NSW Climate Change minister Matt Kean was forced into an embarrassing backflip on Tuesday over his decision to appoint the unpopular former prime minister as chair of the Net Zero Emissions and Clean Economy Board.
Mr Kean said in a statement that the position should be ‘focus should not be on personality’.
‘It is important that the focus is on achieving these outcomes, based on facts, technology, science, and economics,’ he said in a statement on Tuesday.
‘The focus should not be on personality,’ he said.
The decision comes after Mr Turnbull objected to the NSW Government approving new and extensions of mines in the Hunter, a decision he says will cause ‘massive devastation’.
Malcolm Turnbull has been dumped from his new job as the NSW government’s climate change tsar after widespread public ridicule at the appointment
NSW Climate Change minister Matt Kean was forced into an embarrassing backflip on Tuesday over his decision to appoint the unpopular former prime minister
Mr Turnbull has objected to the NSW Government granting extensions for new mining developments saying it would result in ‘massive devastation’ for the Hunter
Mr Turnbull had ‘contributed much to our country … however, no person’s role on the board should distract from achieving results for the NSW people or from the government’s work in delivering jobs and opportunities for the people of NSW’.
‘For this reason, I have decided not to proceed with his appointment as chair.’
The NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer will act in the role until a new chair is named.
The announcement comes hours after The Daily Telegraph published a letter Mr Turnbull wrote to the NSW government objecting to the expansion of a coal mine in the Upper Hunter near his family’s 2,700 acre property.
A report conducted by the Australia Institute revealed an extra 98 million tonnes of coal would be taken as a result of the new mines.
Mr Turnbull last week said there was ‘massive devastation’ being caused in the area as a result of the continuation and extension of mines.
‘I think [approvals for new mines are] out of control,’ Mr Turnbull told Fairfax.
‘It’s like a lunar landscape … There is massive devastation that’s going [on].’
The announcement comes hours after The Daily Telegraph published a letter Mr Turnbull wrote to the NSW government objecting to the expansion of a coal mine in the Upper Hunter
Deputy Premier and Nationals Leader John Barilaro was the first person to declare Mr Turnbull had been axed.
‘We are not proceeding with the appointment of Malcolm Turnbull as chair,’ he told Sydney radio 2GB ahead of Mr Kean’s statement.
‘You need someone who brings people together and not divides and unfortunately Malcolm has done the opposite.
‘Great result for common sense.
Mr Turnbull last week said there was ‘massive devastation’ being caused in the area as a result of the continuation and extension of mines
‘He pulled my pants down within 48 of his appointment on an area that I take seriously,’ he said of Mr Turnbull’s recent comments on coal mines.
‘I’m the deputy premier … and I chose to be the mining minister because I thought for the last 10 years we have not done enough to support the industry which has been the backbone of our economy and the nation.’
Last week, Defence Minister Peter Dutton weighed in on the appointment of Mr Turnbull.
‘All I can say is that Malcolm was very consistent as prime minister, and that is that he supported coal mining, and he said that on the public record on a number of occasions.’
Chief Economist at the Australia Institute said the decision from the NSW government to increase the state’s mining output was ‘absurd’ and that the mining boom is over.
‘World demand for coal is falling, not rising. Trying to build 10 new Adani mines’ worth of coal mines in the Upper Hunter at precisely the time world demand for coal is falling is absurd,’ Dr Richard Denniss said.
‘The NSW Government’s enthusiasm in approving a record number of coal mines does little more than offer false hope to the Hunter region, locking huge parts of the Hunter into the past while failing to plan for the future.
‘New coal mine approvals destroys prime Australian farmland, which impacts current and future investment in Australia’s agriculture, wine, and tourism industries, leaving significant liabilities for the NSW Government and lasting scars on the Upper Hunter.