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Morrison hopelessly conflicted and compromised

It’s been a big week for helmsman ScoMo, who urges a scurvy crew to make the Coalition boat go faster, according to Laura Tingle.

Playing an average suburban joe, Trumpista Morrison, whom Maureen Dowd notes in The NY Times, is devoted to The Donald, apes his mentor by affecting a fair dinkum vernacular and a daggy baseball cap to match.

Carn the Sharks!

Morrison claims Monday, in The New York Times, “many people in both the US and Australia feel left behind by the powerful economic forces of globalisation, which have brought massive wealth to some but left others feeling poorer and disenfranchised.” What he skips is his own role in the advocacy, implementation and local design of this process.

He could confess his own role in opposing 26 times, calls for a Royal Commission into banking, a key agent of the very forces, which, he hypocritically implies, he will mitigate. Similarly, he has opposed raising the minimum wage, the age pension, penalty rates, Newstart and insists on referring to tax as a burden and welfare as a safety-net.

What he won’t do is acknowledge that Donald Trump has done nothing to allay the concerns of his supporters. And even less to make decisions to improve their lives.

Above all he is a big fan of what he fawningly praises as Donald Trump’s practicality. Trump? Practical? It’s an impossible oxymoron. Yet, inspired by Abbott’s you-beaut barnacle removal of 2014, ScoMo’s trimming our ship of state. But not before he’s got a Crosby-Textor dead cat or two on the table and a handy, grandstanding opportunity.

Thirty inquiries have been held into aged care since Bronwyn Bishop’s kerosene bath scandal of 1997. Yet Morrison’s blitzing the airwaves, Monday; announcing a brand new Royal Commission. Oddly, his Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, tells the ABC that a Royal Commission would be a waste of time and money.

The Great Strawberry terror crisis of 2018 is a godsend to Morrison the grandstander.

“We have a real issue going on here … I’m not going to get distracted … I’m going to stay 100 per cent focused on those issues.” Not the real issues – such as energy- climate – education – the rise of China’s global influence and an increasingly erratic US foreign policy ; Irrigation, drought, or our growing economic inequality which sees wages frozen and profits soaring – all risks to his government.

Liberal and National parties snub their electorates on climate change and on inadequate regional services in their stampede to heed the wishes of mining.

Outside metropolitan areas, both Coalition partners now depend on miners and not farmers in their electorate for funds and ideas. The Coalition also ignores country voters’ concerns – climate change, NBN, rural poverty including substandard, cut-down or run-down health and education services.

As Ms Dowd notes, company profits approach record levels yet wage growth remains stubbornly anaemic, and cost-of-living pressures, particularly around housing and power, leave millions feeling poorer, rather than better off. Does ScoMo want to know?

“Why don’t we talk about strawberries and not politics for a second?” The PM asks peevishly. Carn the sharks!

Weaponised fruit? A new act of depravity. Morrison goes into outrage mode. It’s an over-hasty, over-reaction. Penalties for food tampering are increased overnight, despite little evidence that stiffer penalties diminish crime.

The Criminal Code Amendment (Food Contamination) Bill 2018, increases the maximum penalties for the offences of contaminating goods (section 380.2), threatening to contaminate goods (section 380.3) and making false statements about contamination of goods (section 380.4) from 10 years’ imprisonment to 15 years’ imprisonment.

It will also introduce new offences that will apply where a person contaminates goods, threatens to contaminate goods or makes a false statement about contaminating goods in circumstances where the person is reckless as to whether their actions will cause public alarm or anxiety, economic loss or harm (or risk of harm) to public health.

After the House of Representatives passes the brave new anti-food tampering legislation, Thursday morning, but just before MPs debate a motion of no confidence in Dutton over the au pairs scandal, which he wins again only by his casting vote, the Home Affairs minister introduces the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018.

It’s another big step towards becoming a police state.

A new Office on National Intelligence within the Prime Minister’s Department will help to increase surveillance of citizens; bypass personal privacy laws and expand into monitoring domestic activity. It’s the biggest expansion of our intelligence operations in decades, argues Karen Middleton. A key change redefines public information.

Public information is broadened by legal definition. This allows ONI to collect some online data that we might typically assume to be private. It defines this as “information relating to matters of political, strategic or economic significance to Australia that is accessible to any section of the public”. This definition will allow it to include accounts on social media sites such as Facebook, even those which are set to private.

