The 5and5 - Week ending 4 March 2016
This week Labor made some huge announcements: Tony Abbott shirt-fronted Malcolm Turnbull, Malcolm Turnbull sidelined Scott Morrison, and Scott Morrison just tried to stay afloat (but that’s an on water matter).
1. On Wednesday morning a text message went out for all Labor members to go to the Caucus Room.
When we arrived the media were there setting up cameras and microphones. For about seven minutes there were quiet whispers of people guessing what the meeting was all about. Then the cameras started snapping, Caucus members were on their feet applauding and Bill walked into the room side-by-side with the “father of reconciliation” and Yawuru Man, Pat Dodson.
Mr Dodson will be Labor’s newest Senator for Western Australia.
2. "In Australian schools right now we know that the gap is growing larger and larger between those students and those schools that are performing well and those students and those schools that are falling behind,” this speech by Kate Ellis on the need to properly fund Australia’s schools.
3. Terri Butler and Tanya Plibersek moved a motion to bring on a vote for marriage equality. As Terri said: “We can make marriage equality a reality right now. We can do it today. We can do it in this parliament. We have the power.”
The Government voted against the motion, but not until they'd let Malcolm Turnbull escape the chamber so he didn't have to vote at all.
4. Joel Fitzgibbon, Jenny Macklin, Kelvin Thompson and Anthony “Albo" Albanese celebrated 20 years in Parliament. With their 80 years of accumulated experience they have more than a few war stories and the wisdom not to tell them all.
5. A question from the cross-bench made reference to “the bigots in the conservative brotherhood” sitting opposite. This resulted in an uproar from a particular group of conservatives opposite, which was loudly interrupted by Graham Perrett interjecting: “IT’S NOT A ROLL CALL!”
Graham was promptly ejected from the chamber under 94a. #worthit
1. On Wednesday, Malcolm Turnbull was blindsided by a massive national security leak where Tony Abbott was directly quoted as being “flabbergasted” by decisions made by Malcolm Turnbull in the Defence White Paper.
Malcolm Turnbull responded by ordering the Australian Federal Police to investigate the leak. It makes you wonder about the kind of born-to-rule mentality that makes anyone think it's ok to use national security as a part of their civil war.
2. On Thursday, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison’s negative gearing scare campaign came tumbling down when it was revealed that ‘modelling' the Government was using to attack Labor’s negative gearing policy wasn’t actually based on Labor’s policy. It had been done before Labor’s policy was announced. The author of the report even said: “the assumptions do not align with Labor’s policy."
Scott Morrison has never looked more out of his depth.
3. At the same time Malcolm Turnbull was launching his unhinged attack against Labor’s negative gearing policy, he and Scott Morrison were reportedly having an internal fight. Scott Morrison wants to make changes to negative gearing and superannuation, but Malcolm Turnbull looks ready to abandon any changes.
When Bill pointed out on Thursday these decisions meant we’re heading closer and closer to a repeat of the 2014 Budget, Turnbull looked down-trodden and Tony Abbott beamed.
4. On Monday, another Government leak highlighted massive delays in Malcolm Turnbull’s NBN. Under Malcolm Turnbull, the cost and the time it will take to build the NBN has doubled. If it wasn't for the cost to the economy, the lost benefits for thousands of small business and the fact our broadband is now so old school it will soon be a museum exhibit, we'd almost feel sorry for Malcolm Turnbull, given his knack for turning wine into water.
5. Scott Morrison this week proclaimed Australia’s economy was the “envy of the G20”. So what's changed since Tony Abbott declared a “Budget Emergency”? The deficit has doubled, net debt is up $59.8 billion, unemployment is up and wages growth is the lowest on record.
The #5and5 will be back in two week’s time.
PS: The #5and5 song the week is dedicated to the strange inertia currently gripping the Turnbull Government. Bastille said it best when they sang: “Many days fell away with nothing to show” and “Does it almost feel like nothing changed at all.” Here’s “Pompeii”.