The Experts

Turnbull to run Gillard's $10-billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation?

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Now, to be clear, I have not spoken to the Government. And I have not spoken to Malcolm Turnbull. These are my own views, and not the views of others.

Having said that, it is an incredibly interesting idea: Turnbull is apparently dissatisfied with his Liberal Party lot in life. Turnbull is one of Australia's most successful investment bankers and venture capitalists, having independently amassed wealth well north of $100 million.

And Turnbull is one of the nation's most knowledgeable public figures on the economics of climate change, and how best to mitigate its more adverse consequences.

If the to-date-patient Turnbull forms the opinion that the road to the Liberal Party leadership – and hence the Prime Ministership – is going to be too long and torturous for a once-impatient man, chairing the $10-billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) would be the perfect segue back into the real world.

And, frankly, the taxpayer could hardly be better served by a more well-equipped candidate. Simply stated, Turnbull would be the perfect person to oversee CEFC and ensure that our money is being intelligently put to work. And he would be making a bet on this nation’s future, rather than gazing into the rear-view mirror, which, he might argue, is the Liberal Party’s current path.

For Labor, it would deal a major political blow to the Liberals if you take as given that Turnbull is an important component of their broad Church appeal. Put another way, you would be significantly telescoping the Liberal’s prospects on the comparatively narrowcast attractions of Tony Abbott.

You would also be giving Turnbull yet another opportunity to act on his intellectual principles, and, by default, canvass further questions about the integrity of the Coalition's climate change politics.

Indeed, you would be liberating the notoriously loquacious former Opposition Leader to critique his former colleagues.

It could be an opportunity that is too good to refuse – for both parties!

Published: Tuesday, July 12, 2011

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