CBD Melbourne: Malcolm Turnbull, David Cameron swap climate war stories – The Age


The former PM recounted a story where Maurice Newman, former ABC chairman and outspoken climate sceptic, handed him a set of tapes containing climate denial information. “Nutty stuff,” Turnbull called it.

Turnbull then asked an Australian National University scientist to produce a short report debunking the information. Newman’s response, according to Turnbull, was: “That’s the problem with the ANU, they’re like the CSIRO, they’re in the same conspiracy as the UN.”

“What do you do?” asked Cameron rhetorically.

Cameron said his proudest achievement was leading Britain’s GFC recovery and pondered whether he could have made a better fist of fighting to keep the United Kingdom in the European Union.

“Could we have fought the referendum in a better way? Could I have made my arguments more persuasively?” he asked.

Yes, Dave, you could have.

It must have been a busy evening for Baillieu, who also made time on Tuesday night to tune into the first shindig for the newly-formed Australia-India Chamber of Commerce.

Clearly there are advantages to the new age of the Zoom event.

It’s been just over a week since Treasurer Josh Frydenberg gave the green light for the trade outfit to become an official business chamber. On Tuesday, a suitably heavyweight crowd appeared online for the group’s first function. Former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell opened the meeting from Mumbai, where he is stationed in his new role as Australia’s Ambassador to India.

Macquarie director Abishek Poddar also tuned in from Mumbai, where the millionaires’ factory’s infrastructure and real assets business remains the biggest offshore investor involved in building India’s road network. Others on the panel included GMR Airports chief executive Aman Kapor and Ramboll Engineering director Vydia Basarkod.


The Melbourne City Council elections are not due until October but the good burghers of the CBD and its surrounds are already receiving annoying automated calls in which they’re asked about a local politician they haven’t heard from in years.

This time the generic female voice on the other end of the line is most interested in voters’ views on lord mayor Sally Capp. One of the first questions respondents are asked is whether they’ve even heard of Capp. This is followed by a series of questions which helpfully illuminate the first.

Deputy lord mayor Arron Wood at the launch of Chinese New Year festival in 2018.

Deputy lord mayor Arron Wood at the launch of Chinese New Year festival in 2018. Credit:Jason South

“Sally Capp is the lord mayor of Melbourne and a political independent – do you think she’s doing a good or bad job?” the questioner asks. “What do you think Sally Capp’s greatest strength is as Lord Mayor?” is another question, which offers multiple choice answers, including that Capp is great for business or tough on law and order.

The temperature test comes at a difficult time for Capp, who has been accused of playing political tricks after she sprung a motion on councillors minutes before Tuesday night’s meeting to undercut deputy lord mayor Arron Wood, who was trying to block the proposed injecting room opposite Queen Victoria Market.

Wood, who said he was “extremely angry and frustrated” by Capp, is now at Winx-like odds to have a tilt at the top job along with Labor’s Phil Reed and a Greens candidate.

“Her tagline has always been ‘people not politics’. From what I saw Tuesday night, it was all politics and not much about people,” he told this column.


It’s been a hectic year for political publishing. The likes of Senator Andrew Bragg and former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull are still busy on the Zoom circuit flogging their books, while Christopher Pyne’s memoir, The Insider, is due out this month.

But there’s now another name to add to the list: Christopher Bowen.

Labor’s health spokesman has landed a deal to be the next entrant in the On series. Previous contributions includes Sally McManusOn Hope and Germaine Greer’s On Rage. The series is the brainchild of former Melbourne University Publishing chief executive Louise Adler who is now continuing the titles at her new employer, Hachette Australia.

Bowen’s entry will be On Charlatans. He told CBD it will explore “the rise of populism during globally uncertain times.” Sadly, he’s not ready to provide more details – namely, who exactly he considers to be a charlatan. We find out when it’s published in August.


Love knows no bounds. Not even those prescribed by political creed.


On Monday, this column revealed the state secretary of Victoria’s scandalised Labor party branch had not actually been in Victoria for many months.

Clare Burns moved to Canberra to be with her partner, and soon to be father of her child, Sam Edwards. Edwards is a senior staffer in the office of Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.

Former Victorian premier Steve Bracks and retired federal minister Jenny Macklin are searching for a replacement for when she goes on maternity leave.

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This article originally appeared here in https://www.theage.com.au/national/cbd-melbourne-malcolm-turnbull-david-cameron-swap-climate-war-stories-20200624-p555uw.html

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