if he applies this to the users of the environment .
Kemp wants to be seen as approachable and open, so there may be more access to him than Hill would allow. Because Hill was a Senator, the Environment portfolio was held in the Senate, which enabled slow and reasoned debate. Now its in the House of Reps, it could be more up front, hard hitting and in the PMs face.
Shadowing Kemp will be an identifiable figure of the Victorian Labor right, Kelvin Thompson. Despite that, it is believed he has a genuine concern for the environment and could have potential if not sat upon. Some have concerns he could be an ineffectual plodder.
Forestry and Conservation
Tuckeys being investigated for travel rorts but still managed to retain a portfolio Regional Affairs. He did an outstanding job for us as the Minister for Logging, always being the ultra redneck and putting most people off-side. Ian McDonald now has this position. Hes a senator >from FN Qld, in fact the northern most Liberal Senator if that means anything. Hes a true career politician, having never done anything besides a law degree at Uni before he joined the Liberal ranks. Now that rainforest logging has finished in Queensland, tourism has been proved an economical winner, and opportunity for corruption and collusion with the logging industry in his state has gone, he could view forests differently. With McDonald holding this one, it may mean the forest debate could now largely be in the Senate.
Kerry OBrien from Tasmania is shadowing for Primary Industry and Resources. Hes served a lot of grog in his time and had strong union alliances until he became a senator in 96. Hes seen as a hard liner – difficult to deal with.
Overall, it seems pretty dismal and some believe that if there was ever a time for working outside the political system, its now.