Friday, Grattan: Next week will belong to the government, but the Albanian must also make a good impression


Michelle Grattan does not work, advise, own parts, receive funds from any organization that could benefit from this article, and has not declared any affiliation other than her research organization

The pandemic is the worst time to rule, but Scott Morrison is determined to make the most of the opportunities to be seen to do things

This is also the most difficult time to be in opposition Unlike Morrison, Anthony Albanese struggles to find political chances

The government has used the past three weeks to launch a tsunami of policies ahead of Tuesday’s budget We are seeing a reform agenda, though not a big bang

Labor complain about particular measures and continue to demand « a real plan » for recovery, but that does not stop

In theory, such an age of angst could play out for the government or for its detractors In practice, it raised Morrison (and prime ministers too) and overwhelmed the Albanians

Recent political announcements include a package of initiatives on fuel storage, energy and emissions reduction, NBN upgrade, a digital business plan, easing restrictions on fuel credit scores, a revamped insolvency regime and a manufacturing plan

There are several takeaways of this hyperactivity Morrison promotes both intervention and deregulation He is passionate about « road maps » (in the realm of technology, manufacturing), but he is afraid of focus on long-term destinations He is not troubled by what has been said and done previously on his side

Morrison doesn’t call himself « Marketing Scotty » for nothing Policy versions are carefully vetted They are delivered to the papers in the afternoon under embargo – no comment can be requested They then dominate the morning headlines, surf the news and usually be on TV that night

The $ 1’s $ 5 billion manufacturing plan that Morrison announced on Thursday has selected six areas for special assistance.In terms of areas, he shamelessly picks the winners

Energy policy encompasses a controversial big winner – gas « If you’re not for gas, you’re not for jobs in our manufacturing and heavy industries, » says Morrison, in a bold hype. new and emerging specific emission reductions were also nominated for encouragement

The government’s concern to remove what it considers excessive regulation ranges from environmental approval processes to borrowing to buy a home

Last week’s move to free up access to credit by easing checks banks must carry out on borrowers aims to boost economy Government is brushing aside fears it could lead people to financial overdevelopment

Energy policy focuses on the immediate and medium term; Morrison refuses to adopt a 2050 goal of net zero emissions, although this is accepted by a wide range of stakeholders and countries One reason is that he does not want to provoke dissent in his ranks

In its commitment to an upgrade of the NBN, by adopting fiber passing in front of the houses that will be able to connect at a price, the government argues that it is following a path it had in mind from the start Some commentators agree; the most common interpretation is that it belatedly catches up with a version of what the Labor government has planned

There are other policy changes to come, especially in industrial relations, although we don’t yet know how far the government will be willing to go to stir up this hornet’s nest Morrison was belligerent about the dispute on the seafront this week

Much of the reform agenda requires legislation – for measures due to start early next year, this will require some parliamentary haste The Senate Cross Bench is easier on the government than it is was once, but not child’s play

An immediate test will be a reform announced earlier – the proposed (and contested) restructuring of higher education fees, which is expected to begin in 2021

Care of the elderly is emerging as one of the most difficult areas of reform the government has to tackle, where it is hostage to a royal commission created by Morrison

COVID is a ‘stress tester’ – it locates systemic weaknesses Morrison highlighted this in relation to Australian supply chains The Prime Minister has promised ‘sovereign manufacturing capacity plans’ in vulnerable areas They will be probably helped under purchase agreements and contracts

The pandemic has also revealed a very different kind of vulnerability in nursing homes across the country Here we have seen the result of years of loose regulation, inadequate staffing requirements and poor oversight

In a special report on COVID filed Thursday, the Royal Commission on Elderly Care said the government should establish a national elderly care plan for COVID and a standing national advisory body on care for the elderly

The report’s various recommendations were quickly accepted, but they remain in the government’s crawl as it insisted it had a plan and the advisory group it (reluctantly) set up was temporary

What has happened in the field of elderly care is a shame – comprehensive reform is imperative after the commission’s final report early next year More money will be needed, but it will not part is Much better and tighter regulation is vital and there is a larger problem regarding the ‘for-profit’ sector

Looking at the other side of politics, in manual terms, Albanese did what an opposition leader should do in the first half of a term. He described general approaches to politics in « vision statements » Not unreasonably, he didn’t want to be tied to the details, especially in such a changing time

But he’s against His party’s split on energy / climate policy, and it’s increasingly difficult to hide the wide gap between resource spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon and climate change and climate critic. Mark Butler energy

This clash has the potential to become dangerously destructive for the opposition Climate is one of the main problems of the job If compromises that suit both Butler and Fitzgibbon cannot be found, the falling out could be extremely serious for the party Fitzgibbon launched the threat to leave the front seat

Labor criticism of the government runs up against two obstacles First, with so much going on and Morrison occupying such a large political space, people are not listening to the opposition

Secondly, the public is still not in a partisan mood The opposition found it necessary to dial the conflict meter, but this does not correspond to the situation of the people

Poll (slated for early 2022) could be late next year It’s still a long way off Politicians tend to be locals and Labor MPs are frustrated that their attacks have little impact

On the other hand, from an Albanian perspective, a possible election at the end of 2021 is woefully close, given that he hasn’t even started to establish himself as a strong alternative yet

All of this makes Albanian’s budget response next Thursday more important than usual for Labor The speech is seen as rich in politics Budget week is up to the government, but Albanese knows his performance is also crucial, to show that he’s still in the game

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Australian Labor Party, Anthony Albanese, Scott Morrison, government

Global news – UA – Grattan Friday: Next week will be in government, but Albanese must also make a good impression


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