Peter Dutton, Liberal's leader

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Is Mr Dutton really the best candidate the Australian federal Liberals have available to lead them? If so their party must be in a very sad state of decay.

Peter Dutton became leader of the federal Liberal Parliamentary party after Labor won the election of May 2022. At the time of writing this page he still held that position. He has to be one of the most uninspiring party leaders in Australian history, rivalling Tony Abbott.

Mr Dutton in particular, and the federal Liberals in general, are strong supporters the fossil fuels that are widely recognised as the main cause of climate change, ocean acidification, sea level rise and ocean warming. They don't seem to care that the air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels kills millions of people world-wide each year.

Outside of Peter Dutton's imagination, in the real world, renewable energy in the forms of wind and solar have enormous potential to supply Australia with abundant cheep energy with relatively little environmental or social harm. Beyond that, Australia has the potential to become a world superpower in clean energy supply if we have the intelligence to ignore the Peter Duttons of this country and do what is both sensible and ethical. Australia's energy future (and the world's) is in renewable, sustainable, energy.

This page was started 2023/11/24, last edited 2024/02/26
Contact: David K. Clarke – ©


Mr Dutton has for many years been a supporter of fossil fuels and a detractor of renewable energy. He also foolishly thinks he sees a big future for nuclear power in Australia. Why has Mr Dutton espoused nuclear power? Most likely because it’s not renewable, and he has a psychological, or ideological, block against renewable energy.

Nuclear power in the form of the traditional big multi-megawatt power stations are a thing of the past, the power they produce is far too expensive to compete with renewable energy. Small modular nuclear reactors may become viable in some countries at some time in the future, but they will never compete economically with wind and solar power in Australia, they will never achieve a social license in Australia, and it would take far too long for sufficient of them to be developed and built if we are to limit climate change. And, of course, there is the unsolved problem of long-term safe disposal of nuclear waste.

As the saying goes, Blind Freddy could see that there is no future in fossil fuels in Australia or anywhere else; end of coal, end of oil, end of gas.

Finally, Mr Dutton is being proved wrong again and again in his opposition to renewable energy. Just one example of the success of renewable energy is South Australia, which has gone from near zero renewables to over 70% in less than twenty years.

Wattle Point Wind Farm in South Australia
Wattle Point from the air
SA's Yorke Peninsula has a huge potential for wind power, but the existing power transmission line is incapable of handling more renewable electricity than from than this moderately sized wind farm.

SA's Eyre Peninsula has an even greater wind (and solar) power potential, but again there is currently no way of getting the power to the more populated areas.

Of course Australia's inland has such a huge solar power potential as to boggle the mind!

This section written
November 2023

Mr Dutton makes a fool of himself on offshore wind power

As remarked on the ABC's Media Watch on 2023/11/13, NewsDay quoted Peter Dutton as saying:
"When you look at the whales and the mother and the calf that we saw out there, the dolphins, all of that is at risk because there’s no environmental consideration of what these huge wind turbines — 260, 280 metres out of the water — will mean for that wildlife and for the environment."
I have written at some length on another page on offshore wind farms in general and about the myth that offshore wind farms kill or harm whales. There also seems to be no evidence that they harm dolphins, turtles or other sea creatures.

On his own website Mr Dutton is quoted as saying:

"What Chris Bowen [The Labor government's minister for Climate Change and Energy] is proposing to do here is to destroy the environment, to save the planet. It just doesn’t make any sense."
Any well informed person would know that this is a ridiculous thing to say, and quite false. The offshore wind farms will do very little harm to the environment.

Either Peter Dutton is ignorant or unethical, or both. He is either ignorant enough to not know that offshore turbines killing whales is a myth, or he is unethical enough to repeat lies when he believes it will serve his purpose to do so.

This section written
November 2023

Peter Dutton would like to see nuclear power in Australia

The Australian Federal Liberal Party and Mr Dutton in particular have been pushing nuclear power as the answer to both Australia's future energy needs and cutting emissions. What are the facts?

I've written at some length about the many shortcomings of nuclear power on another page on this site, but just one article published in The Conversation gives a very good summary of why nuclear power is quite unsuitable for Australia's needs.


The Conversation

The Conversation offers "Academic rigour, journalistic flair". I have found it to be a very informative and, above all, reliable source of information. See their charter.

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

Mr Dutton is keen on these. They are still in the developmental stage. No reliable figures for the cost of electricity from them are available yet; they won't be for years. Proposing them for Australia is the hight of foolishness.

I've written at some lenght on small modular reactors on another page.

The article is titled Is nuclear the answer to Australia’s climate crisis? Published in The Conversation on 2023/11/03, it was written by Reuben Finighan, PhD candidate at the London School of Economics and Research Fellow at the Superpower Institute, The University of Melbourne.

A quote from the Conversation article:

There are four arguments against investment in nuclear power: Olkiluoto 3, Flamanville 3, Hinkley Point C, and Vogtle. These are the four major latest-generation plants completed or near completion in Finland, the United States, the United Kingdom and France respectively.