Middleton also warns that the new law ushers in a new era of intense scrutiny of domestic political activity – in conjunction with new laws on foreign influence, interference, espionage.

Along with the theatrical diversion of the 2018 “terrible”, “criminal” strawberry terror show, ScoMo’s a desperate, ruthless pragmatist. All week, he junks unpopular policy that might scupper the mother-ship.

Does this make the boat go faster? Morrison urges MPs ask themselves before commenting in public. He cuts Herb Taylor’s Rotary four way test down to one.

If only Malcolm had shown such command! Such business smarts! If only MPs could exercise restraint. Ticky Fullerton raves over ScoMo’s sales background secret weapon in The Australian.

We have an election coming. And this time it’s different — our sitting prime minister is a marketing man.

“A simple campaign strategy is emerging. Stripped down, this strategy is systematically to go through all the pain points of the Coalition out there in voter land and remove them. This is more than barnacle scraping because these pain points are not just slowing down the good ship ­Coalition — the ship is taking on water after a bloody mutiny.”

Ticky’s on to something. Bugger platform, policy or vision. Ditch everything that voters don’t like. All hands to the bilge pumps. Politics is just a reality TV show. MPs do anything they can not to get themselves voted off. In Peter Dutton’s case, Thursday, this involves using your own vote to prevent a censure motion for misleading parliament.

ScoMo loves his pep talks. Someone has to. In Tuesday’s party room meeting, Morrison tells incredulous MPs that “we have momentum”. One realist responds: “Yeah, the sort of momentum you get when you jump off a cliff.”

Is our current Prime Minister just a crowd-warmer until the coalition loses government in the May election?

If not, motivator Morrison will need to refine his pitch. In the senate, for example, the government is becalmed. It runs out of legislation. Stalls. Senators filibuster their own bills; even debate the Governor-General’s 2016 address-in-reply.

There’s also a bit of backlash about bullying. ScoMo invalidate the complainants. Gaslighting helps. There’s no bullying in the Federal Liberal Party. It’s all part of the rough and tumble of politics. Now it’s all hands on deck.

Heeding the call, at least on the poop deck, Supercoach ScoMo’s throwing energy, education and any other useless policies and principles overboard; clearing the decks for re-election. Anne Sudmalis is packed off to the Big Apple.

She’s being temporarily deported for naming names; her second secondment, although her first as an MP.

Bullying, betrayal and backstabbing have been the hallmarks of one of my state Liberal colleagues, Gareth Ward, over the past six and a half years, she says. There is every reason to believe that the culture is entrenched. Yet Morrison remains staunchly in denial. Not one male Liberal MP comes forward to support Sudmalis.

The same is true of Linda Reynolds and Julia Banks, who is resigning from politics because of bullying.

On the contrary, Liberal power-broker and Victorian Liberal president Michael Kroger respond that “people do speak strongly” in politics while Scott Morrison says he is concerned for “Julia’s welfare and wellbeing”. Neither acknowledge bullying is a problem in the Liberal Party.

Vice president of the federal Liberal Party, Teena McQueen, says of quotas for women in politics, “Women always want the spoils of victory, without the fight”.

Liberal Senator, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, is similarly, all compassion. “Politics is a tough businessif you can’t stand the heat you should get out of the kitchen” she blames and bullies the victim.

Likewise, other victims of bullying are bullied into line. Men control Liberal preselection, women are reminded.

But help is at hand. In NY, Sudmalis won’t be such a vocal critic of party bullying – the sort ScoMo denies exists. Instead, she can blow raspberries at the UN, in person, as she swans off on a three month secondment-junket, a cunning plan to inflict her on the international body the Coalition loves to hate. Sudmalis may have attended the secondment when advisor to Jo Gash, the former member for Gilmore*

Morrison’s denial and evasion are unlikely to do anything but solve his short-term problem. But then, his approach has been less compassion or true concern and more about himself and potential political embarrassment. Regardless of how many times he refers to “Jenny and the girls”, women are unlikely to forgive or forget his role.

Meanwhile the PM jettisons all vestige of energy policy. Neophyte Energy Minister Angus Taylor proudly announces, “the renewable energy target is going to wind down from 2020 … and we will not be replacing that with anything”.

