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Maurice Newman

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Maurice Newman was the Chairman of the board of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (between 1 January 2007 and 1 April 2012) and chairman of the board of the Australian Stock Exchange (In December 2006, the Sydney Morning Herald noted that "Mr Newman's appointment marks his return to the ABC board after he quit two years ago amid a storm of controversy about boardroom leaks.") During the 1980s, Newman was a member of the secretive neoliberal Crossroads group. He is currently also a member of the Asialink Council.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott appointed Maurice Newman as the Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council on 26 September 2013.[1].

Background

"Newman was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of local think tank the Centre for Independent Studies in the 1970s... Newman later became the centre's chairman and the think tank did much to emphasise, if not form, his political thinking and personal style.

"Newman struck up a long-term friendship with US economist Milton Friedman after inviting him to Australia in 1975. Newman's political thinking remains very much of Friedman's school, a laissez-faire capitalist with broader public concerns. Their friendship continued until the economist's death last month." [2]

Maurice Newman has been a member of the Mont Pelerin Society since 1976.[3]

On December 18, 2001 it was announced by that Maurice Newman was elected Macquarie University’s fifth Chancellor,

"after former Chancellor, Mr Tim Besley AO, announced he would stand down from office at the end of December 2001."

"His career spans forty years in stockbroking and investment banking, including as Managing Director and Executive Chairman of the Deutsche Bank Group in Australia. He was also Chairman of the Deutsche Bank Asia Pacific Advisory Board and a Director of Deutsche Bank Asia Pacific, retiring in July 2001. He is Chairman of Acrux Limited and a Director of the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

"Mr Newman has been an adviser to Australian governments as a member of the Consultative Committee on Relations with Japan; a Commissioner of the National Commission of Audit; a member of the Business Advisory Panel established by the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs; Chairman of the National Judging Panel for Innovation in Local Government; Chairman of the Commonwealth Government’s National Year 2000 Steering Committee; Chairman of the Federal Treasurer’s Financial Sector Advisory Council and Chairman of the Singapore-Australia Business Alliance Forum.

"He is Chairman of the Sydney Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sydney Legacy Citizen’s Committee, the Australian Father’s Day Council, the Council of Governors of the Taronga Zoo Foundation and a Member of the Advisory Council of the Asia Society AustralAsia Centre.

"In 1994 Mr Newman was awarded an Order of Australia. In 1999 he was awarded the Economic Medal First Class by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs for services to Australia-Taiwan relations, and in 2001, the AustCham Singapore President’s Medal for services to Australia-Singapore relations." [4]

"Mr Newman is currently Chairman of the Australian Securities Exchange. He is also a Director with Queensland Investment Corporation, Chancellor of Macquarie University, Chairman of Tourism New South Wales, Patron of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia and Chairman of the Federal Treasurer’s Financial Sector Advisory Council. He is also Chair or Patron for a number of community organisations." [5]

Views on Climate Change

In March 2010, Maurice Newman reportedly gave an address to senior staff of the ABC saying that, "climate change was an example of 'group think." (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/10/2842322.htm). The ABC reported that he claimed to be unconvinced about climate change, and criticised Australian media coverage of it for being "unbalanced."

In late December 2013 in an interview article [6] in the Australian newspaper Newman accused the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of “dishonesty and deceit” as it focuses on “exploiting the masses and extracting more money” in a climate crusade. [7] He also criticised the role of renewable energy and called climate change a scientific delusion:

“And for all the propaganda about ‘green employment’, Australia seems to be living the European experience, where, for every ‘green’ job created, two to three jobs are lost in the real economy,” he said.

“The scientific delusion, the religion behind the climate crusade, is crumbling. Global temperatures have gone nowhere for 17 years. Now, credible German scientists claim that ‘the global temperature will drop until 2100 to a value corresponding to the little ice age of 1870’.”

Views on Wind Farms

In an article in the Spectator - Against the wind - on 21 January 2012, Maurice Newman said:

"Even before they threatened my property, I was opposed to wind farms. They fail on all counts. They are grossly inefficient, extremely expensive, socially inequitable, a danger to human health, environmentally harmful, divisive for communities, a blot on the landscape, and don’t even achieve the purpose for which they were designed, namely the reliable generation of electricity and the reduction of CO2 emissions.

...

I am not a conspiracy theorist, but we have witnessed the birth of an extraordinary, universal and self-reinforcing movement among the political and executive arms of government, their academic consultants, the mainstream media and vested private sector interests (such as investment banks and the renewables industry), held together by the promise of unlimited government money. It may not be a conspiracy, but long-term, government-underwritten annuities have certainly created one gigantic and powerful oligopoly which must coerce taxpayers and penalise energy consumers to survive."[1]

In July 2013 a 100 turbine wind farm development project by Wind Prospect CWP near Goulburn lapsed. The site was near one of Newman's properties.[2]

In June 2013 Maurice Newman was among a small group of Crookwell landowners threatening to sue another local landowner over erection of wind farm development by Unión Fenosa on the farmer's property, citing the threat of "substantial damages" if their health or property values are harmed. [3]

A meeting of an anti-windfarm group called the Crookwell District Landscape Guardians was held at Newman's southern highlands property on 28 April with 56 attendees, with Newman speaking to the meeting.[4]

Newman's wife, Jeanette Newman, was elected chair of the Crookwell District Landscape Guardians at the organisation's AGM held on 23 March 2013.[5]

Views on Renewable Energy Target (RET)

According to a report in The Guardian on 13 June 2013, Newman articulated that the RET should be abolished[6]:

“It is inevitable energy prices will be one of the issues that will be of concern to business. Low energy prices are what has always made Australia internationally competitive and because of the RET and the carbon tax we have lost that advantage.

“Whether the Coalition will change their policy on the RET is up to them … I believe it should be removed because the basis upon which we accepted in good faith that we needed it is no longer there.

“When we look at the experience of Germany, they have not been successful in reducing emissions; when we look at the science it no longer supports the global warming theory and when we look at the health and economic effects of windfarms and the obscene wealth transfer from poor to rich we have to ask: why are we persisting with them? I think it is a crime against the people.”

Affiliations

Articles and resources

References

  1. Maurice Newman, Against the Wind, The Spectator, 21 January 2012, Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  2. Abbott’s chief business advisor claims first wind farm victim, RenewEconomy, 8 July 2013, Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  3. Lenore Taylor, Abbott business advisor threatens to sue farmer if windfarm does him harm, The Guardian, 16 June 2013, Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  4. Lenore Taylor, Top Abbott business adviser wants renewables target scrapped, 13 June 2013, Retrieved 7 February 2014
  5. Crookwell Landscape Guardians Crookwell District Landscape Guardians Inc AGM 2013, Minutes of meeting, Retrieved 7 February, 2014
  6. Lenore Taylor, Top Abbott business adviser wants renewables target scrapped, 13 June 2013, Retrieved 7 February 2014

Related SourceWatch articles


External resources

Articles and submissions by Newman


External articles