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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

Commonwealth government steps up

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

This week the Morrison government sent two message about the latest Victorian government lockdown – it will support the people of Victoria in hardship but it will no longer offer a blank cheque to inept premiers at the expense of other states (think NSW) that are fighting Covid with success.

Paul Kelly, The Australian

This weekend’s Australian sees a number of senior journalists also stepping up to the plate. The quote in the first paragraph shows Paul Kelly at his best. In the second panel he says: ‘In recent weeks, the Morrison government has bowed too much to the pandemic protectionism fanned by most premiers, and its display of spine this week was a welcome relief.’ Well done Paul Kelly. It is time such a bold remark was made by such a great journalist.

To continue: ‘Two challenges face the nation: a stern urgency in resisting Covid; and a tough-minded attitude ­towards the long-run economic recovery.

‘Once Victoria extended its lockdown for another seven days, financial support from the Morrison government for out-of-work Victorians became a no-brainer. Nothing else was tolerable in political terms. But that support comes with the creation of a new national policy: future federal support will apply only to areas deemed by the commonwealth’s chief medical officer to be hotspots – meaning that the Morrison government won’t necessarily accept the health decisions of the states.

‘This is an effort by Scott Morrison to impose consistency, proportionality and control over the premiers who have long engaged, NSW excepted, in populist lockdowns and de facto elimination agendas’.

Please find and read Paul Kelly’s powerful diatribe. It is time that the Victorian government was told what most sensible Victorians think. I cannot avoid the following comments: ‘The distaste for Victoria’s ineptitude cannot be missed. “Many people in Victoria are asking the same question: why us?”, Frydenberg said. The Morrison government disputes the basics in Victoria’s response, from its initial statewide lockdown to its incredible failure to get the QR code ­running properly.

“Since the national lockdown last year, Victoria has been locked down for 140 days compared with an average of only six days for the other states,” Frydenberg said.

‘In a telling radio remark, the Treasurer said: “It’s still the same virus, it’s still the same hotel quarantine system.”

‘The point being: why is Vic­toria so hopeless?’

There you have it Victorians. At the end of Paul Kelly’s article he assets ‘Victoria needs major reform. And there is a big lesson for other states and territories, Victoria’s ‘culture of progressive complacency’.

I yearn for an equally important analysis of Australia’s defence capacity. My understanding is we shall have:

  • submarines that will not start to be available for the best part of two decades and are sure to be far more expensive than currently mooted;

  • fighter planes that are not competitive with Chinese or Russian fighters;

  • no missiles;

  • no fighting drones so far as I know (an Israeli program to allow fighters to keep in touch with each other and HQ),

the latter apparently ‘ripped out’.

We’d better keep our friends in the USA on side. What if President Trump gets re-elected


Fiona Prior takes us on a trip down memory lane to Wall Street at its most crazed and certifiable in the blood splattering 'American Psycho: The Musical'. More here.

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