Just a week before the Upper Hunter by-election, what were the next generation of Liberals up to?
On the hustings in Upper Hunter, fighting to hold on to the Berejiklian Government? Helping the Nationals hold on to a seat that has been slipping from its grasp for years?
Talking to mainstream Australians about issues like jobs, the cost of electricity or coal-fired power generation?
You bet they weren’t.
They were at their swank Young Liberal Ball in inner-city Sydney, huffing the woke fumes from Modern Liberals like Matt Kean, Andrew Bragg, Natalie Ward and Shayne Mallard – individuals well known for their commitment to net zero emissions and shutting down our coal-fired power stations.
(Newly minted crossbencher Gareth Ward was otherwise indisposed)
A prestigious event on the Liberal calendar – and not to be delayed over a mere by-election putting a Liberal government in jeopardy – you’d think the party’s grown-ups would steer clear of promoting controversial lobbyists to their generation next.
Enter Michael Photios.
The renewable energy lobbyist was centre stage at the ball, running the event’s auction, which was the key fundraiser of the night.
No surprises with the prizes:
- Dinner for two at Members' Dining Room in Canberra with Dave Sharma MP – the bloke who told Advance Australia to “get over” the “inevitable transition to renewables”.
- Dinner with the NSW Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean and federal MP Trent Zimmerman – two of the most left-wing Liberal MPs in Australia
- A framed “The Women Who Saved Australia” AFR front page, signed by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
Harmless enough, but the mere presence of Photios as auctioneer spoke volumes.
It all points to a concerted effort by the Liberal Party’s renewably fixated left-wing to brainwash its idealistic and impressionable youth wing.
Want to get ahead in the Liberal Party?
Look to the man on stage, raising all that campaign cash. Look at the MPs donating Parliament House dinners as auction prizes. Look at the disregard for mainstream Australians on show.
Photios runs one of the biggest lobbying outfits in the country and his client list is a who’s who of the climate elite:
- The Australian Solar Energy Society, otherwise named the Australian Solar Energy Council – an organisation that represents renewable energy and energy storage businesses, as well as rooftop solar installers, to “further the development of clean energy in Australia”.
- Beyond Zero Emissions Inc – a think tank which uses independent research and innovative solutions to show how Australia can prosper in a zero-emissions economy – good luck with that.
- Climate Council of Australia – a climate change communications organisation which campaigns on climate change.
- Environmental Leadership Australia Ltd – an outfit that works to “encourage leadership on climate change within the community, politics and philanthropy”.
- Farmers for Climate Action Ltd – a group wanting to make sure agricultural businesses have their say on climate change.
- Genex Power Ltd – a company building a portfolio of renewable energy generation and storage projects across Australia.
- Smart Energy Council – the peak industry body for the solar, storage and smart energy management in Australia.
- The Sunrise Project Australia Limited – an anti-fossil fuel activist organisation that wants to shut down Australian coal and gas and shift the global financial system from fossil fuels to clean energy.
As former Prime Minister Tony Abbott said back in 2016, the NSW Liberals are now a less representative party and “easily controlled” by “factional warlords”.
With mentors like Michael Photios, let’s pray Australia is not in for another generation of anti-coal climate drones with little in common with everyday Australians.
Those Liberal youngsters rubbing shoulders in Sydney at their glitzy ball should’ve been out in Upper Hunter, talking to people whose livelihoods depended on coal, and who are worried about the burden shouldered by their families just to keep the lights on.