Before the 2013 election, Malcolm Turnbull said “The politicians and parties that can demonstrate they can be trusted, that they will not insult the people with weasel words and spin, that they will not promise more than they can deliver, that they will not dishonestly misrepresent either their own or their opponents’ policies – those politicians and parties will, I submit to you, deserve and receive electoral success.”
Sadly, the Coalition shows absolutely no sign of living up to those noble words.
At a Senate estimates hearing Greens Senator Larissa Waters asked the Secretary of the Department of the Environment Dr de Brouwer if there was modelling showing Direct Action will work to achieve our emission reduction targets:
Senator WATERS: Given that the government does frequently insist that it will reach its five per cent target by 2020 and claims that it is confident it will do so, what evidence is there on which to base that confidence?
Dr de Brouwer: The government’s position has been that whenever Australia has made commitments along these lines we meet them-for example, with the first Kyoto protocol period that commitment was met; in fact, it was more than met-and that Australia’s practice is that we do not enter into agreements that we are not prepared to deliver. So when the government says it is going to deliver that five per cent reduction on 2000 levels by 2020 and given that that has been our past practice-in fact, that is something that Australia has regularly delivered on-
Senator WATERS: So there is no evidence base per se because you still have not locked down the parameters for how you will meet the five per cent but you are confident based on past practice that it will be met?
Likewise, Treasurer Scott Morrison, when challenged about what modelling the government might have to support its case that changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax would be detrimental, said “We have the common sense to know we have to leave the system as it is. So it’s for the Labor Party, who are proposing a housing tax, to explain their policy and why they think that’ll be good for people who are just simply trying to get ahead.”
On the claim that productivity in the construction industry improved by 20% when the ABCC was operating, I have asked several politicians for the source. None have responded despite requests by phone and email.
Where is the evidence that reducing company tax will promote “jobs and growth”? Ever since we got rid of the carbon and mining taxes, investment has fallen, growth has slowed, and the number of unemployed people has risen.
Where is the evidence that free trade agreements are beneficial to Australia?
Where is the evidence that mandatory sentencing, income management and more truancy officers have helped alleviate indigenous disadvantage?
Where is the cost benefit analysis for our investment of hundreds of billions of dollars in defence materiel? Why do we need strike force capability with squadrons of fighter jets and fleets of submarines?
How much extra is it costing us to build the submarines here for a few thousand jobs at best and why was it not sensible to subsidise the car industry that employed so many more people?
Where is the evidence that metadata retention prevents crime?
What is the reasoning behind Peter Costello’s recent trip to India to discuss using our Future Fund to finance coal mines when no banks will touch the deal and investment advisers are suggesting coal will become a stranded asset?
I would love to hear the Best Minister in the World tell the story of how his management plan for the Great Barrier Reef earned him this ‘prestigious’ award and how that is working out.
Why do we have a wind commissioner but no disability commissioner?
How come we have the money for a plebiscite into marriage equality but not for a royal commission into the financial sector?
When he ousted Tony Abbott from the leadership, Turnbull said “We need a style of leadership that respects the people’s intelligence, that explains these complex issues and then sets out the course of action we believe we should take and makes a case for it. We need advocacy, not slogans. We need to respect the intelligence of the Australian people.”
If Turnbull cares one jot for giving Australian people the information they need to make an educated decision then he could begin by answering these questions.