By Situation Theatre 9/3/2019
“Even in slalom you can’t zig-zag as often as the former PM, but you get the idea.”
Slalom bronze medallist at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, Zali Steggall, has flown to the ski slopes of Japan overnight to give Warringah voters a clear sense of the history of Tony Abbott’s positions on climate change.
While Steggal’s best days of slalom are well and truly behind her, she thought the trip would offer Manly residents a better insight into the sudden changes of direction of the former Prime Minister depending on the upcoming obstacle.
Below you can watch Steggall’s original bronze-winning run which foreshadowed Abbott’s side-to-side tackling of climate change between 2007 and 2019.
The trip comes immediately following a candidate forum in which Abbott stated he is no longer calling for Australia to withdraw from the Paris agreement, believing he needs to suddenly lurch left to avoid smashing into a forthcoming poll.
This abrupt turn follows a long series of sudden previous turns, from campaigning for an ETS in 2007 to saying “the climate change argument is absolute crap” in January 2009, to arguing “We don’t want to play games with the planet. So we are taking this issue seriously and we would like to see an ETS” in October 2009.
He then toppled Turnbull’s leadership in December 2009 based on his credentials as a climate skeptic and defeated Kevin Rudd in 2013 based in part on his ability to rhyme the words axe and tax. He showed his heartfelt commitment to climate action by signing Australia up to the Paris Agreement as PM in 2015, then pointed out that climate change was “probably doing good” in 2017, set about undermining Turnbull’s national energy guarantee in 2018 and demanded he withdraw from Paris.
Steggal’s re-enactment over in Nagano has not only clarified Abbott’s constant climate zig-zagging but also the fact that his political career is going downhill fast.