The Coalition have become so entrenched in maintaining the status quo that they have forgotten what it means to govern. Their fetish to be a “small” government has seen them all but disappear from policy development, concentrating purely on electoral strategy.
The last time a Coalition government acted decisively to do something to benefit the country was when John Howard introduced gun laws. He would not have been able to get that through without the support of Tim Fischer who copped enormous flak from his constituency. Could you imagine the current Nats having the courage or the will to do that?
We have universal healthcare and compulsory superannuation thanks to Labor – initiatives that the Coalition fought tooth and nail against.
Labor acknowledged the Stolen Generation and apologised – something Howard refused to do.
Julia Gillard, in a hung parliament, introduced a price on carbon, tripled the tax-free threshold, got the NBN and NDIS started, introduced paid parental leave, started the RC into child sex abuse, put a tax on mining superprofits, and got part way towards education reform with funding based on need – amongst many other things.
Since the Coalition took over in 2013, what have they done?
A whole heap of axing of things, lots of feasibility studies and inquiries and reports, plenty of announcements that have no detail or timeline, contracts given to connections without tender, and loads of grants handed out to marginal seats.
All amidst constant ego and scandal-driven leadership coups.
We will never be in front of the curve with a Coalition government because they are more focused on watching each other and protecting their place at the trough than looking where we are going. No-one’s navigating because they like where they are right now.
The car industry is a perfect example of just how clueless they are.
Their latest report on the Australian Automotive Industry shows how much time, expertise, money and opportunity was lost by not supporting the domestic auto industry to innovate for the future.
“Going forward, the Australian Government will continue to encourage innovation, build industry capability, and assist future emerging industries such as autonomous vehicle and related technologies; hydrogen and electric vehicles and related technologies.”
Continue to encourage??? The people who screamed blue murder when Bill Shorten suggested we should be moving towards electric vehicles? He was stealing our weekends! He was taking tradies’ utes!
What message does that send to investors considering building the infrastructure to support the transition to electric vehicles?
Despite the government’s inaction, figures from the Electric Vehicle Council show 6718 electric cars, including hybrid plug-ins, were sold nationwide last year, up from 2216 in 2018. Meanwhile, new combustion engine vehicle purchases dropped by 7.8 per cent in 2019.
Amazon announced last September that it was buying 100,000 electric trucks from US electric-vehicle startup Rivian as part of its effort to eliminate the carbon footprint of the company by 2040.
This trend will only continue. But with a Coalition government, we will be, as we are with everything, behind the rest of the world.
Businesses are trying, experts are trying, individuals are trying to drag this government kicking and screaming to face up to doing their job of preparing this country for the future.
They are worse than just dead weight holding us back – they are exacerbating the risks we face and the eventual cost to address them.
If we survive, it will not be thanks to the muppet show that calls itself our government.
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