The #5and5 - Week Ending 18 September 2015
What a week. Good news: a Liberal PM has gone. Bad news: a Liberal PM with the same policies has replaced him.
Here’s the #5and5.
Best five parliamentary moments of the week:
1. The NDIS will be rolled out in NSW and Victoria
Agreements to roll out the full National Disability Insurance Scheme across NSW and Victoria were signed this week.
These agreements mean that people with disability, their carers and families have certainty. Labor built the NDIS because the current disability system is broken. Bill Shorten and Jenny Macklin helped make the NDIS happen. It’s a lasting Labor achievement that changes people’s lives.
When it’s finished, more than 460,000 people with disability, their carers and families will be supported.
2. Bill prophesied the upcoming #libspill
On Monday, Tony Abbott was in full flight in Question Time and started getting his backbench to join in. Here’s how it went, and none of us realised just how quickly Bill’s interjection was about to come true:
Abbott: Carbon Tax
Lib/Nat MPs: Gone!
Abbott: Mining Tax
Lib/Nat MPs: Gone!
Shorten: Tony Abbott
Labor MPs: Gone!
3. A cracking question (or two) in question time
On Wednesday, Bill Shorten asked the current PM about something he said in 2010: "I think people know what I stand for. You know they know that I have strong convictions, committed principles and I'm prepared to stand up for them."
Bill asked "Given that, just in the last 24 hours, the Prime Minister has sold out on climate change, marriage equality, renewable energy and the Murray-Darling, what other government policy is the Prime Minister willing to sell out to appease his personal ambition?"
4. The Liberal front bench stayed curiously stagnant
One of the strangest things this week was after it had been backgrounded that certain Ministers including the Treasurer were going to be dumped next week, they all still sat on the front bench as though nothing had changed.
Ministers whose situation looks untenable like Joe Hockey, Kevin Andrews, and Peter Dutton kept fronting up for auditions to save their jobs. Joe Hockey was given a farewell round of applause and every time Peter Dutton stood up he was reminded that the microphone was on.
5. Hockey revealed his economic mismanagement
In his final question as Treasurer, Joe Hockey announced the figures for the Final Budget Outcome for his first Budget. He tried to boast they were better than had been expected.
What he failed to mention was they now confirm that compared to the state of the Budget Labor left, they had blown out the deficit by $14 billion and net debt by $26 billion. Remember all the talk about a Budget emergency? Australia’s debt and deficit have only increased under this Government.
Worst five parliamentary moments of the week:
1. As much as things changed, the Liberals stayed the same
Malcolm Turnbull locked in behind every Government policy.
The only change he made was to go backwards on Murray-Darling reform in a deal with the Nats. Remember all those stands Malcolm used to take to tell us he was more reasonable than other members of his party? Well when the hard right and the Nats said to be PM he had to agree to disown the issues he used to stand for his response was apparently: “Where do I sign?”
2. The Coalition started leaking before the week was out
This week, Malcolm Turnbull promised to "lead a traditional cabinet government". Well he broke all previous records and had a Cabinet that started leaking within days. The leaked document confirmed the PM is the worst-performing minister when it comes to appointing women to boards.
3. Turnbull refused to talk straight on foreign aid
Tim Costello from World Vision had indicated Foreign Aid might get a better run under Malcolm Turnbull. Tanya Plibersek put the question straight to the PM asking whether he would restore any of the money cut from Foreign Aid. Turnbull responded with three minutes of condescension and no answer.
If anyone forgot why leadership didn’t work out too well for the PM last time, this answer said it all.
4. Greg Hunt flubbed a line in question time
Poor Greg Hunt. Sometimes the best prepared lines are destroyed when the delivery is different to what he practiced.
He was revving up a threat to Labor about his intention to table particular documents in Parliament. As he reached the crescendo he declared: "Between now and election day, every time I come to this dispatch box I will come and lay on the table…" and then he paused.
Labor interjected that would be out of order and a strange thing to do. Crescendo lost. Greg was soon back in his seat.
5. Turnbull rejected our questions and just answered his own
Over the years Malcolm Turnbull has often been accused of only listening to himself.
This took on new proportions on Thursday when Malcolm didn’t like Labor’s questions and started to propose his own.
Yes he really did.
He then used the rest of his time to answer his own question and ignore everyone else in the room. Ed Husic interjected: “When faced with tough decisions, I think to myself: What would Malcolm ask?”
The #5and5 will be back in three weeks.
Don’t forget that the Canning by-election is on Saturday. Our candidate Matt Keogh has run a great campaign.
PS: So many suggestions have come in for this week’s song. After a week where Malcolm Turnbull adopted the full Abbott agenda and was effectively Tony Abbott with elocution, I’ve decided on "The Pretender" by Foo Fighters.