The fair dinkum debacle: Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes calls bullshit on PM’s pledge for cheaper energy

Mike Cannon-Brookes

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes. Source: supplied.

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes has called bullshit on Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s pledge to provide low-cost, non-renewable energy by launching a renewable energy brand he says will reflect Australians’ notion of what ‘fair dinkum’ means.

In a video released on October 22, Morrison said the government will force energy companies to “put more fair dinkum, reliable energy power into the system”.

“Renewables are great, but we’re also needing the reliable power when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. That’s what keeps the lights on.”

Yesterday, Cannon-Brookes responded in a Twitter tirade suggesting Morrison doesn’t understand what ‘fair dinkum’ means at all.

Electricity can be “reliable, renewable and cheap”, he said.

Having registered the Twitter handle Fair Dinkum Power, Cannon-Brookes later specified “it’s not a power company”.

“Just trying to reclaim the term to promote Aussie popular view and our world-class innovations,” he wrote.

Cannon-Brookes then provided a series of logos for the brand, for his 34,000 Twitter followers to vote on. He also invited them to submit their own ideas, offering $200 to the winning designer.

He admitted, however, that this was perhaps all a little rushed.

A later tweet read: “Crap. Should have thought of a deadline. Yes — we’re making this up as we go.”

Climate change and renewable energy are something of a passion for Cannon-Brookes. The pinned tweet on his Twitter account outlines a strategy for trying to get Australia using 100% renewable energy, eventually.

Cannon-Brookes’s private investment company Grok Ventures has backed renewable energy-focused startups such as Brighte, a platform providing zero-interest loans for solar panel installation, Pick My Solar, which helps communities adopt solar power, and Aussie-founded electric self-driving car startup Zoox.

Last year, the Aussie entrepreneur also famously challenged Elon Musk to make good on a promise made in a Fairfax article, saying a Tesla battery could fix South Australia’s power troubles within 100 days.

After a Twitter exchange, Musk followed through with the claim, saying he would “get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free”.

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