The #5and5 - Week ending 26 February 2016

In a week when Malcolm Turnbull’s talking points were leaked, the real story was that assistant treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer seemed to be the only person without a copy.


1. This speech by Bill censuring Malcolm Turnbull for misleading the Parliament and lying to the Australian people. As Bill says: "Either this Prime Minister is dishonest or he is incompetent - he cannot be both.” More on this in the Worst.

2. Chris Bowen completely obliterated Malcolm Turnbull’s scare campaign against Labor's negative gearing policy. While Malcolm reverted to reading from the Tony Abbott scare campaign handbook, day after day Chris methodically extinguished Malcolm’s increasingly outlandish claims with cold hard facts.

3. You have to watch this speech by Tanya Plibersek: “It is incredible listening to a Government that cares more about people buying their seventh home or their thirtieth home, than people buying their first home."

4. Yesterday a newspaper headline read: “PM abandons tax reform”. Labor MPs made it clear what they thought about this directionless Prime Minister. Here's nine Labor speakers in 90 seconds. #9in90

5. Last week Scott Morrison made his first policy announcement as Treasurer. He said he would not “sell the public a unicorn”. Labor welcomed Mr Morrison’s strong anti-unicorn trafficking stance. This week Pat Conroy and Tim Watts decided to show their support in the chamber - #nounicornleftbehind. Chris Bowen interjected: “When the Treasurer of Australia is a laughing stock, it’s a problem."

(Photo credit: Mike Bowers)


1. We don’t often get a Prime Minster who misleads the Parliament. It’s even rarer we learn about it because the Prime Minister’s own office tells us. On Monday, Malcolm Turnbull promised unequivocally: “Increasing Capital Gains Tax is no part of our thinking.” Within hours his own office was telling journalists ‘oh no, the Government is still considering Capital Gains Tax.' We then had leaked talking points from the Prime Minister’s own office saying Capital Gains Tax was still being considered. I thought we had a new Prime Minister, but if you close your eyes you’d think Tony Abbott was still in charge.

2. Malcolm Turnbull’s entire scare campaign against Labor’s negative gearing policy came crumbling down on Wednesday. On one hand Malcolm Turnbull claims Labor’s policy will cause house prices to go down, yet Malcolm Turnbull’s Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O'Dwyer thinks Labor’s policy will cause house prices to go up. Malcolm Turnbull’s scare campaign is that under Labor house prices will go up, house prices will go down and both things are scary. Be afraid. Be very very afraid.

3. Malcolm’s scare campaign got even more confusing as the week went on. According to Malcolm Turnbull, on Monday Labor’s policy was against the rich, but by Thursday Labor’s policy wasfor the rich. On Thursday when Malcolm Turnbull was waffling on about Labor’s tax policy, Kelly O’Dwyer leapt to her feet and placed a piece of paper next to the dispatch box. Labor members spontaneously erupted: “DON’T READ IT MALCOLM! YOU KNOW HOW THIS ENDS!"

4. Last week Scott Morrison gave a 46 minute speech where he said nothing. This week he was, according to The Australian newspaper, in “witness protection”. Perhaps it’s because this week the Prime Minster completely abandoned tax reform. The Australian Financial Review reported the relationship between Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison’s office’s has become “strained”. I started the week by moving that Scott Morrison be given 46 minutes to address parliament on his plans for tax reform, followed by Chris Bowen. The Libs and Nats all voted against Morrison giving a speech like that again.

5. If you ever needed more proof of Malcolm Turnbull selling out on who he had claimed to be, this week delivered it. On Tuesday, he announced a review into an anti bullying program for LGBTI students in schools because some MPs like Corey Bernardi thought it would “indoctrinate children into a Marxist agenda of cultural relativism". He also failed to condemn an MP who referred to Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people living in remote communities as “noble savages”. We hoped Malcolm would change the Liberal Party, but the Liberal Party has changed Malcolm.

Parliament and the #5and5 will be back again next week.

PS This week’s song of the week was tough. Given Malcolm Turnbull's return to Tony Abbott’s “wrecking ball” analogy, there was a strong push for a particular Miley Cyrus song. Let me say: I respect you too much to do that. But given how Malcolm Turnbull has decided to back in policy, rhetoric and style from Tony Abbott here's John Paul Young with Yesterday's Hero.

Tony Burke