Barnaby: Labor Is Rudderless, Clueless, Hopeless

4 Nov

Senator Joyce writes for the Canberra Times:

The Qantas chief, Alan Joyce, has been hanging around Parliament House for the past few weeks, not because of an impending aviation calamity, but apparently because he likes the decor and the coffee. Well, that is what you would have to believe if you are to believe the Government.

To say the Qantas lockout and fallout came as a surprise does not pass muster especially now in light of the abundant leaks from key Labor Party ministers, all protecting their jobs in the shadow of this fiasco, so as to quarantine themselves from the political fallout in the rumoured leadership change.

Julia Gillard wrote the Fair Work Act when she was Industrial Relations Minister in 2009. Section 431 allows the minister to demand the parties come to the table and avoid the massive damage which has happened to the nation’s airline and our nation’s image. The Government had at its disposal the mechanism to avoid the travel chaos over the weekend. However, Gillard was not convinced of her own competencies in writing the Act or her Government’s capacity in administration of her own Act. She claims that section 431 could not be used because it has not been used before. Well, why did you put it there? It appears she did not even source legal advice until Saturday afternoon. Breathtaking!

Our nation’s Government is not on auto pilot – it is rudderless, clueless and hopeless. The Qantas dispute is a metaphor for the Government’s day-to-day management as we lurch from crisis to crisis. It is the same management style as the live cattle debacle which brought about a middle-of-the-night closure of the live cattle trade that we did not need while creating an immense diplomatic issue with our largest neighbour. From overreaction to no reaction at all; in fact with the Qantas issue to a position where we are in a desperate search for a government pulse. The vision of flying back into Canberra this week, on a very crowded Virgin flight, was one of a government fascinated in cooling the planet while we raced past $215billion in gross debt. Qantas planes sat forlornly on the tarmac as a new aviary for swallows. But then the Qantas debacle is not a new pattern for the Government.

During the election last year Gillard promised to implement whatever the Murray-Darling Basin Authority decided. After the authority released a plan that was a dud, the Government backed away, and started blaming us for introducing the Water Act. Now the Murray-Darling Basin draft plan is about to be released and the Government will have to display a competency, completely absent at the moment, to avoid the public furore which occurred last year.

Coal seam gas is an issue that has to be addressed in a more complete manner, as demanded by public concerns, but no senior Labor Party members are offering any solutions. At the moment they seem more obsessed with CO2 than H2O.

Labor has provided the apogee of its political engagement with Australians with the carbon tax even though Canada is running a thousand miles from any similar action, and Europe has a scheme which is little else than tokenism supported by a volatile and at times fraudulent carbon market, where the scams associated with carbon credits would make pyramid scheme marketers blush. China is improving the carbon intensity of its economy by pulling down dirty little coal-fired power stations and building massive new coal-fired power stations. Absurdly, we will pay China for the carbon credits it generated in its country under our carbon tax with money borrowed from them.

Yes, the carbon tax legislation was finalised with a back-slapping, clapping, kiss-a-thon mirrored in the big banks with a salivating let’s go out to lunch on Bob Brown’s big bank billion dollar bonus as the commissions on the permits transfer money from the suburbs to the centre of town.

In a political team when it becomes apparent that the halfback cannot pass, the five-eighth cannot catch and the coach is a plant from another greener team, then the crowd of supporters dismally dwindles to a core of the loving family members, the morbidly curious and those recently removed from the closest pub.

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