This chapter attempts to demonstrate that the Australian
state displays all the features of having been captured by fossil fuel interests, and that discursive approaches can only take us so far in understanding how the fossil fuel and resource extraction industries currently operate to maintain their incumbency. It argues that some new
conceptual and methodological tools are required to improve that understanding. The chapter begins with an outline of the Promethean narrative and some of the more obvious examples of how it has been manifested in networks of overt and covert corporate influence of government decision-making over the last decade. It then explores the various ways in which these largely covert networks of compliance, influence and persuasion operate between the public and private sectors. The development of Australia’s electricity sector over the last few decades is provided as a case study in the covert bipartisan support by key politicians and staffers for
mismanagement, market distortions and price gouging by dominant players in the industry. This is followed by a discussion of the kind of concepts and methodologies that can best be used to study covert forms of policy-making, and the extent to which it can be concluded that
Machiavellian politics has dominated climate change and energy policy-making in Australia over the last few decades. The chapter concludes by suggesting key areas for legislative and regulatory reform.