Tag Archives: Angus Taylor Scandals

Cleaning the Coalition stables


On Dec 2, 2019 the Australian Parliament voted on a motion to create a federal Anti-Corruption Commission. The motion was put forward by Andrew Wilkie, an Independent from Tasmania. The motion failed, because a majority of federal parliamentarians was against the creation of such a body. The votes were cast along party lines, with no deviations.

The text of the motion commenced with the following:

(a)over a long time now the behaviour of both major parties has made it abundantly clear that Parliament cannot deal with matters of ministerial integrity, and Australia urgently needs a Federal Integrity Commission;

and included:

(c)the scope of this integrity commission must extend beyond criminal offences to a range of corrupt and unethical behaviour including donation-fuelled favouritism, cronyism and the rorting of parliamentary entitlements;

Recently Senator Bridget McKenzie, a National Party member, and Deputy Leader of the party, was found by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) to have acted outside the spirit of a $100 million sports grant program, overseen by McKenzie while she was the Minister for Sport, in the lead-up to the 2019 Australian federal election.

The ANAO stated that it “was administered in a way that was not informed by an appropriate assessment process and sound advice”, and sporting organisations in marginal seats that the Coalition needed to win were favoured with grants.

Although there are a myriad of such priceless moments in Australian parliamentary history, it is disheartening to once again encounter such shamelessness in a senior minister, and indeed in every member of the Coalition. Bridget McKenzie has refused to resign, and ridicules the very notion that she should. Her defence has been varied, from describing it as “reverse pork-barrelling” to “no rules were broken”. Such brazenness is breathtaking, but not a surprise.

Andrew Wilkie’s motion could not have been more appropriate, and on the money, had he been a psychic, or a fortune teller. Bridget McKenzie has clearly engaged in behaviour which falls into the area anticipated by “extends beyond criminal offences to a range of corrupt and unethical behaviour including donation-fuelled favouritism and cronyism.”

We can credibly throw in cronyism as well, because she threw buckets of money at sporting clubs in Scott Morrison’s electorate, in Tony Abbott’s (lost) electorate, and the Attorney-General, Christian Porter’s, electorate. Her ‘throw’ to Josh Frydenburg’s Kooyong is staggeringly inappropriate, if you see this as a ‘needs-based’ programme, which it is. Kooyong sits in Melbourne’s ‘dress circle’, where there are more tiaras than headbands.

In Mr Frydenberg’s economically well-endowed seat of Kooyong, the Guardian reported grants were given to Camberwell Hockey Club ($38,000), East Camberwell Tennis Club ($90,000), Kew Little Athletics ($92,450), Grace Park Hawthorn Club ($25,000) and Hawthorn Malvern Hockey Centre ($500,000). These grants all occurred in the second and third rounds, as the election approached and when it seemed that the Liberal Deputy Leader might have been in a spot of bother, electorally speaking.

There is considerable doubt in my mind as to whether these sporting clubs’ applications were completed by volunteers working into the night.

I cannot be sure if rorting of parliamentary entitlements is on her CV, but she once took a 1,700km direct charter flight to Melbourne from Rockhampton, so she could watch the Melbourne Mustangs ice hockey team. The cost to taxpayers was $19,942, plus $500 for the Comcar from the airport to the game, the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority data showed. A week earlier she spent $14,000 flying via charter to Cairns to watch a basketball game. She sat two seats from Prince Charles. You have to hope it was worth it. There were commercial flights available in both instances, but busy is busy!

But enough enjoyment from the cheap seats, concentrating on only one member of the Government. It is equally interesting to look at how the parties voted on the original motion advanced by Mr Wilkie.

The theyvoteforyou.org.au website states that, when the vote was taken, the vote in favour was unanimous from the Labor Party, Australian Greens, Centre Alliance, Independents, and even Bob Katter;

Against was also unanimous: the Liberal Party, the National Party, the Liberal National Party. So the reactionary right voted 100% against having an anti-corruption body, with teeth, which would be set up to investigate Parliamentarians, their staff, and the Public Service. You have to ask yourself, “What do they have to hide?”

Plenty. The fact that Scott Morrison’s office is mainly staffed by Energy Industry retirees, relentlessly pushing the fossil fuel industry cart. The stacking of the AAT, with time-servers, most without legal qualifications; Angus Taylor and his imaginary water, all $80 million worth; Angus Taylor and Clover’s imaginary travel costs: our minister for climate. Barnaby and his service as Drought Envoy, report delivered by text; wow. How about George, the Minister for Manila; Matthias and his free holiday; sorry, not free!

The list is endless, although opening Christmas Island for a press conference, at a cost of $180 million, probably takes the cake. It is discussed here, more fully … https://askbucko.com/2019/04/05/christmas-island-a-huge-waste-of-money/

What do you call it? Is dishonesty too strong? It seems we need an Integrity Commission, asap! No chance, with this Government.

The Climate is now Personal for All of Us


When the last tree is cut, the last river poisoned, and the last fish dead, we will discover that we can’t eat money. Cree Native American Prophecy

Like most non-scientists with an interest in knowledge I defer to science, which is derived from the Latin word “scientia” meaning knowledge. So when serious groups of scientists join together, and tell us that the earth’s climate is changing, for the worse, I believe them.

