On Sunday, returning Nationals minister Keith Pitt tried to tell us that “This is a serious building where serious decisions are made and we continue to be focused on that.”
Angus Taylor tried the same line on Monday’s Q&A.
Perhaps they haven’t been paying attention.
The government would not make a decision on ending discrimination in marriage laws. They made us do it and have since formed a committee to fight for the rights of wedding retailers to turn customers away. One wonders how many of them actually want less business.
The government will not make a decision on Aboriginal recognition. They made our Indigenous People go through a lengthy and extensive consultation process to make recommendations and then threw them out without a second glance. They slashed over $500 million from Indigenous funding and then wondered why we aren’t closing the gap.
The government will not take any action on climate change. They seem entirely untroubled that, ever since they got rid of carbon pricing, emissions have been increasing. Despite the heatwaves, changing rainfall patterns, prolonged bushfire seasons, intense floods and cyclones, rising sea levels and coral bleaching, they want the world to burn more fossil fuels.
The government has completely ignored the water theft from the Murray-Darling, going so far as to appoint as Minister for Water Resources the son-in-law of the man whose company is under police investigation for “possible serious fraud” with regard to the Healthy Headwaters grants.
The government wants to claim credit for job creation last year at the same time they are telling us they must cut company taxes to create jobs.
The government says it recognises the problems associated with wage stagnation at the same time that they voted to reduce penalty rates for our lowest paid workers.
The government calls for more respectful workplaces while their senior ministers go on a rampage of rumour and innuendo about people’s sex lives and failed marriages.
The government shows concern for domestic violence by paying tens of millions for advertising campaigns whilst closing refuges and defunding legal aid. They tell others to promote anti-bullying whilst publicly ripping each other to shreds in the vilest, sneering, jeering, malicious way.
The government refused to subsidise a car industry that employed and trained hundreds of thousands of people in favour of subsidising armaments manufacture which might employ a few hundred people sometime down the track, or coal mines that no-one else wants to finance.
The government ripped up signed hospital and education funding agreements with the states and the accountability/quality standards that went with them, and then threw their hands up at increased hospital wait times and declining educational rankings.
The government has lots of slogans about innovation, they create “hubs”, they subsidise young entrepreneurs, whilst trying to make tertiary education the exclusive domain of the wealthy.
The government talks about the urgency of bringing down public debt while watching private debt soar to precariously high levels.
The government has taken an axe to welfare whilst wondering why consumer spending is drying up. Rather than heeding the call by everybody including the Business Council of Australia, they refuse to increase the Newstart payment, condemning people to poverty which makes it so much harder to get a job.
The government will not cut overly generous property tax concessions despite our housing affordability crisis, despite Malcolm Turnbull writing about how they skew investment away from more productive enterprises, despite our outgoing treasurer saying that negative gearing should be skewed towards new housing, and despite our intelligence agencies warning that property was being used to launder money.
The government is all over the shop regarding energy policy, encouraging old coal-fired power stations to stay open, appointing a commissioner to see if wind farms make you sick, abandoning subsidies for roof top solar, cutting the renewable energy target, ignoring small scale pumped hydro in favour of spending billions on tunnelling through kilometres of rock, and refusing to retain any of our gas for domestic consumption.
The government will not even consider Australian autonomy as we continue to pay homage to a foreign head of state and salute the flag of another country.
The government tells us that aged care is in crisis whilst dumping a $1.2 billion fund set up by Labor for pay rises for aged care workers in 2013 and then last year cutting a further $1.2 billion from Nursing Home funding over the next four years. (At the same time, the NSW State Government agreed to remove the requirement for a Registered Nurse to be on duty at all times in NSW Nursing Homes.)
The government has spent many months in turmoil and millions of dollars on court cases and by-elections because a significant number of politicians don’t know their own nationality.
But hey, at least we have a self-policed, honesty system bonking ban.