Once Federal Labor had established their emissions target for 2030, which was even lower than the blueprint proffered by the Australian Business Council, the government swung into action with the same old scare tactics.
One is the ‘threat’ of a Labor-Greens alliance and the other that the country is not in the mood for change.
As for a Labor-Greens alliance, that only happens when Labor is fighting amongst themselves. There is little evidence of the pre-2010 debacle as Anthony Albanese keeps a disciplined party behind him.
When it comes to climate change, this time Labor has business, industry and any economist worth their salt supporting them ahead of the Coalition’s minimalist target. They also have proportionately more Lower House seats than Kevin Rudd had before his victory in 2007.
The hope within federal government ranks that all will be forgotten may also backfire for Coalition. The refusal of this government to establish an ICAC, which will bring politicians to account and expose the gross misuse of taxpayers money, strongly suggests they have something to hide. None of this will happen with the pretend bill that Scott Morrison has yet to put forward. Poll after poll has shown that electors want a government that can be held accountable for its actions.
Gleeson misses the mark
Murdoch columnist, Peter Gleeson says the Labor party does not believe in integrity. Why then are they calling for a federal ICAC which has transparency rather than the toothless one that the Attorney-General Michaelia Cash is toying with, in the lead-up to the next election?
After all, the federal government has been promising one since 2018. Is Gleeson hoping that voters do not care about major rorts inflicted on taxpayers that cost them billions of dollars? Of course, politicians sometimes lie, but that is exactly why we need a credible body to investigate alleged fraudulent acts and the lies that may accompany them.
Gleeson bewails the way Australians have been treated in their quest to return interstate and home from overseas. Does he not know that borders were sensibly sealed internally and nationally by state and federal governments respectively? Yet he insists that the federal government should be allowed to overrule the states on pandemic issues. Did he think we didn’t see and hear potential Australian returnees being threatened with jail or hefty fines by Greg Hunt, the federal health minister, if they tried to return?
Like the Prime Minister, Gleeson has joined the “gold-standard” cheer squad for the NSW government. If he wants a top performing government, he need look no further than Queensland.
Credlin’s diatribe forgets history
Peta Credlin (Sunday Mail, 28 Nov) perpetuates the myth that only in the Liberal Party can you express a difference of opinion. In 2012 Tony Abbott ordered all Coalition MPs to vote against gay marriage while Julia Gillard allowed Labor MPs a conscience vote on the issue. The state Labor Party of Annastacia Palaszczuk also allowed the same when the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill was passed earlier this year.
Credlin then quotes Scott Morrison saying he does not lead a team of drones and warm bodies that he just moves around in Parliament. Yet when Coalition MP Bridget Archer strongly supported the robust ICAC as proposed by Independent MP Helen Haines, she was asked to front Josh Frydenberg’s office from where she was then escorted to the Prime Minister’s office where both the PM and Marise Payne were present. Despite protestations by Morrison that ‘all was well’ and that he was ‘concerned’ for Archer’s wellbeing, the Tasmanian MP said afterwards, “I wasn’t invited into the meeting necessarily to enquire about my welfare. I was invited to explain my actions”.
Next its the ‘grey scare’
Now Peter Gleeson (Sunday Mail, 28 Nov) is playing on the misplaced fears of the Grey Nomads. I hope he reminded them that it wasn’t Labor that leased out Darwin to the Chinese in 2015. It wasn’t Labor that was quite happy to sign an extradition treaty with China so that Chinese Australians could be taken back to Beijing to face trial for expressing dissent. That was the Coalition’s smart idea until Labor refused to go along with it.
It was Labor under the Gillard government that told Huawei in 2011 that it was barred from the NBN after advice from security and intelligence. It was the then Coalition’s former foreign minister Alexander Downer who described her decision as “absurd”.
Has he also told the Grey Nomads that it was Labor that gave them their envy-of-the-world superannuation retirement benefits, as well as their Medicare? Did he tell them that it was the Coalition that opposed these iconic benefits?
Hey Big Spender!
Valdy Kwitowski, (Letters, Courier Mail 2 Dec), makes a poignant observation in his commentary on Australia’s debt and deficit situation. How many times has the question been asked by critics of politicians: “Where’s the money coming from?”
As Australia looks to re-emerge from the pandemic, KPMG chief economist Brendan Rynne, has remarked: “we have not completely dodged a bullet but we have avoided a rout”.
There was never any doubt that the federal government would have to spend big when COVID hit in 2020. But questions need to be asked on whether that expenditure was qualitative as well as quantitative.
Whether it be JobKeeper, which was a great concept, but flawed in design allowing billions to be directed to companies that did not need it or dawdling with the vaccine “stroll out”, one wonders how much wastage there has really been?
But with an election looming there is clearly no intention that any debt and deficit repair is on the agenda.