When I do so I expect that I am not alone. I do not fear a conspiracy wherein all the climate scientists have forged an unholy alliance, and are busy buying shares in renewable energy companies. I cannot understand much of the science, but I know that insurance companies worldwide accept that sea levels are rising. I know the Arctic is losing ice at an alarming rate, and that the average temperatures in Australia are going up, year on year.

That confounds many critics, but the main thing to note is that we are talking about 1 degree, on average, over the space of years, and more days of extreme temperatures can be expected. That does not mean Canberra is going to be balmy in winter, but it will have slightly higher temperatures, in winter and summer.

Similarly to the tobacco industry in the past, energy companies have been sitting on the facts of climate change for years, for reasons of base profit. So when I am faced with what appears to be a looming catastrophe I turn to my government for solutions. One cannot rely on the good will of for profit multi-nationals.

Australian Governments have, almost universally, failed me. As far as I can remember, Julia Gillard is the only leader of this country who actually put a price on carbon, which is believed to be the most effective method of reducing carbon use. And we know what happened then.

But let us take a look at the other, so-called leaders. Remember that this is an existential threat to our country, and our planet:

John Howard: “…I instinctively feel that some of the claims are exaggerated.”

Kevin Rudd: “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time”. That was before he retreated from the challenge.

Tony Abbott: His description of the relevant science in 2009: “absolute crap”?

Malcolm Turnbull: Has been rolled as leader of the Liberal Party twice because he is a believer in the science, but allowed the climate science deniers to dictate policy to him, and when he defied them, he was deposed.

Scott Morrison: Considering he has come to power twelve years after John Howard left office, he has had time to become informed about climate change, and as a marketing person he is aware of the concerns held by a majority of Australians. Even those who voted for the Coalition recently believe in climate change. So you would expect his choices for ministerial office in this challenging area of concern, would be appropriately focused, and committed to searching for solutions.

Not so. Angus Taylor is a climate science denialist, and a self-described believer in renewables, as long as they are not powered by wind. That is because his grandfather worked on the Snowy Scheme, apparently. So he claims some sort of genetic greenness, apart from his aesthetic objections … We suspect his attitude to water buy-backs is more favourable, because they are so, so very profitable. He is also in favour of coal powered power stations, and against electric cars. Read about him and his fanciful ideas, here https://askbucko.com/2019/06/08/a-tale-of-mighty-winds/

Sussan Ley is the new Environment Minister. She has stated that she will be an environmentalist as the Minister. Her first thought has been that nature has got spare water hanging about, and so farmers should be allowed to ‘borrow’ it for farming, as long as they pay it back. I would say tell that to the millions of dead fish which littered the Murray-Darling basin last summer.

Scott Morrison has chosen these two as his front line defence against environmental degradation and climate change. I consider the choices to be disgraceful, and contemptuous in the extreme, when he well knows the overwhelming desire of Australians to ‘do something’ for the environment, and also to pull our weight internationally.

If and when the full effects of global heating become evident, where will these people hide? I for one, want my government to do the decent, sensible thing, follow the expert advice, and deliver solutions. But what we get is smoke and mirrors, and a bunch of old white people in power, too blinded by their own importance to heed the will of the people.

The day after Bob Hawke’s memorial service, we discover just how degraded the political system has become, where no side has the courage to act on our behalf.

The Liberals Disrespect Us All


Now that the Conservatives have won power for the next three years, it is time for us all to actually remind them that we did not vote for a replay of Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison.

Scott Morrison won the election through a combination of being a small target, by spreading misleading rumours of death taxes, by preying on the financially illiterate, and by being so much more marketable than his opponent.

Scott Morrison led the country for six months of ineptitude and trickery, and his election win does not wipe away the history of those six months.

Remember that he actually promoted Peter Dutton back into the ministry, into the most powerful position in the country, after his own. That is not an oversight, it is a statement of intent. Dutton is very unpopular throughout the country, for reasons which are as obvious as they are repetitive. He appears to be the worst sort of bully, and his behaviour this week, where he ducked the media, seemingly slapped his Departmental Secretary with a wet lettuce leaf, after he became involved in the partisan politics of the day, was in character. Dutton says he spoke to him, but then immediately made it clear the man was justified in this act, although he acted inappropriately.

Dutton was also in charge of the Australian Federal Police, when they raided a journalist’s home, and also the ABC. I do not believe for a moment that the raids were not run past the Minister before they happened, but even if they were, they were conducted under the Westminster system, where the buck stops with the responsible Minister. So batten down for more of the same, for the next three years.

I have already written about the appointment of Angus Taylor into the Energy portfolio. He had Emissions Reduction added to his pre-election responsibilities, and that doubles the insult to the Australian people. This man wants to sponsor coal-fired power, and he does not like renewables. His appointment will appease the far right wing of the party and no-one else, but it will alienate every citizen who values the environment.

In my opinion Angus Taylor has also escaped scrutiny over his role in the water buy-back disgrace. Merely denying any benefit gained is not to my mind even close to adequate, and it is shameful and contemptuous of Scott Morrison to believe the Australian people are so gullible.

Scott Morrison went to the election crowing about an imaginary surplus, and a total absence of policies. That surplus appears to have dried up, as it always would have, because it was a forecast, and forecasts are just that, guesses. I would be prepared to wager that sometime within this term Mr Morrison will start to beg, borrow or steal some of Labor’s policies from prior to the election, because he has nothing else to offer, and a team of warriors who think their only task is to keep the other side out of power. This government has no discernible values.