Ray Evans (Australian businessman)

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Ray Evans (10 September 1939 – 17 June 2014) was an Australian business leader, a conservative, and campaigner against climate change mitigation efforts.


Early years[edit]

Ray Evans was educated at Melbourne High School. He attended the University of Melbourne, from which he graduated in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. During his years at university, he served as President of the Melbourne University ALP Club and as a delegate from the Federated Fodder and Fuel Trades Union to Victorian ALP State Conferences.

He resigned from the ALP to act as campaign manager for Sam Benson in the latter's successful campaign to retain the federal seat of Batman as an independent in 1966.[1] In the 1960s Evans worked as a young engineer in the Production Planning Section of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria.


He taught electrical engineering at Deakin University, Victoria. From 1982 until 2001, he was Executive Officer at the major Australian mining company, Western Mining Corporation, (WMC Ltd), under Hugh Morgan. From July 2001 to June 2014, he was the Director of Ray Evans & Associates, a consultancy specialising in political and economic advice.[2]

Political advocacy[edit]

In January 1986, Evans, along with former federal Treasurer Peter Costello and two others, founded the H R Nicholls Society, a think tank of the New Right, of which he became president. The Society has had considerable influence over Liberal Party policies. The initial motivation for founding the Society was industrial relations – a commitment to "freedom in the labour market", and opposition to the Australian industrial relations mechanism, represented by the establishment of the minimum wage by Justice Henry Bourne Higgins in the 1905 "Harvester Judgement".[3]

Global warming skepticism[edit]

He was also a founder of the Lavoisier Group, which opposed the ratification of the Kyoto treaty, believing that the science associated with global warming is uncertain.[4] Additionally, he was instrumental in establishing a number of other right-wing organisations, such as the Bennelong Society, and the Samuel Griffith Society, for all of which he was either president or treasurer.[5] According to author Clive Hamilton, many of these groups "shared the same post office box".[5]

A supporter of the "Greenhouse Mafia", he remained a committed campaigner against climate change initiatives, dubbing global warming "the mother of environmental scares".[6] In collaboration with Hugh Morgan, Evans worked against the Kyoto Protocol, and was central to the campaign to prevent the former Federal Liberal Government from taking actions to cut emissions.[7]

He appeared on the ABC's discussion panel discussing The Great Global Warming Swindle, a documentary which questioned the science behind global warming.[8] He has stated that environmentalism is a "religious belief," and published a book Nine Facts About Climate Change in 2007.[9]

He was quoted in The Age as saying that Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth is "bullshit from beginning to end", and that "the carbon-dioxide link [to global warming] is increasingly recognised as irrelevant".[10]


He died on 17 June 2014, aged 74 (though some reports incorrectly stated he was 79).[11]


  1. ^ "In Search of the Magic Pudding: Contributors". H.R. Nicholls Society. Archived from the original on 2 February 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "On Line Opinion's Editorial Advisory Board". On Line Opinion. Retrieved 4 February 2008. 
  3. ^ Bachelard, Michael (15 December 2007). "Right-wing warriors who changed the workplace". The Age (Melbourne). 
  4. ^ "About Lavoisier". The Lavoisier Group. Retrieved 4 February 2008. 
  5. ^ a b "Clive Hamilton – Saturday Breakfast RN – 21 April 2007". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2 November 2009. 
  6. ^ Evans, Ray (Winter 1998). "The politics behind Kyoto". Australia & World Affairs (37). 
  7. ^ Hamilton, Clive (2007). Scorcher: the dirty politics of climate change. Black Inc. Agenda. ISBN 978-0-9775949-0-0. 
  8. ^ "Ray Evans". On Line Opinion. Retrieved 4 February 2008. 
  9. ^ Murphy, Katherine (28 February 2007). "Greenhouse sceptics to congregate". The Age (Melbourne). p. 6. 
  10. ^ "Greenhouse sceptics to congregate – National". The Age. Melbourne. 28 February 2007. Retrieved 3 November 2009. 
  11. ^ HR Nicholls Society co-founder Ray Evans dead at 79, The Australian, 18 June 2014