The Abbott Government just bought itself a cheerleader. As voters, should we stand for this?

The Abbott Government is buying its own cheerleaders – and as voters we deserve better.

This morning, Guardian Australia revealed that the Abbott Government was allocating $4 million for a Copenhagen-based climate change “consensus” centre to be brought here and plonked in an Australian university.

The Copenhagen Consensus Centre run by Bjorn Lomborg, was defunded by the Danish government in 2012.

It’s since been kept alive by private donors in the United States.

Lomborg acknowledges that climate change exists – he just doesn’t think it’s a big deal. He argues that governments should de-prioritise it and stop spending money on subsidies for renewable energy or climate projects in developing countries.

abbott government climate change
Australia’s latest import – Bjorn Lomborg. Image: Getty.

But now Lomborg and his centre have been offered a $4 million life-line from the Abbott Government.

Related content: Waleed Aly slams Australia’s action on climate change.

So let’s be clear – a centre that is against action on climate change, that was given the boot by its own country, has now found a home in Australia. A cushy, government-funded home.


While domestic violence crisis centres are crying out for funding, while the Abbott Government cannot find the money to fund the Gonski reforms, and while Education and Training Minister Christopher Pyne rips money out of universities, the government has somehow found a tidy $4 million to buy themselves a bunch of academics who will tell them they are doing a great job.

abbott government climate change
Image: iStock.

This is pork-barrelling, plain and simple. Not the pork-barrelling that sees government members pouring money into their own electorates (that at least benefits some tax payers), but the kind of perverse funding decision that sees money handed to people and institutions that will be in out-spoken agreement with the government at every turn.

Related content: 12 tips for dealing with a climate change denier.

The government is buying Yes Men. They are buying friends. They are buying government cheerleaders. And when they can’t find them in Australia, they are importing them from the other side of the world. They are people who will cheer when the government makes a decision – especially a decision the majority of Australia would otherwise disagree with.

abbott government climate change
The Abbott government is buying itself support. Image: Getty.

For the Abbott Government, it’s an excellent investment. Someone will be here to tell them they are doing the right thing. It’s a win-win for them.

Related content: “It’s time to move on from Tony Abbott: the onion king.”

But for tax payers and voters, it’s a disaster.

We’re buying a bunch of “experts” that no other country wants. We get nothing from these jokers except a bad reputation.

Next month when the Government releases their Budget while crying poor and chanting about a “budget emergency” – remember the $4 million anti-climate action centre we just bought.

When they weighed up all their options, that was the Abbott Government’s priority.

Not domestic violence.

Not education.

Not any other service, policy or idea that would benefit the wider community.

And they should be ashamed.

Do you think this centre is a good investment for Australia?