Political games are never far away when it comes to COVID-19 management in Australia and, of course, it’s across the political divide: the Liberal Party of NSW and the federal government on one side, and Labor Premiers on the other.
If only the NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian had shown some sympathy to Victoria when they went through their lockdowns, perhaps that could have been repaid and requests to access more Pfizer vaccines would have been more receptive. Far from being a victim of success, the NSW Premier has been a victim of her own hubris.
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As for the Prime Minister, the mismanagement of the vaccination rollout is quickly becoming a political headache: corruption and mismanagement in other programs – sportsrorts or unwanted carparks in marginal seats, for example – don’t affect everyone, and governments can easily gloss over these problems. But COVID-19 affects every single person in Australia. Which means that it affects every person who votes at election time, and it’s not looking for Scott Morrison, or for the Liberal Party.
Should Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk have made the trip to Tokyo to receive the news of Brisbane becoming an Olympic city in 2032? Perhaps she should have stayed home, but if the media is going to attack her, where were the voices when Scott Morrison went overseas? Or Mathias Cormann? Or Adrian Shrinner? Or Sussan Ley? Never mind, they’re from the Liberal Party, so that’s all alright.
Eddie Obeid, Moses Obeid and Ian McDonald have been found guilty of corruption and they are likely to end up in jail. And that’s good riddance to bad rubbish but 13 years after the corruption was committed in 2008? That’s too long for the wheels of justice to turn, but better late than never.
And there are calls for the JobKeeper program to be reinstated but it needs to be reformed. $7 million went to the Perth private school, Hale School – after they made an $8 million surplus, and while universities across Australia received $0 – and $17 billion was paid to businesses that didn’t need JobKeeper support and didn’t qualify, including $21 million to Harvey Norman.
But, all is well: the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg says – nudge nudge, wink wink – no need to pay it back. That energy will be spent chasing up overpayments to Centrelink recipients, where the real rorting is happening. Apparently.
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