Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Climate works for the ALP.

Reply received 6 May, 2010-see below

ABC HEADLINE: "Opposition rejects climate plan study" News Online 16/3/2010
ABC REPORTED: An uncredited report in which ABC reported that the Federal Opposition rejected a new study which says the Coalition's climate plan will not cut emissions by as much as it claims. The study was by ClimateWorks Australia
The report failed to mention that ClimateWorks Australia board members (there are only 6) include: 
John Thwaites: former Labor Deputy Premier of Victoria and ALP member, and 
Mark Dreyfus: a serving member of the current Labor Government.
Sam Mostyn: Former staffer to Labor PM Paul Keating
This information is easily obtained from the Climateworks web site:
Also of note is that ClimateWorks executive director Anna Sarbek is a former Ministerial Advisor to John Thwaites (eg as outlined in this COTA report HERE)

The following comment from Greens Senator Christine Milne as reported in The Brisbane Times also adds weight that ClimateWorks may have a political interest and as such may not be a reliable source of information. 

"But Greens climate change spokeswoman Christine Milne said the McKinsey report had already demonstrated a 30 per cent cut by 2020 was achievable and affordable. She accused the ''ALP influence'' on the ClimateWorks board - which is chaired by former Victorian deputy premier John Thwaites and includes federal MP Mark Dreyfus - of preventing it doing ''the kind of study Australia really needs''. From Brisbane Times Story "25% emission cut at $4 a week 'possible'.
Is there anyone at ClimateWorks not affiliated with the ALP?

THE COMPLAINT:In light of these revelations does it not seem reasonable that the Opposition have rejected the report by ClimateWorks Australia? 
Why did the ABC not report on the obvious and easily located links between ClimateWorks Australia and the Australian Labor Party? 
Given the report by ClimateWorks Australia is critical of the opposition's climate policy did the ABC not consider that this information was important to readers in allowing them to make up their own minds about the potential for political bias and influence in the ClimateWorks Australia report?
Can the ABC please expand this report by including reference to the close association between ClimateWorks Australia and the Australian Labor Party?
5.2.1 Bias
5.2.2 (c) i Accuracy/context - 
5.2.2 (f) be questioning-serve the public interest-The links between the ALP and Climateworks Australia are of obvious interest to the public.
5.7.2 "interest should be declared"


Received 6 May, 2010
Thank you for your email regarding the ABC News online report Opposition rejects climate plan study.
The ABC acknowledges your concern with this report and accepts that it lacked  context by failing to note the political affiliations of the ClimateWorks Board.
An editor’s note has been attached to report, alerting the audience to the oversight.  The matter has also been posted on the ABC News online corrections page, which is available at the attached link, for your reference;
Yours sincerely
 Audience and Consumer Affairs

Wednesday, May 5 2010

ClimateWorks makeup

News Online
On March 16, in a story about a ClimateWorks Australia plan released to cut carbon emissions, the ABC did not provide enough context to indicate that key members of ClimateWorks are Labor Party members including the Chairman , John Thwaites who is the former Victorian ALP deputy state Premier. It also includes current sitting members Mark Dreyfus (Federal MP) and Sam Mostyn (a member of the New South Wales’ Premier’s Greenhouse Advisory Panel.

COMMENT: Blogger and Google versus tax payer funded ABC - who provides the better news coverage? This article has been short listed for the ABC NEWS WATCH annual Shonky Awards.Can ABC please provide the name of the author?

Update 18/3/2010 see also our letter in the Sydney Morning Herald HERE:

One-sided debate

Your report ''Abbott carbon plan unworkable'' (March 16) fails to mention the links between ClimateWorks and the Labor Party. Board members of ClimateWorks include the former Victorian ALP deputy premier John Thwaites, the serving ALP parliamentarian Mark Dreyfus and a former adviser to Paul Keating, Samantha Mostyn. Staff include Anna Skarbek, a former ministerial adviser to Thwaites.
With this in mind it is hard to see how ClimateWorks can be considered a reliable source of information on climate policy.

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