On the subject of...

Australian Economy

12
Oct
2018

Morrison on Energy Policy & IPCC Report

The IPCC has published what it describes as a “Special Report” whose press release astonishingly claims it has been “approved by governments”. There is no sign of any such approval and the only Australian on the drafting committee is a professor of Danish origin from Queensland who is a believer in climate change problems and would be highly unlikely to have secured government approval. The Chair is a South Korean economist who seems to have no publishing record. These activists are, we are told, assisted by 91 authors, 133 contributing authors, and a total of 42,001 expert and government review comments.
6
Oct
2018

Morrison Becoming a Hasty Decision-Maker

Yesterday’s Commentary referred to a number of policy decisions and comments on policy positions made by PM Morrison which raised concern about the directions being taken by him and, in particular, whether his government is differentiating itself from the leftish Turnbull government to a substantive degree. The publication of an article in Spectator of 6 October by John Stone (see Stone on Morrison), and other developments, suggest the Morrison government does not seem at present to have the capacity to handle issues in a way conducive to attracting the electorate to the Coalition.
1
Oct
2018

Morrison Off Tracks

Comments now emanating from the PM and Treasurer are alarming. They imply that the Coalition is following a line that is not dissimilar to that adopted by Turnbull and most of the ministers he appointed (some of which have in fact been re-appointed by Morrison). It would not be surprising if Turnbull himself has been consulted on some issues which have emerged since he lost his PM position (Morrison indicated last week that he had been speaking to Turnbull “pretty frequently”). True, some have responded well to Morrison’s more acceptable mannerisms than those attributed to Turnbull, but what counts is the substance of decision-making.
24
Sep
2018

Newspoll

It is now a month since the overthrow of Turnbull as Coalition leader and PM on August 24. Yet the latest Newspoll shows the Coalition now led by Scott Morrison (thanks to the initial challenge by Dutton) has lifted its two party preferred vote by only two percentage points, which still leaves it well behind Labor on 46/54 and behind its rating of 49/51 in mid-August prior to the spill. And less than on its July 2016 election win by one seat.
16
Sep
2018

Morrison Still Short on Leadership

We ended last week’s session of Federal Parliament with Morrison still in a precarious position and with another week in parliament to come. He has received some favourable publicity from his energetic en tour of some electorates and from his aggressive handling of parliament. However, his request for support from parliamentary colleagues on Thursday night by the raising of hands to a song left a good deal to be desired and he subsequently acknowledged that “the full lyrics … were just not OK” (see report published in today’s Sunday Fairfax and reproduced above in Morrison’s Performance in Parliament) . And the message he (and others) received from Turnbull from New York , which suggested that Dutton’s position as an MP should be checked by the High Court, did not help, all the more so as reports also suggest Turnbull has been leaking about his (Morrison’s) behaviour.
14
Sep
2018

Morrison on Two Horses (14/9)

My suggestion yesterday that Morrison needs to “get over Turnbull” and adopt his own policies was followed by Turnbull’s message from New York to his (?) “friends” (including Morrison) to have Dutton’s legitimacy as an MP checked by the High Court. For obvious reasons, Morrison rejected that but it remains a threat to Dutton because one or two of his “friends” (including former deputy Bishop) could resign and bring on a federal election, which would make it difficult for Dutton (and others) to win his seat in current circumstances.
13
Sep
2018

Morrison Fails to Get Over It

In yesterday’s editorial The Australian concluded by saying that “at some stage we need a serious debate about what we are doing and why” on energy policy (see OZ Editorial on Energy Policy, 12/9). Also yesterday Morrison answered Shorten’s question in the House about why Turnbull has been sacked by telling him to “get over it”. But he is the one who needs to “get over it” – the “it” being Turnbull, who is reportedly still busy from New York telling colleagues to have Dutton’s eligibility to be a minister tested in the High Court. Morrison had no real option but to reject this proposal.
10
Sep
2018

Coalition Goes Backward Under Morrison

One might have thought that the second Newspoll after the election of Scott Morrison as PM would produce something of a lift since the one published a fortnight ago on 27 August. That showed the Coalition on a TPP of 44/56 (and a primary vote of only 33) after Turnbull was dismissed on 24 August. But now we have on 10 September the same TPP for the Coalition and only a one percentage point lift in its primary vote – but, and for Labor too.
8
Sep
2018

Morrison Has Long Way to Go

My last Commentary on 6 September suggested that Morrison has an “in-between” policy on energy and that it was hoped that he would make a broad announcement on policies in a speech scheduled to be made in Albury later that day. Alas, that has not proved to be the case and, despite the abandonment of the Turnbull/Frydenberg NEG, energy policy is worse and as confusing as it was under Turnbull. A quotation from his speech published in the SMH/Age gives the gist of his position
6
Sep
2018

Morrison’s Policies to be Revealed

In last Sunday’s Commentary I drew attention to the lack of any substantial difference emerging in energy policy by Scott Morrison compared with what had been envisaged under the Turnbull/Frydenberg clique. Even though he has been emphasising the importance of reducing electricity costs, that remains the case as there has been no announcement of reductions in the cost-adding policies of reducing carbon emissions and increasing usage of renewable.