Climate change isn’t happening. Education? Overboard goes all rhetorical abhorrence of special deals with private schools as the Coalition blows $4.6 billion dollars, including a $1.5 billion dollar slush fund, as Labor fairly calls it.

Enrolments that were once growing at a rate of 20,000 a year will slow to as little as 3000 by the middle of the next decade, according to ABS data, presenting a stark marketing if not survival challenge to private schools. $4.6bn is not a need; it’s a bribe.

Buying off private schools is also jettisoning a potential electoral headache but it’s likely to create others. NSW education minister, Rob Stokes, responds by arguing that “we don’t want a return to the school funding wars of the past that pitted private schools against public schools, and urge the federal government to provide equal treatment for all schools, public and private”.

No chance of that. Morrison works all week solely to clear the decks. Religious freedom-fighter, decorated boat stopper, Cronulla Shark number one ticket-holder, he now promises to free his (Christian) peoples’ speech. And religion. But as Brian Morris points out, Australians currently have religious freedom.

Australia is a signatory to the International Covenant of Civic and Political Rights which states: “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”

This may be OK now, for Morrison, but will it be good enough in future? The PM’s logic is magical, irrational. He is proposing laws to protect what may happen; an event which only he can foresee and not even he is prepared to name.

This is not how a Prime Minister should behave.

Morrison’s “not happy with the last ten years’ trajectory”, he tells Sky, cryptically and misleadingly. But there’s more. Christians will all be able to sit on the boards of big companies or law firms whose policies may conflict with their beliefs. Serco, perhaps. Big Coal? Fabulous. Nothing is so compelling as a solution in search of a problem.

Is there a problem? Trajectory-busting Scott’s on to it. A weasel word to the wise. You prove him wrong.

“It shouldn’t happen in this country. Now, I’m not saying it is, necessarily. People say ‘oh well, if there’s not this great problem, why do you need to do it?’ [But] can they guarantee me it won’t happen in the future?

In a television interview with Sky News on Monday night, Morrison says he is displeased with the level of free speech given to Christians and freedom of religion generally; “So there’s nothing wrong with a bit of preventative regulation and legislation to ensure your religious freedom in this country.”

Except that it’s not under threat. Except that it’s been since May that Ruddock formulated his twenty recommendations and still the Coalition has not seen fit to share them with its key stakeholders, the people. Except that such a radical step could at least proceed openly and in a widely canvassed and unhurried, consultation.

The latest Newspoll will do little to cause any reassessment. The Coalition’s primary vote is up two points to 36 per cent. There is a two point improvement in the two preferred vote with the Coalition now trailing 46/54 following a three year low of 44/56 over the past two Newspolls. Morrison’s government will spin this as a win.

It’s not. It may be aberrant. Even if it’s not, on these statistics, the Coalition stands to lose 20 seats at an election on a uniform swing. Yet the week has seen a dysfunctional willingness to discard well–established positions, especially in funding private schools but also in due process with regard to bullying accusations made by Liberal women against their male colleagues. These suggest the problem is entrenched in party culture. A boorish, sexist, inequality, if not overt misogyny, appears to be institutionalised.

Similarly, the PM has shown such blind support for Peter Dutton that his capacity to act with independence and integrity is already severely compromised. Nowhere is this more evident than in his making his main goal the securing of gratuitous further legal guarantee of esoteric religious freedoms – freedoms he can neither identify nor make any rational case for.

Like his failed predecessor, Turnbull, but after only a few weeks in office, Morrison appears to be just as much a puppet of Big Mining, Banking, Big Dutton and his right wing push. Add in his church and other vested interests and Morrison’s capacity to succeed as PM appears doomed.


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  1. Kaye Lee

    With Labor ahead 54 to 46, the headline is “Labor, Shorten slide in latest Newspoll.”

    The headline could have read “Coalition facing election wipeout as it loses 41st Newspoll in a row”…..but that’s not how media in this country works. For no apparent reason, they have decided to annoint ProMo as a saviour.

  2. Terence Mills

    “The Morrison government has given Catholic schools more than 10 times the amount of money needed to maintain “affordable choice” for parents, according to analysis by the Grattan Institute.” The $4.6 billion injection into private schools announced last week included a $1.2 billion “choice and affordability” fund designed to help Catholic and independent schools keep fees low.