Cost overruns at these recent plants average over 300%, with more increases to come. The cost of Vogtle, for example, soared from US$14 billion to $34 billion (A$22-53 billion), Flamanville from €3.3 billion to €19 billion (A$5-31 billion), and Hinkley Point C from £16 billion to as much as £70 billion (A$30-132 billion), including subsidies. Completion of Vogtle has been delayed by seven years, Olkiluoto by 14 years, and Flamanville by at least 12 years.

Mr Finighan went on to give the current cost of nuclear power to be between Aus$220 and $350 per Megawatt hour (MWh) with the cost of wind and solar power between $35 and $45/MWh. Firming (that is, using energy storage to make the power available at any time) would add another $25 to $34/MWh. "In short, a reliable megawatt hour from renewables costs around a fifth of one from a nuclear plant."

This section added

CSIRO energy generation cost report

Mike Foley wrote a piece for WA Today about a report that CSIRO did into energy generation costs, now and into the future.


Mr Dutton whips the nuclear dead horse again

The WA Today article came around the same time as Mr Dutton was suggesting small modular nuclear power stations in the Latrobe Valley of Victoria and similar areas already devastated by coal mining.
CSIRO's figures were very relevant to Peter Dutton's continued push for nuclear anergy in Australia (his latest idea is to put a nuclear power station in the Latrobe Valley of Victoria).

Quoting Mike Foley:

"Nuclear advocates have criticised previous CSIRO reports for not incorporating the costs of tens of billions of dollars of transmission lines needed to link the growing fleet of wind and solar farms across the country into population centres.

However, CSIRO has now included more than $30 billion of new transmission lines and projects to provide back up power when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining – such as the $12 billion Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro dam.

Its findings still showed that renewables were cheaper than nuclear, coal and other fossil fuels."

2023 costs
Cost range
Wind and solar mix
2030 costs
Cost range
Wind and solar mix
I've placed the CSIRO's figures in the two tables on the right.

Plainly, from the figures in the table on the right, renewables are cheaper than coal and much cheaper than nuclear now, and still will be in 2030.

Mike Foley also wrote:

"US company NuScale was developing the world’s most advanced commercial SMR [Small Modular Reactor] project in Utah, but the project was abandoned in November due to a 70 per cent blowout in project costs."
With his implacable opposition to renewable energy you'd have to wonder:
  • Does Mr Dutton believe that if he is to keep his job as PM he has to oppose renewables, because that's what the Federal Liberal Parliamentary Party has always done?
  • Does he push nuclear in an attempt to show that he is not simply a servant of the fossil fuel industries (in the full knowledge that nuclear power will never be viable in Australia)?
  • Has he just 'lost the plot'?
  • Is he simply out of touch with reality?
I suspect the answer is some combination of most or all of the above.

The CSIRO draft GenCost report can be read here.

Fossil fuel kills millions of people each year through air pollution

University College London (UCL) published an Internet page titled Fossil fuel air pollution responsible for 1 in 5 deaths worldwide in 2021/02/09. The research, led by Harvard University in collaboration with UCL, the University of Birmingham and the University of Leicester has been published in the journal Environmental Research.

Quoting from the UCL page:

"The study shows that more than 8 million people around the globe die each year as a result of breathing in air containing particles from burning fuels like coal, petrol and diesel, which aggravate respiratory conditions like asthma and can lead to lung cancer, coronary heart disease, strokes and early death.

An estimated 1 in 5 deaths (18 to 21.5%) every year can be attributed to fossil fuel pollution, a figure much higher than previously thought, according to research co-authored by UCL."

Also see my page on killer coal that goes into greater depth on the harm that the burning of fossil fuels do to human health.

Hope for a better future: the rise of the honest, forward thinking, environmentally aware, community independent political representatives

Quoting Wikipedia "Ten candidates for the House of Representatives and one candidate for the Senate considered teal independents were elected in 2022, of which seven were elected for the first time."

The Australian federal election of May 2022 showed that the Australian voters are getting fed up with the current corrupt situation in parliament, where parliamentarians (of both major parties) support the corporations that donate the most in campaign funding. The fact that it was the Liberals who the community independents took seats from shows that the voters are particularly fed up with Dutton-style 'who needs action on climate change?', 'fossil fuels at any cost' and 'we'll all be rooned if we adopt renewable energy' style of government.

The Australian people want and deserve far better than what Peter Dutton has to offer.

See also the community independents on another page on this site.

References and related pages

External sites...

Fossil fuel air pollution responsible for 1 in 5 deaths worldwide, page dated 2021/02/09. Research led by Harvard University in collaboration with UCL, the University of Birmingham and the University of Leicester has been published in the journal Environmental Research.

Proposal to build nuclear power plants at former coal sites in Latrobe Valley draws criticism; ABC Gippsland, written by Bec Symons and Millicent Spencer

Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest labels Coalition push for nuclear energy ‘bulldust’ and a ‘new lie’

Other links and references are scattered through the text.

On this site...

The Australian Liberals war against renewable energy (and future generations)

Should the Liberals under Peter Dutton be elected to government we could expect something as bad or worse than the Morrison government.

The air pollution from coal kills millions of people world-wide each year

The Australian parliament has failed the Australian people

Think about the options and don't waste your vote, vote smart, vote for independent candidates with high ethical standards.