A handful of the 77 candidates vying to represent Western Australia in the rerun Senate election live in other states.
I contacted Bill Koutalianos, president of the Freedom and Prosperity Party and its number one senate candidate, via Twitter and email.
At first he said he wasn’t intending to come to Perth in the lead-up to the election. However, after some pressure, he made it over last week to speak to me and will be back next week to be involved in a candidates’ forum.
I asked him how well he felt he could represent a state that he doesn’t live in. He agreed it was a fair question and that it would be a learning curve for his party.
“The reason we are here contesting is that we feel passionately about the issues that we want to address and they are going to impact as much on Australia as they do on Western Australia,” Mr Koutalianos said.
The Freedom and Prosperity Party ran in the September 2013 election under the name of The No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics party. I asked Mr Koutalianos why they changed the name.
“We thought we would broaden our name to perhaps improve our vote because it was a narrow focus – just on the climate debate, just on the carbon tax.
“Now you have the problem that most Australians think the carbon tax has been resolved,” he said.
“Assuming the new Senate (in July) allows the legislation to go through, you still have its replacement, which is Direct Action.”
Current Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s statements while in opposition, at the Sydney Institute in May 2013, included reference to a market mechanism. According to Mr Koutalianos, Mr Hunt agreed with the then Labor Government on ‘the science’, namely the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) science.
“Australians thought they were voting out the carbon tax in September last year but all they have really done is change the name,” he said.
Mr Koutalianos started a career as an architect but is now a business owner in building development in NSW. He ran in the NSW Senate election in 2013.
He said: “Before 2008, I believed all this climate alarmism. I was religious about it. I remember watching the Great Global Warming Swindle (a documentary). That didn’t turn me.
“Then I started reviewing the available data; build up the facts one by one.
“Even after I converted to scepticism I still thought there must be some truths to this, but at every step of the way there is some contradictory item.”
I asked why he thought scientists and governments would lie and change data to try to convince us that anthropogenic climate change is real and who would benefit from it.
“On the surface, it’s government, the United Nations and the World Bank,” Mr Koutalianos said.
“Careless politicians already agreed to this back in 1992 because they didn’t foresee what it was about. The Rio Earth Summit was a feel-good document co-authored by Maurice Strong, of the UN, and Mikhail Gorbachev, of the former Soviet Union – hint, hint.
“It was basically socialism dressed up as environmentalism.”
But for what end? What were they trying to achieve out of it?
“We already have world government in a sense. This is all about the UN increasing its power over us (because) 10 per cent of our carbon tax goes to the UN for the Green Climate Fund.
“The Liberals hijacked the original No Carbon Tax Movement.
“It was about scepticism over the UN IPCC’s representations and the media promotion that they are a scientific body. They are a political body they select scientists not based on credentials but on diplomacy.”
Why did Mr Koutalianos think the mainstream media did not talk about this?
“The ABC leads a lot of political debate in this country and I have come to the view that the ABC is not representing Australia’s interests but the UN’s interests,” he said.
If his main policy then is to repeal the carbon tax, does he have any other headline policies?
“We would not permit the introduction of Direct Action or any other replacement scheme. The official policy of the Liberal Party is to introduce a market mechanism, some form of carbon price.
“We oppose the mining tax. We would get out of the Kyoto Emissions Reduction Treaty,” he said.
“Next, Renewable Energy Targets: no economic sense in wind and solar.
“If you want to put solar panels on your home, go for it, but you will not be subsidised by the federal government. That is what’s pushing up everyone’s power bills. They don’t work well and can’t store energy.
“Then there is Agenda 21. In 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit we signed up to UN Agenda 21.
“They don’t talk about it in Australian media. They use an alternative name – ‘sustainability’.
“Sustainable development is an outcome of the UN’s agenda for the 21st century Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. It has been a 20-year social engineering campaign and no one has ever heard of Agenda 21,” he said.
“There are lots of sensible things that sustainability promotes, but our reading of it is that these guys are using it for ideological and political purposes.
“Sustainable equals socialism.”
Is Mr Koutalianos participating in the micro-party alliance organised by Glenn Druery?
“We participated last time and we are participating this time.
“Last time we preferenced both left and right parties, in some cases ones I wouldn’t necessarily subscribe to,” he said.
“It is a worthwhile process, somebody has got a chance, which is a good thing for democracy. This time everyone has gone back to their corner a little bit, divided on left and right grounds.
“I am much happier with our preferences this time.”
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