It has been 644 days since the Coalition won the Federal election. It is worth reflecting on their achievements so far.
They stopped the boats.
Ok, well not really, because the boats are still setting sail, but any that come in our direction get turned around because then they are someone else’s problem – we don’t too much care whose as long as it isn’t us that has to offer them any help.
I hear Italy is nice. Perhaps a never-ending cruise on the Andaman Sea?
For those that may slip through we can offer you an indefinite holiday on a Pacific Island (All care taken – No responsibility accepted….actually “all” should probably read “some”, and only if some bastard wants to risk jail time enough to tell someone. If they do, we will deny it, call it a political stunt, and sack everyone who Peter Dutton thinks is being sneaky.)
In the meantime, developing countries host 86 percent of the world’s refugees. Nearly half of the refugees under UNHCR’s mandate live in countries where the GDP per capita is less than USD $5,000.
Australia GDP – per capita (PPP): $43,000 (2013 est.)
Relative to the sizes of their populations Lebanon and Jordan host the largest number of refugees, while relative to the sizes of their economies the burdens carried by Ethiopia and Pakistan are greatest.
But we are doing our bit. We gave $40 million to a corrupt government to agree to take four refugees. As Cambodia has no social welfare system, we are also paying over $15 million to support them for at least a year.
We could discuss how it is illegal to intercept boats outside Australia’s territorial or contiguous zones, in other words, more than 24 nautical miles off Australian shores, but that would be an “on water” matter.
We could discuss how the government is paying people smugglers $5000 each to sail the turned boats back to wreck on an island somewhere but that would be an “operational” matter.
We could discuss how children are being sexually abused in our detention camps except even drawing attention to it is now a jailable offence.
Perhaps we should move on….
They axed the ‘toxic’ carbon tax.
Not only has this helped women, thanks Tony, it is also addressing housing affordability for those who haven’t yet got a high-paying job – apparently.
Rumour has it that the positions of Treasurer and Attorney-General could be coming up for grabs so get your resume ready.
Actually, come to think of it, you don’t need a resume to get those jobs. You don’t need any qualifications or experience, there are no essential criteria, and if you get the job, there is no ongoing accreditation, no evaluation of key performance indicators, and absolutely no personal responsibility regardless of what happens. All you need to do is tell people that the adults are in charge and make it illegal to question anything you do. You have a minimum three year contract in which to make hay with the common wealth.
Your starting salary will be several hundred thousand dollars, and all your expenses, including the mortgage on your investment property, private jets and chauffeur-driven cars, attendance at sporting events and private parties, will be paid by the taxpayer.
But I digress…..
Axing the carbon tax lowered the cost of living – well for one quarter anyway.
Unfortunately, instead of collecting billions from polluters and expecting them to do efficiency research and development , we now pay for them to upgrade their factories and reduce their bills. We are paying farmers to not run cattle that they didn’t own and not clear trees they had no intention of, or reason to, cut down.
They lowered the renewable energy target and are getting rid of those ugly wind turbines.
We won’t let the rest of the world tell us what to do! We don’t want their filthy money! Let them all invest in renewable energy. We have coal mines which are far more aesthetically pleasing, and coal dust is far better for your health than that annoying noise a wind turbine makes. We are investing in roads and airports because they are much quieter and prettier.
Increased greenhouse gas emissions help plants grow anyway, so there! Ok, it may decimate farming in Australia but Greenland might get green again and Tasmania could become a banana exporter.
And don’t forget that they got rid of that job-destroying mining tax that was hindering investment in Australia.
Ever since we gave up those projected billions in revenue we have seen the unemployment rate…ok it’s gone up….but at least we’ve seen investment and consumer confidence…ummm…well they have gone down but our new “open for business” sign has investors very interested in the Sydney housing market..
Which can only be good for Sydneysiders wishing to sell their home as long as they don’t want to buy another one in Sydney. And for those who don’t currently own property in Sydney, become a politician so you can afford it.
They negotiated some free trade agreements.
The Federal Government says it wants exporters to take full advantage of recent free trade deals, which it admits will cost Australia $6 billion in foregone tariffs.
The 2015 Budget allocates $24.6 million for an “‘FTA outreach program”, which the government says will see Austrade and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade roll out FTA seminars for businesses across Australia over the next two years.
Billions in lost revenue but lots of money for seminars.
The government may not yet be “living within its means”, but they are on a “credible path back to surplus” (provided you don’t rely on peer-review or expert opinion) which will “increase the pie” ….does anyone else feel like they are following the Pied Piper?
But most importantly, they have made us safer.
We have sent our troops to Iraq….again. We have increased defence spending by billions and are spending hundreds of billions buying strike force aircraft, boats and submarines.
Our government now has the right to spy on all citizens and to exile or incarcerate people on suspicion without referral to the judicial system.
Criticism is no longer tolerated from public servants, NGOs, doctors, journalists, statuatory bodies, or international organisations.
Are the adults in charge or the adolphs in control?
We are entitled to more than glossy brochures and advertising spin. We are entitled to know what is being done in our name and how our money is being spent.
It’s a dangerous time that requires us all to be aware and alert. Not for unattended baggage, but for the political putsch undermining our freedoms and protections, our democracy and human rights.