Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Morrison government’s drought policy mess

Has drought policy become a casualty of the federal-state blame game? ABC The Conversation By Michelle Grattan 18 Oct 19,  Government sources insist shock jock Alan Jones didn’t drive Thursday’s announcement of a cash payment to drought-stricken farmers about to be turfed off their household support because they’d reached the four-year time limit.They say the measure — giving up to $13,000 to a couple and $7,500 to individuals at a cost of $12.8 million this financial year — had been in Cabinet’s expenditure review committee process for some time.

But the National Farmers Federation says it wasn’t given any notice, which seems odd since Drought Minister David Littleproud is constantly referencing the NFF.

Regardless of the sequencing, Mr Jones’ extraordinarily angry and emotional performance on Tuesday, haranguing Mr Morrison on radio, breaking down on TV, and warning of dire political consequences if the Government didn’t do something, certainly concentrated the Prime Minister’s mind.

As one official puts it, Mr Morrison is “attuned to the zeitgeist”.

Described more prosaically, the PM is highly sensitive to public opinion, and he judges that in metropolitan areas as well as the regions, people want more action — and then more still — to help those brought to their knees.

Can drought policy deliver better outcomes?

When he became PM, Mr Morrison was immediately anxious to own the issue of the drought. He referred to it in his news conference the day he was elected leader, saying it was “the first thing I need to turn attention to”, and was quickly off to a drought-affected area.

Now he is feeling the full cost — political as well as financial — of that ownership, as he’s confronted with pressure on all sides.

NFF president Fiona Simson continues to say she doesn’t think the Government has a drought policy…….

Drought policy is bedevilled by the old federal-state blame game, as shown by the wrangling over dam building.

A sign of weakness?

Also, the Government has no credible reason for keeping under wraps the report it commissioned from Stephen Day, who was its drought coordinator, which would provide some useful overview.

Thursday’s announcement of the cash payment was messy: Mr Morrison trumpeted it on radio at the same time as the Nationals unveiled it at a press conference.

The Coalition’s handling looks ad hoc and reactive……..

A sign of weakness?

Also, the Government has no credible reason for keeping under wraps the report it commissioned from Stephen Day, who was its drought coordinator, which would provide some useful overview.

Thursday’s announcement of the cash payment was messy: Mr Morrison trumpeted it on radio at the same time as the Nationals unveiled it at a press conference…….  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-18/drought-gives-scott-morrison-a-harsh-political-lesson/11614698

October 19, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, environment

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