    Morrison’s handouts will eventually, I suppose, lift the Liberal party polls as they try to bury any memory of Turnbull and the incredible dysfunction and incompetence within their coalition. It seems that they will achieve this electoral goal at our expense just as we saw a few weeks ago as they sought to ingratiate themselves by handing out tax cuts to all and sundry.

    My worry is that all this largesse aimed at lifting the image of the Liberal party and its new temporary leader is going to send us broke !

  3. David Tyler

    Yes, Kaye, it’s preposterous. An act of sheer desperation. There’s The Australian’s scribes now praising the inarticulate, incoherent, ranting sloganeer, Morrison, for his capacity to “cut through”. They said the same of Abbott. His mad scramble to ditch any remaining policy that may be unpopular is upheld as examples of his decisiveness. And there are any number of puff pieces on ScMo the family man and virtuous suburban dad. Newspoll is not to be trusted. Turnbull had a few minor upswings, too. And well within the margin of error.
    Wait until he releases Ruddock’s report.

  4. Shaun Newman

    Kaye the apparent reason is that they don’t want a Labor government because they might lose some of their enormous profit in order to pay their fair share of income tax as the workforce has to do. They fear that Labor may bring in a fair tax regime where all corporations must contribute to the country that they are currently ripping off, what better incentive to an extreme right-wing capitalist organization like the Australian media than money?

    The Murdoch media will always be this way until the Australian public reject these headlines and turn away from this constant brainwashing exercise from the media. I see it in Ch7 local TV news, they constantly show the Queensland LNP opposition’s reaction to State based law changes but don’t bother to contact our three local State Labor members for both sides of the story.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Ah yes, the daggy dad from the suburbs who “doesn’t know one end of a sheep from the other” and who was cooking a curry to save the strawberry industry??? The divinely elected patriot who hands out special flag badges to show just how patriotic they are (waiting for someone to hit their chest and say beam me up Scotty – I would be unable to resist). The man who sends his children to a Baptist school (despite not being Baptist) so they can learn real values unlike what those communist lesbians are spruiking in the public schools. At Scott’s church, they speak in tongues, believe in divine healing and creationism – just the sort of values every child should learn.

    The only thing Scott has taken control of is the purse strings. He can now afford to bribe anyone he needs to, whether it be those whinging snowflake women, the Catholic schools, or to outdo Labor. 20 MRI machines? Pshaw! See you and raise you fifty percent (please ignore the fact that the procedure will still be unaffordable for many).

    As for Ticky Fullerton, the fact that she married Michael Stuchbury recently shows her complete lack of character judgement.

  6. Möbius Ecko

    Kaye Lee at 6:26 am

    A special Newspoll commissioned by The Australian, the very media outlet that spearheaded the attack against Turnbull and inserted Morrison at Rupert Murdoch’s orders.

    Then on cue, out come the MSM as one, including the ABC, lauding this poll as a massive boost for Morrison and the L-NP government.

    I’ll take this poll with the scepticism it deserves.

  7. David Tyler

    Here’s a bit from Michelle Grattan’s puff piece

    “The new PM is tactically quicker than Malcolm Turnbull, just as in his messaging he can cut through with greater sharpness. He’s more attuned to the emotional and knee-jerk drivers of today’s politics, in the age of the continuous news cycle and social media. Malcolm liked to mull over moves.”

    Ruthless, unprincipled and precipitate populist, in other words.

  8. Terence Mills

    Just on Murdoch, he has had a major set-back in the UK and Europe with the failure of his bid to takeover SKY 100% [beyond his existing and very lucrative 39% stake].

    ‘Murdoch had previously attempted to buy all of Sky but, in 2011, was forced to retreat amid cellphone hacking scandal at its now-defunct London tabloid, News of the World. Then, in December 2016, Fox tried again to buy the 61% of Sky that it currently does not own. But that sale became bogged down as various regulators in Britain chewed on the deal and raised questions about Murdoch being a fit and proper person to control this influential media colossus.’

    You will read more of this but probably not in the Murdoch press or on SKY in Australia which poses the question, once again, of Murdoch’s filter on the news.

    Murdoch’s dream of finally neutering the BBC in Britain, in favour of his pay TV model at SKY is the biggest set-back in his career for the 87-year-old mogul. Pay TV operator Comcast of Philadelphia outbid him and won the prize during an unusual government run auction conducted on Saturday by British regulators. Britain’s Takeover Panel announced the results after three rounds of sealed bids. It marked the first time in a decade that the London-based regulatory body presided over a corporate auction.

