As parliament and political commentary are consumed by the citizenship debacle and the same-sex marriage legislation, the country lurches along with no clear direction on all the other things that matter.
That is in no way to make little of the results of the survey – it’s just that we all knew what they would be and could have solved this long ago.
In the meantime, climate change seems to have been totally forgotten. Scientists scramble to protect the Great Barrier Reef from a government who just doesn’t care and logging continues at third world rates. Water management has been abandoned in favour of mines and rich agricultural holdings upstream.
Wages are not keeping up with inflation, well over 700,000 people are unemployed, part-time, casual and contract work are on the rise and almost 3 million people live below the internationally accepted poverty line.
Affordable housing has been left up to the states to deal with and energy prices continue to rise.
Private health insurance, hospital funding and aged care are in crisis.
University is becoming more expensive and cuts are being made to promised public school funding.
Childcare workers are paid a pittance whilst demand drives prices through the roof.
Aboriginal recognition has been put in the too hard basket and there is still no solution for the poor souls languishing in PNG and Nauru.
The NBN continues to disappoint.
In 2012, Malcolm Turnbull said:
We all want to maintain Australia as a sophisticated high wage economy with a generous social safety net and excellent healthcare. We all want an education sector that provides choice, the skills needed by employers, and the greatest possible opportunities for the least advantaged (including the disabled). We all want a clean environment and sustainable, liveable, lively communities.
How often do we hear Australian politicians discuss these challenges in a genuinely open, honest, spin-free and non-adversarial way? Where the intention is to clearly explain the problem, accept responsibility for past missteps if appropriate (rather than apportion as much blame as possible to the other side), allow a non-ideological discussion of possible remedies, and see if there is any common ground for bipartisan work?
Seldom, and even more rarely if a camera is rolling.
Yet since finally achieving his goal of becoming Prime Minister, Turnbull has spent all his time blaming Labor, despite his party having been in government for over 4 years.
Aided by a shrieking employment minister, he has focused on attacking unions whilst ignoring the malfeasance of their own political appointments, of employers, and of politicians themselves.
They have reduced penalty rates for some of the lowest paid employees and mercilessly pursued welfare recipients. They implemented the cashless welfare card and are trying to introduce drug testing.
According to the Turnbull government, the solution to all of our problems will come from lowering taxes and increasing profits for big business despite them already making record profits and paying little tax.
Employment is supposed to flow from spending hundreds of billions on war toys made by foreign companies that will be obsolete before they are ever delivered, and from backing a dying coal industry.
When Scott Morrison became Treasurer in 2015, he gave this folksy little analogy for how the Turnbull government would manage the country.
It’s like going off on that summer holiday: you get in the car; you know where you’re going; you don’t put the passengers at risk; you get to your destination safely. Of course there will be people chiming in from the back seat like my kids always do, saying, ‘Are we there yet? Are we there yet?’ Well, we are going to get there and we’re going to get there with everybody on board.
Well, having listened to the people in the back seat, we now find ourselves completely lost with no mobile phone reception, no map, no water, the temperature rising and the family at each other’s throats as we hurtle towards a cliff.
Forget ‘are we there yet’ – let me outta here!