BACK in July last year in a boardroom of a western Australian free-market think tank, the extrovert British climate change sceptic Lord Christopher Monckton was holding court.
The topic for discussion? How to better capture the Australian media to help push a right wing, free-market and climate sceptic agenda. At the time, Lord Monckton was in Australia at the behest of a mining association and Gina Rinehart to deliver a series of talks on climate change and spread his conspiracy theories that human-caused climate change is a left-wing plot to bring down the West.
At one point during the tour, Monckton told a boisterous partisan crowd: “So to the bogus scientists who have produced the bogus science that invented this bogus scare I say, we are coming after you. We are going to prosecute you, and we are going to lock you up.”
Lord Monckton had been invited to Australia by the iron and coal mining boss Rinehart, the country’s richest woman with a rising personal fortune in the region of $20 billion.
Hosting the meeting was the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, a group chaired by mining “Hall of Fame” member Ron Manners to promote free-market ideals and low government intervention.
Manners is also a member of Gina Rinehart’s lobby group ANDEV, which has been joined by the Institute for Public Affairs to lobby for a separate low-tax low regulation economic zone for the north of Australia to make mining projects easier to develop.
It would be safe to presume, given Manner’s background in mining and the make-up of his staff, that this aim to lower government intervention would include any regulations and taxes on mining.