    This will have a disruptive and potentially positive influence here as the SKY UK (and Fox News USA) model has been used to fashion the loss making Australian SKY subsidiary.

    This story is worth following but with the Murdoch influence on Australian media coverage you will have to go beyond our borders for the full story as it evolves.

  9. MöbiusEcko

    David Tyler, it’s orchestrated. Just about all of the political commentators across the MSM lauded Abbott as being a people’s man when he first got in, then praised Turnbull as being able to cut through and now are regurgitating similar fluff about Morrison. The electioneering is almost identical from all three. Kill Bill, kill Labor, kill Unions and at great expense to the taxpayer traipse around the country in …………. (insert clothing type) bullshitting at every turn without the media ever challenging the bullshit.

    E.g. Abbott in a firetruck. Turnbull on a train. Morrison in a prime mover. Apart from the different vehicles, the bullshit from all three and the MSM was almost identical.

  10. Bronte ALLAN

    ScoMo the happy clapper strikes again! Sadly he is yet just another of the multitude of lying, inept, flat earth, right wing, religious zealots this stupid bloody “liberal” party has to offer. And yet he is our PM? WTF?? And he has let his “mate” Ruston Duston off the hook re the crap of Ruston Duston & his bloody au-pair girls, & his “financing” (?) of his own childcare centers, courtesy of this bloody liberal lot! BASTARDS the lot of them! Great article David & unfortunately all so bloody true!

  11. Rhonda

    I despair. Curious about the sudden sacking of ABC MD, Michelle Guthrie. Politics much!

  12. MikeW

    Does Morrison and the rest of the so called Christians in the coalition really expect St Peter will be welcoming them at the pearly gates to heaven? These people are against everything that their God and Jesus preached. Money for the rich and stuff all for the poor and destitute. Sound more like heathens than Christians to me.
    Then we have more tax payers money being handed out to Catholic schools… Why?
    The Vatican with trillions of dollars in assets (tax free) could sell some off and fund every Catholic school in the world.
    Visited the Vatican a few years ago I was sickened by the place, gold and priceless artworks everywhere, pay to get in then walk through the gift shop manned by Nuns (pun intended) through all it’s glory and pomp then on to Sistine chapel, no photos allowed have to buy postcards….
    Word of advice to anyone going to visit line up to the left of the entrance, those on the right lining up for hours will not be admitted have to go to back of line on the left, no signs telling people about this though.

  13. Davidius

    All the above is true. And the libs seem to believe bringing back another utter yob will make for better ‘retail politics’. The hypocrisy of prosperity theology is on display for all, the vacuous curry/pav cookery schtick shows what a man of the people is really like, along with the pudgy footy-fan being one of the boys. So effing inspirational!

  14. JohnF

    “many people in both the US and Australia feel left behind by the powerful economic forces of globalisation, which have brought massive wealth to some but left others feeling poorer and disenfranchised.”

    So why is the government set to sign on to TPP 2.0? This is an agreement in support of transnational corporations and gives them the right to sue governments for perceived losses due to national business, labour and environmental laws. It puts restrictions on future governments’ regulation of essential services and allows for increased numbers of vulnerable temporary workers without testing if local workers are available.

    The legislation has passed through the House of Representatives (with Labor’s support), and will go before the Senate in the next sitting week of September 15, after the Senate legislation committee report on October 10.

    Write a letter to your Labor member – the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) have a pro forma at

  15. Kyran

    The chasm between their reality and our reality widens at such a rate that we are now staring into an abyss, all the while asking “how did we get here?” instead of “what the heck do we do now?”.
    So the current soon to be ex-PM is a marketing man.
    “We have an election coming. And this time it’s different — our sitting prime minister is a marketing man.”
    As is typical of the elite corps of the Press Gallery, who couldn’t find the noses on their own faeces in a room full of mirrors, they ignore the glaringly obvious in pursuit of the banal.
    His ‘marketing credentials’ – which both belies and denies his actual marketing acumen – amounts to a campaign marred by its failure, not to mention that it underscored his character trait of ‘bullying’. So many years later, as the current soon to be ex-PM, he denies that bullying even exists, the day after he launched an enquiry into it!
    Well, that’s not quite true. He did have one successful campaign.

