Why Malcolm Turnbull was REALLY dumped from his plum new climate change job that sparked outrage among pro-coal politicians
- Malcolm Turnbull appointed to climate change role with government last week
- Turnbull was elected as chair of Net Zero Emissions and Clean Economy Board
- He days earlier called for stop on new mining approvals in New South Wales
- Nationals Leader John Barilaro criticised Turnbull for his anti-mining agenda
- Turnbull labelled decision ‘thuggery’ on behalf of the right-wind media
Calling for a moratorium on new coal mines in NSW just hours before a Hunter Valley MP quit, trigging a by-election, contributed to Malcolm Turnbull being dumped from a clean economy job.
NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean has admitted the comments made by the former Liberal prime minister on ABC radio a day after he was made chair of the state’s new Net-Zero Emissions and Clean Economy Board helped seal his fate.
‘It wasn’t helpful,’ Mr Kean told ABC radio on Wednesday.
Malcolm Turnbull has been dumped from his new job as the NSW government’s climate change tsar
Mr Turnbull’s five-year appointment rankled many of Mr Kean’s conservative coalition colleagues, given his comments about the coal industry.
‘A figure as colourful as Malcolm Turnbull that already arouses strong opinions. Speaking about these matters was not helpful in bringing my colleagues along on this journey,’ he said.
‘Some of my colleagues didn’t appreciate those comments… on the eve of the [triggering of a] by-election,’ he said.
Upper Hunter Nationals MP Michael Johnsen quit politics on March 31 after being accused of rape.
NSW Climate Change minister Matt Kean was forced into an embarrassing backflip on Tuesday over his decision to appoint the unpopular former prime minister
Mr Turnbull has objected to the NSW Government granting extensions for new mining developments saying it would result in ‘massive devastation’ for the Hunter
His departure means the coalition government will be plunged into minority government if it can’t retain the seat, which Mr Johnsen held by a narrow margin.
‘There is a by-election. It’s a very contentious political environment at the moment,’ Mr Kean said.
‘I was prepared to ride it out… but it was clear that a number of my colleagues and other people across the community… felt alienated by this decision’ to appoint Mr Turnburll.
Mr Kean denied he was at loggerheads with Nationals Leader John Barilaro, who went on radio on Tuesday to announce Mr Turnbull had been dumped.
‘Not at all. John is a robust spokesman for the bush and I need to work with John in order to get things done,’ Mr Kean said.