Much has been made of the federal government's wiliness to "set aside its ideology" in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Especially in its willingness to spend money to support households, businesses, employers, workers and industries - both to cushion the impact of the greatest economic and social challenge since the Great Depression and to facilitate recovery.
While this has become most evident in the pandemic, it extends what has been a longer-term drift in the policy responses of LNP governments.
Essentially, their conservative ideology had been defined by belief in small government, low regulation and a strong preference to rely on market forces and processes.
So, for example, you could reasonably have expected that the Coalition's primary response to climate change would have been to put a price on carbon, to develop an effective market-based emissions trading scheme (ETS).
Such a scheme would increase the cost of relying on emissions intensive coal and gas-fired power generation and emissions intensive petrol/diesel driven vehicles, accelerating the transition to renewables and electric vehicles.
However, while Howard reluctantly came to this position in 2007 - fearing loss of government to Rudd who was advocating an ETS - the LNP has since campaigned against a tax on carbon; even today their energy slogan is "technology not tax".
The Coalition has preferred the non-market, "socialist", response of regulation, of taking a "big stick" to the power companies over energy prices; trying to force ageing power stations to continue to operate well beyond their commercial lives; looking at forcing and funding new coal and gas generation; opposing a transition to electric vehicles; funding failing oil refineries; and many more.
This week the icing has been put on the cake by the treasurer, supporting a proposed inquiry to grill the financial regulators, banks and investors over plans to pull back on lending, insuring, and investing in mining projects because of climate change.
This ignores the significance what has become an irreversible global trend, and imperative, in finance.
Even more disturbing, this inquiry is to be chaired by noted climate sceptic/denier George Christensen.
This inquiry will build on previous LNP attacks against ANZ, which announced it would not fund any new coal mines or coal-fired power stations and asked its major clients to provide plans to decarbonise their businesses and activities.
However, to be clear, ANZ joins a long list of international banks that will not lend to such projects - recall the very long list that refused to fund the new Adani coal mine in the Galilee Basin.
Banks increasingly won't fund these projects and insurers won't insure them - importantly renewables are cheaper and less risky.
New projects will probably be stranded assets within a decade.
About a dozen or so years ago, I initiated the global Asset Owners Disclosure Project to survey, rate and rank the top 500 asset owners (sovereign wealth, super/pension funds, insurance companies and so on) on their management of climate risk.
We took the view that while governments were "dicking around" with pricing carbon and other initiatives, it was the finance sector that could in the end drive the transition to a low carbon world if they recognised and disclosed the climate risks they were running with their investments, and began to manage those risks.
This effort underwrote the ultimate initiatives of Mark Carney, then at the Bank of England, establishing the Bloomberg Taskforce, the TCFD, to result soon in compulsory disclosure.
It is clear that trustees/directors have a fiduciary responsibility to take account of climate risks, perhaps carrying personal financial responsibility.
Not surprisingly, recognition of this has seen a significant global shift in investment away from coal and gas-related exposures and in other climate exposed industries, with a similar shift across banks and other financial institutions, rating agencies, central banks and regulatory authorities.
Josh Frydenberg is disingenuous in trying to justify this in terms that "it is only appropriate that the Parliament be able to examine trends in banking, insurance and superannuation investment practices and how they affect our resources sector and ... regions".
It is ignorant and irresponsible to try to claim its just "motherhood and apple pie".
This Canute-like stand against significant global climate and financial trends - and the inevitability of the transition to a low-carbon world - for some perceived, short-term political gain is quite indefensible.
Frydenberg should know better!
John Hewson is a professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, and a former Liberal opposition leader.