    “We’re dealing with someone who’s familiar with the New Zealand political psyche, the composition of New Zealand, how [we] think and work so I would imagine that basically is a very good start,” he [Mr Peters] said.
    Mr Morrison has previously lived and worked in New Zealand, and was involved in the high profile ‘100 percent pure New Zealand’ tourism campaign.
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke to Mr Morrison yesterday afternoon.
    She said Mr Morrison’s close ties with New Zealand will be helpful as they build their relationship.”

    All of which was underwritten by his academic qualification, Economic geography, which explains his pitiful whine of ‘where the bloody hell are you?’, doesn’t it?
    “Ticky’s on to something. Bugger platform, policy or vision. Ditch everything that voters don’t like. All hands to the bilge pumps. Politics is just a reality TV show. MPs do anything they can not to get themselves voted off.”
    With all of the eulogizing over the past few PM’s in a quest to pretend they have left any legacy worthy of mention, let alone merit, it is easier to characterize their ‘achievements’ as an unsubtle degeneration, a decomposition.
    Abbott was all about destruction. He and his merry crusaders went into the parliament with no other intent than destroying all that had gone before them.
    Turnbull was all about a cosmetic correction, distractedly straightening a few pictures on the wall which had been knocked askew, whilst ignoring that the furniture, fixtures and fittings had all but been destroyed.
    Morrison, the marketing muppet, can only be characterized as the ‘decapitated chook’, running around in decreasing circles, oblivious to his own hysteria, let alone our increasing disquiet.
    ‘Muppet’ was his claim to fame, which defames the noble aspirations of the muppets, who never tired of ‘taking the piss’ out of those with delusions of grandeur. This mob seem well impressed with delusions of adequacy, such is their ineptitude.
    The only possible analogy between these soulless fools and puppetry would be the ‘crash test dummy’, being dummies of such little worth that they have no other purpose other than measuring the damage caused by various impacts.
    These self-obsessed fools are truly tiring. As for the elite corps in the Press Gallery, they are now marveling at their own self-perceived power with a disingenuous ‘Oops, we did it again’. On the one hand they indignantly lament the demise of an ineffectual PM by some media moguls, and on the other hand they persist with the nonsense of newspolls asking ‘who is the preferred PM’. Ignoring that neither the media or the people ever have any say in who is the PM. The PM is ‘elected’ by their party, or their party room. That a party room is so affected by the musings of mutants in the Press Gallery reflects nothing other than the cowardice currently on display in Canberra.
    All the while, the abyss is ignored. What will today’s hysteria be? Strawberries, sharks or big trucks? Oh, look over there. The decapitated chook wants to talk about an Aboriginal Australia Day.
    “Prime Minister Scott Morrison is calling for a new national day to celebrate Indigenous Australians, in an effort to sidestep the growing calls for Australia Day to be moved from January 26.
    The prime minister’s suggestion comes after his government took swift action to punish a NSW council for moving its Australia Day festivities – something several Victorian councils did last year.
    Byron Shire Council has been stripped of its right to hold citizenship ceremonies, immigration minister David Coleman confirmed in a statement, saying the date should “not be politicised”.
    Mr Morrison is now calling for a special day to be set aside to recognise Indigenous Australians and their 60,000 years of history.”

    Nothing will be done to close the gap, but we’ll give ‘em their own day. Mind you, it may not cost him $50mill to memorialise their disenfranchisement.

    Yeah, he’s a [failed] marketing man. That’s what we need.
    It’s rather desperate. Why aren’t we talking about a national strike? Maybe Ms Lee was right.

    We have forgotten what is important let alone how to fight for it

    Thankyou Mr Tyler and commenters. Take care

  16. Kaye Lee

    And on the corruption theme….

    Special Minister of State Alex Hawke has reportedly spent over $500,000 worth of public funds over the last few years on printing work done by his Sydney branch president and Liberal donor Rudy Limantono.

    A BuzzFeed News investigation also reports that Limantono’s company, Zion Graphics, does not actually own a commercial printer, has no website or Facebook page, connects to a phone number registered at the family’s home, and, according to Liberal Party sources, outsources printing work to another organisation,

    Neither Hawke, a centre-right ally of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, nor Limantono have commented on how much taxpayer money has gone into the business.

    The special minister of state is responsible for various parliamentary, electoral, financial, public service, and oversight affairs.

    What a joke. The fox is in charge of the hen house.

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